Gov. Greg Abbott issued a new statewide mask mandate Thursday. The order will require most Texans to wear a face mask in public settings.
Under the executive order that goes into effect Friday afternoon, anyone 10 years or older must wear a face-covering. That includes while inside a commercial entity, building or space open to the public, and outdoor space where you can’t feasibly maintain six feet of social distance. Violators will be given a written or verbal warning the first time and $250 fines each time after that.
Local residents shared mixed reactions regarding the latest order to combat the spread of COVID-19.
“In my own opinion, I feel like it’s the best thing to do for society and for yourself,” said Kirk Broughton.
“I do think it’s important for everyone to do their part in stopping the spread of the virus,” said Chris Tedder.
Van Pelt was against the order.
“First of all, I think it’s unconstitutional forcing us to wear masks if we don’t want to wear them,” he said.
Attorney Jared Woodfill is a strong opponent of mask mandates.
“This is a republic. This is not a monarchy, but Gov. Abbott continues to act as King Abbott,” he said.
A few months ago, Woodfill sued Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo following her mask order and is already working on the same against the governor.
“Clearly what the governor has done here is unconstitutional. And he’s decided to use the big hand of government to force someone to wear a mask,” said Woodfill.
Still, others believe the latest move by the Governor is long overdue.
“If you look at all the places around the world that got it under control, that’s one of the first things that they did. And, it’s about time,” said Tom Byrd.