HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced during a news conference Monday that police will start issuing citations for those who don’t follow Gov. Greg Abbott’s state-mandated mask order.
Turner started the news conference by giving his condolences on the death of another Houston firefighter who died from COVID-19 related complications. He also addressed the death of another police officer who died from coronavirus complications. Turner said both first responders worked in the Kingwood area.
According to Turner, Houston police have been instructed to start issuing warnings for the first violation and then citations for the second violation in August, after first responders are being impacted. He said violators will be cited a $250 fine.
“So please, don’t get mad at the police officers. It’s all about public health and driving the numbers down,” the mayor said.
Turner said for months, the city has focused on educating the public on safety and protecting themselves, but now, people will get fined in an effort to keep the case numbers down. He said the month of August has become critical with flu season around the corner.
But now I am instructing @HoustonPolice Department to issue warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a mask in public, if they do not meet the criteria for an exemption.— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) August 3, 2020
Lives are at stake and we must take these measures to ensure our numbers continue to go down from 17%.
Turner said more people tested positive for COVID-19 in July.