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Harris County judge says she'll extend mask order until Aug. 26

Harris County Commissioner's Court on Tuesday extended disaster declaration until Aug. 26.

HOUSTON — All businesses in Harris County currently will continue to require employees and customers to wear face coverings, County Judge Lina Hidalgo said Tuesday afternoon.

She signed an order earlier this month requiring masks, based on a disaster declaration in Harris County that was extended by the Commissioner's Court Tuesday until Aug. 26.

The Harris County Commissioners Court discussed and voted on the disaster declaration extension at its weekly 10 a.m. meeting today, and that would allow the extension of the mask order as well.

A representative for Hidalgo said her office is rewriting the mask order to extend until Aug. 26, to match the changes made in Commissioner's Court. 

The original intent was to extend the disaster declaration until July 14 at 11:59 p.m., however the court voted to extend it until Aug. 26.

Harris County face mask order

Businesses that don’t comply with the order could face up to a $1,000 fine, though Hidalgo previously said the main focus is education and not fines. Customers 10 years and older must wear masks, though individuals aren’t subject to any fines for not wearing one.

Fort Bend County extends mask order

Fort Bend County extended their disaster declaration and face mask order for businesses and customers on Tuesday as well.

The declaration and order will continue through July 31 until 11:59 p.m.

The order requires all commercial entities, with a physical location in Fort Bend County that provide goods and services directly to the public, must require that all employees and visitors to their business premises to wear face coverings.

“As I have always said, our decisions will be based on data, science, and community input which is why we are extending this mask up order until July 31st,” County Judge KP George said. “We are all in this together and if we continue doing our part, we will succeed in beating the coronavirus without the Governor of Texas forcing lockdowns or other extreme measures.

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