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Houston mayor says the city will hand out more than 200,000 masks to people in need

The county's mask ordinance goes into effect Monday and the city is promising to hand out hundreds of thousands of masks to those who need them.
Credit: KSDK

HOUSTON — Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says the city will give out more than 200,000 masks to people who need them.

The mayor said city council members will get masks to give out to their districts.

Many of those will go to retirement communities and assisted living centers.

Metro will also be giving them out to riders.

A Harris County order requires most people over 10 to wear a face covering in public starting Monday in most situations or face a fine.

“When you see a police officer, for example, they’re not looking to give you a citation, you know, they’re looking to give you a mask or a face covering," Turner said. "That’s the focus. We're all on the same team, trying to move in the same direction to keep everybody healthy.” 

RELATED: Risk a $1,000 fine if you don't cover your face in public in Houston, Harris County

RELATED: 'Liberty and freedom' | Other counties say they will not require masks like Harris County, Houston

Four city council members wrote a letter to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, urging her to rescind the mask order. Councilmembers Knox, Travis, Kubosh, and Peck argue voluntarily compliance is working and sufficient.

Where to get a free mask in the Houston area

Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen says his office is giving away free facemasks to the first 100 cars on these dates: 4/23, 4/25, 4/26, 4/28, 4/30 & 5/2.

Call 832-286-3876 for more info.

Credit: Pct. 1

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Harris County Precinct 8 Constable Phil Sandlin is hosting a free, face mask drive-through give-away.

It is from 10 a.m.-noon on Friday, April 24, at Precinct 8 stations located at

  • 16602 Diana Ln.
    Houston, TX 77062
  • 7330 Spencer Highway
    Pasadena, Texas 77505

Limit 1 per person. No walk-ups. While supplies last.

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Mattress Mack will be giving away 10,000 free masks tomorrow, Friday, April 24 from 5 a.m. – 9 a.m. at the Gallery Furniture North Freeway store. 

Houstonians can drive up in their car and Gallery Furniture will safely distribute the masks. Masks will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis. 

Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Some patients also have nausea, body aches, headaches and stomach issues. Losing your sense of taste and/or smell can also be an early warning sign.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk for becoming seriously ill. However, U.S. experts are seeing a significant number of younger people being hospitalized, including some in ICU.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Follow social distancing

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

Get complete coverage of the coronavirus by texting 'FACTS' to 713-526-1111.