FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A face mask ordinance for all of Tarrant County was announced this morning as the county reached its second-highest daily count of new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.
“In just the last two weeks we have seen a 52% increase in the number of cases,” said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley.
The ordinance goes into effect June 26 at 6 p.m. and will run through August 3. It requires face masks inside businesses throughout the county.
The aim is to reduce the chance of hospitals surging overcapacity should the number of cases continue to spike.
Several doctors were on-hand, alongside community leaders to discuss why the ordinance is needed.
“We’ve been following the science, and I think that’s important for everyone to understand. This needs to be about science and research, and not about emotion and politics,” said President of the American Medical Association, Susan R. Bailey, MD, an allergist/immunologist from Fort Worth.
Businesses who fail to comply could face a fine of up to $1,000 while individuals will likely be asked to leave.
“I think it’s important to remember that back to business doesn’t meant business as usual. We are going to have to do thing differently for awhile until we get this very deadly disease under control,” said Dr. Bailey.
Tarrant County on Thursday reported 517 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 10,363.
“We need your help, we need you to mask up,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.
Cases throughout Texas have also surged, with the state reporting a record-high 5,551 new cases on Wednesday.
Dallas County currently has a mask ordinance in place until August that requires face masks or coverings inside businesses. Businesses who do not comply with this ordinance can face fines up to $500.