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Face mask order

Face Masks Now Required in Harris County

by | Jun 23, 2020 | Blog, covid19, Eagle Updates, Links

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, many states and counties have issued face mask orders to help stop the spread. According to CDC, face coverings “may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.”(a) Face masks limit the discharge of respiratory droplets, which is one of the primary ways the coronavirus is transmitted. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Eagle has required visitors and employees to wear face masks in the facility.

Our facility located in Harris County, which includes the city of Houston, is now under a face mask order. The face mask order issued by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo went into effect Monday, June 22, 2020 and is set to expire Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

General Public

The order states that everyone 10 years or older are required  to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in a commercial entity or working in areas that involve close proximity with others, except during the exemptions listed below. Face coverings can be a mask, scarf, bandanas, or handkerchief. The masks or coverings have to cover the nose and mouth. In the order, it states that face masks are not a replacement for social distancing, frequent handwashing, and self-isolation when sick. Employees in Harris County are required to wear face coverings under the same circumstances as the public.

Community Entities

The order mandates businesses that provide goods or services to the public must develop and implement policies requiring customers and employees to wear masks.  It states “all commercial entities in Harris County providing goods or services directly to the public must develop, post, and implement a health and safety policy (“Health and Safety Policy”). The Health and Safety Policy must require, at minimum, that all employees or visitors to the commercial entity’s business premises or other facilities wear face coverings when in an area or performing an activity which will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public.”

Businesses must display the Health and Safety Policy where it can be seen by employees and visitors.

If businesses do not develop and implement the order within five (5) calendar days following the effective date, the order states the businesses could be fined $1,000 for each violation.

The Exceptions

According to the order, face masks do not need to be worn in the following circumstances:

  • Anyone younger than 10 years old
  • When exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside
  • While driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver
  • When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety, or security risk
  • While pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment
  • While in a building or activity that requires security surveillance or screening such as banks
  • When consuming food or drink

Recommendations

In the order, it states that residents should keep up the following habits while in public:

  • Wash hands before you leave home and when you return
  • Avoid touching nose or face
  • Staying at least six feet away from others
  • Not using disposable masks more than three times
  • Washing reusable cloth masks regularly to prevent the spread of the virus

You can view the Harris County face mask order here.

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(a) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html. Accessed June 23, 2020

 

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