Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Issues Executive Order Mandating Face Masks In Public
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is now requiring face masks for his citizens in most public areas as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
The single-day number of cases recently surpassed 50,000, which is the largest number of daily infections on record. In total, the U.S. accounts for about a quarter of the 10.7 million cases around the world.
The death toll in the U.S. recently passed 128,000. The U.S. has the highest number of fatalities, but not the percentage of fatal cases, which is at 4.8 percent.
In Texas specifically, the number of cases surged by 34 percent in the past week. The total number of cases in the state now exceeds 172,000.
On Thursday, Abbott issued the executive order requiring masks in public areas with the exception of counties that have 20 cases or less.
“Wearing a face covering in public is proven to be one of the most effective ways we have to slow the spread of Covid-19,” Abbott said.
Included in the executive order was also a provision allowing local officials to limit gatherings of 10 or more people.
Texas follows in the footsteps of other states such as Pennsylvania, Oregon, and California who have also issued mask mandates across the state. Several counties within states, such as Marion County, which covers the city of Indianapolis, have also mandated facial coverings in public.
“This isn’t complicated. It’s a piece of cloth that could save your life and the lives of those around you. And it is the right thing to do,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.
Recently, President Trump endorsed the use of masks saying, “I’m all for masks. I think masks are good.”
With the Fourth of July on the rise, a fear of a resurgence of cases is causing the cancellation of many events. Beaches in parts of Florida and California have been closed, and some events are expected to become virtual.
In Philadelphia, for example, the city is hosting seven days of Fourth of July events online. In New York, the Macy’s firework show is taking place is small, five-minute increments in several locations throughout the week in order to prevent large crowds of people.
Several other countries such as India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, and China are also reporting an increase in their number of new cases.
In the U.S., the unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent last month, down from the 13.3 percent recorded in May. The U.S. gained 4.8 million jobs and the U.S. stocks improved. A resurgence of cases could impact economic recovery if shutdowns become increasingly necessary.
Read the full report here.