Harris County has now joined other major Texas cities in requiring everyone to wear a mask while out in public. Judge Lina Hidalgo’s executive order takes effect Monday, lasts for at least 30 days and applies to anyone 10 or older.
People must cover their noses and mouths except when exercising, eating or drinking, when alone and in a separate space, at home with roommates or family, or when wearing a mask poses a greater risk to security, mental or physical health.
Essential businesses are required to provide masks for their employees.
Houston is the last major Texas city to enact the mandatory face mask rule. Austin, Dallas and San Antonio put similar rules in place earlier this month.
Laredo was the first in the state to require masks.
Medical masks are not required and should be left for use by health care workers and first responders. Bandannas, scarves and homemade cloth masks will suffice.