The City of Texarkana, Texas
Gov. Abbott this afternoon issued an Executive Order requiring Texans to wear face coverings in public in any county with more than 20 positive COVID-19 cases. That means Bowie County is included.
The order applies to all commercial entities, buildings and spaces open to the public, including outdoors, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from those outside your household.
The exceptions to his order include:
- Children under 10 years old
- Anyone with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering
- Eating or drinking, or seated in a restaurant to eat or drink
- Exercising or engaging in physical activity outdoors (as long as distance is maintained)
- Driving alone or with passengers from the same household
- Obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening or a need for specific access to the face (i.e. visiting a bank or obtaining a personal care service involving the face), but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal
- While in a swimming pool, lake or similar body of water
- Voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher or actively administering an election (though a face covering is strongly encouraged)
- Actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship (though a face covering is strongly encouraged)
- Giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience
Not excepted from the requirement are those attending a protest or demonstration involving more than 10 people who are not practicing safe social distancing of six feet from people outside their household.
Following a verbal or written warning for a first-time violation, the order includes a fine of up to $250 for subsequent violations.
The governor also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on outdoor gatherings larger than 10 people. We will keep you updated if Bowie County Judge Bobby Howell or Mayor Bob Bruggeman issue any further restrictions, but none have been issued at this time.