Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued a new Executive Order requiring mandatory face masks in his state.

According to a release from Governor Abbot's Office:

"...all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions."

This doesn't cover ALL counties in Texas, but does cover a large percentage of the state's population, and the majority of the state's 254 counties.

The order is set to go into effect Friday, July 3rd at 12pm. In addition, the Governor has now limited many outdoor gatherings to 10 people or less, unless the gathering has been previously approved by officials. Currently that number is 100, but it will be reduced to 10 tomorrow.

Just last week, Texas closed all bars and water rafting across the state. At that same point, he brought restaurant occupancy levels back down to 50% (it had been bumped up to 75%).

The release from Abbott's Office put a major focus on keeping businesses open. The release states:

"We have the ability to keep businesses open and move our economy forward so that Texans can continue to earn a paycheck, but it requires each of us to do our part to protect one another, and that means wearing a face covering in public spaces. Likewise, large gatherings are a clear contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases.”

The state of Louisiana has still resisted making masks mandatory across the state, though some of the state's largest cities and parishes have already done so.

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