As we head into the holiday weekend, the 4th of July is going to look a lot different this year. Masks now included.

Governor Abbott held a press conference Thursday afternoon to introduce what is being called a Statewide mask order. It does not include technically include all Texas counties but it is substantial enough to be considered a statewide order. Watching the video above all the way through will give you a complete rundown. We have really come full circle as it was back in April/May when Texas reopened that Governor Abbott said he would not allow any local governments to punish people who did not wear masks. The data he shares in the video explains why things are so different now.

The main thing to keep in mind is that in Victoria County we have well over 20 active cases of coronavirus (Victoria County has seen over 800 confirmed cases according to OEM).

The Governor's mask order states any county with 20 or more active cases will now require it's residence to wear a mask when they go out in public if they are over the age of 10. Now there are so many particulars and loopholes already with this thing that I don't blame you if you don't even want to dive in. The main points of the order according to the Texas Tribune (that may or may not make your head spin) are as follows:

  • If you live in a county with 20+ active cases you will need to wear a mask to go into a public building or any business.
  • Masks will be required in all outdoor public spaces when social distancing is not possible.
  • Kids under the age of 10 do not need to wear a mask.
  • A mask is not required if you are exercising outdoors in a public place.
  • No masks when eating or drinking. Most places ask you to wear them until you are seated.
  • Masks have not been required at many polling places.

Some other changes to be aware of include residents of some counties will need to go to the Mayor or to their County Judge to get a permit for a gathering of 10 or more people. My neighbors have like 15 people over every night. Are they supposed to have a permit now? Gimme back that button.

With all this in mind about group gatherings and needing a permission slip to get 10+ people together, there are no limits whatsoever about occupancy for churches, local government offices, child care facilities, youth summer camp, or children's recreational sports according to the Austin Statesman. 

Abbott's Mask Order does not specify a timeline or end date to the mask mandate other than for us to assume a county must drop below 20 cases for the order to no longer be necessary. I'm guessing here.  At that point, a county would still need to apply to opt-out of the order with the state. After that, the county would be removed from the order.

Pro and College sports, pools, water parks, museums, libraries, zoos, and rodeos will all get the green light to fill up to 50% The order explains you could be issued a warning for not wearing a mask. Additional violations of the mask order could mean a fine up to $250 dollars.

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