Dallas is finally on board with mandatory masks. After much back and forth between Dallas County and the state of Texas, the Dallas County Commissioners Court has voted to require that businesses tell customers to wear face masks or face a fine of up to $500.
The measure was adopted during a June 19 emergency meeting called by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. The vote was 3 in favor, 2 against, with Jenkins, Theresa Daniel, and Elba Garcia heroically voting for, and J.J. Koch and John Wiley Price idiotically voting against.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the use of a mask or face covering slows the spread of the virus and prevents those who have the virus from transmitting it to others.
As Texas and other parts of the country reopen, positive coronavirus cases have started to rise. In Dallas County as of June 17, 15,256 people have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus resulting in 302 deaths.
Masks have been a contentious issue since early May, when the Texas Attorney General's Office issued a letter to cities across the state claiming that cities and counties can't impose civil or criminal penalties for failing to wear a mask in public.
Governor Greg Abbott has been reluctant to enact a state-wide order, leaving the decision up to individual counties instead.
The Dallas vote comes one day after Austin declared that face masks be mandatory in all businesses, retail shops, and restaurants. The entire state of California also began requiring masks on June 18.
Masks can be worn to protect the wearer from getting infected or masks can be worn to protect others from being infected by the wearer. COVID-19 can be transmitted by droplets that escape your mouth. Research shows that masks can reduce those virus particles. According to The Atlantic, nearly half of patients are infected by people who aren't showing symptoms.
Katie Friel contributed to this story.