Concerned about the rising number of COVID-19 cases, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has reinstated the mask mandate for Dallas County, effective 11:59 pm on Wednesday, August 11.
The order is for all schools, businesses, and government buildings, and applies to anyone, vaccinated or not.
Jenkins issued an emergency order noting that transmission of COVID-19 has not dissipated but remains a significant threat to the health and safety of the Dallas County community, with rates of infection increasing "at an alarming exponential rate" with hospital patients also dramatically rising.
Jenkins has determined that extraordinary emergency measures must be taken to try and mitigate the effects of this public health emergency and to facilitate a response to the public health threat.
Masks will be required for all teachers, staff, students, and visits at Pre-K through 12th grade public schools and child care centers. The order may also include the implementation of other mitigating measures recommended by the CDC to control and reduce the transmission of COVID-19, such as maintaining at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms.
Masks are also required at commercial businesses, with failure to do so prompting a fine of $1,000.
Face coverings are also required for Dallas County buildings, including employees, contractors, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.
Face coverings are "strongly urged" in any public indoor space.
His order also reiterates other safe practices including:
- washing hands before you leave home and when you return
- staying at least six feet away from others
- avoiding touching nose or face
- not using disposable masks more than three times
- washing reusable cloth masks regularly to prevent the spread of the virus.