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Tarrant County residents will wear masks until at least May, judge Glen Whitley orders

Brian Lopez
·1 min read

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley on Tuesday extended the county’s mask mandate until at least May 25.

The county commissioners also voted unanimously to extend the declaration of disaster until the same date, which allows Whitley to put the mask in place. The judge has the power to rescind the order at any time.

The declaration of disaster was first enacted on March 13, 2020, when the virus first hit the county.

The order supports Gov. Greg Abbott’s July 2 order, which requires people in counties with 20 or more confirmed COVID-19 cases to wear a face mask in buildings and businesses open to the public and outdoors where maintaining six feet of distance from another person isn’t feasible.

This month, the county has seen a drop in coronavirus hospitalizations, which the judge has maintained is a figure he watches closely.

“I’m not yet ready to pull the plug on the masks,” Whitley said.

On Monday, the county reported the fewest COVID-19 hospitalizations since November. COVID-19 patients occupy 14% of the total number of hospital beds and make up 17% of the 3,658 occupied beds. Both numbers have been trending downward since early January.