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Nueces Co. officials decide against mandatory face masks

Mission 911 face masks
Posted at 8:00 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 23:48:06-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — When you're out in public, likely you'll see many people wearing face masks and others who don't. Nearby cities and counties have recently even issued a mandatory face mask order. However on Monday afternoon, Governor Greg Abbott made it clear that local officials and law enforcement cannot enforce orders like it.

Gov. Abbott said that his order supersedes local orders, and law enforcement cannot issue you residents a citation or fine for not wearing one. Governor Abbott did recommend everyone wear a face mask, as does Nueces Co. Judge Barbara Canales.

She mentioned while she will not issue and enforce an order for face masks, she can amend the county’s current order.

"There are some specific places where I can see masks being very important, where you would want to mandate it like nursing homes, senior centers and mass transit," said Canales.

A Regional Transportation Authority representative even told county leaders during Monday’s meeting that they’re in favor of a face mask order for when people ride public buses.

"I echo that. I also believe in public transit, where it's very difficult to social distance, and there's a reasonable expectation that if you're riding a government transit that, that you would have some protection as a citizen,” said Judge Canales.

She mentioned she’ll consider amending the order if and when the time is right.

"I don't want to do it in a place that it doesn't make sense,” said Judge Canales. “I only want to do it where it's smart and where I think people can benefit from them."