no mask = pay up
Houstonians who refuse to wear masks in public may now have to cough up $250, according to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. CultureMap new partner ABC13 reports that Turner revealed Monday, August 3, that he has instructed Houston police to issue citations to those who don't wear masks in public.
The $250 fine would be issued to those who have been warned once and continually ignore police.
Turner also announced at least another 1,000 new cases Monday, which he deemed too high. He also challenged Houstonians to reduce the city's positive rate from 23 percent down to 5 percent or below this month. Houston’s current rate of positive cases is 17.6 percent, per ABC13.
The mayor noted that there were “too many house parties, street parties, backyard parties, and no masks.”
This move may be in response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who admonished local governments for not enforcing their mask orders last week.
“Local governments have so much autonomy and independence as it concerns responding to COVID-19, as well as countless abilities to enforce all of the executive orders already in place,” Abbott said at the time. “Yet, I have yet to see a location anywhere in the entire state of Texas that has actually stepped up and enforced the statewide mask order.”
Also present at the news conference was Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and Fire Chief Sam Pena. The Houston Fire Department is reeling from the deaths of Capt. Leroy Lucero and firefighter Jerry Pacheco, a 17-year veteran of HFD.