HOUSTON — Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Monday that he has directed the Houston Police Department to issue warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a face mask or face covering required by the state’s mandatory mask order. Police will not ticket those who are not wearing a mask if they meet the exemption criteria. The citation carries a $250 fine.
“We know that wearing a mask or face-covering in public is one of the most effective methods to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Mayor Turner said. “Lives are at stake, so I am taking this step to save lives and slow the virus from spreading in August.”
Houston police will not respond to 9-1-1 calls about people not wearing masks.
The mayor’s announcement happened on the same day the Houston Health Department reported 1,104 new cases of COVID-19, bringing Houston’s total to 50,896. There are six newly-reported deaths, bringing the city’s total to 478.
“For months, we have focused on education and not citations. But now, I am instructing the Houston Police Department to issue necessary warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a mask in public if they do not meet the criteria for an exemption,” Mayor Turner said.