Several Texas Panhandle counties file for exemption of face-covering requirement

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Several counties in the Texas Panhandle with few active COVID-19 cases have filed an exemption opting out the face-covering requirement of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order (GA-29).

On Thursday, Gov. Abbott issued the order requiring all Texans to wear a face-covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces, with few exceptions.

That order, effective at 12:01 p.m. on Friday, June 3, applies to residents in counties with more than 20 active confirmed COVID-19 cases.

As of 5:50 p.m. on July 4, the counties in our area who have filed for, and have been exempted from the requirements are:

  • Armstrong
  • Carson
  • Childress
  • Gray
  • Hansford
  • Hardeman
  • Hutchinson
  • Ochiltree
  • Oldham
  • Roberts

In order for a county to be exempt from the face-covering requirements of GA-29, the county must:

  1. The county must have 20 or less active COVID-19 cases.
  2. The county judge of a county with 20 or less active cases must submit an exemption form affirmatively opting out.
  3. Counties approved for exemption from the GA-29 face-covering requirement will be listed below.

The Governor said the consequences for violations are:

  1. First Violation — A warning
  2. Violations after will include penalties up to $250.

No one will be jailed for violations.

“Local law enforcement has the authority to enforce this safety standard,” says Abbott in his video announcement. “Just like they do when enforcing seat belt standards.”

Gov. Abbott also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people and making it mandatory that, with certain exceptions, people cannot be in groups larger than 10 and must maintain six feet of social distancing from others.

To see a list of active cases county by county from the State of Texas, click here.

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