HOUSTON — The Houston Police Department will be issuing 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,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Lives are at stake, so I am taking this step to save lives and slow the virus from spreading in August.”
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.
Houston police will not respond to 9-1-1 calls about people not wearing masks.