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Laredo, Texas Requires Residents to Wear Masks or Pay $1,000 Fine

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Asian woman traveling wearing a mask | Laredo, Texas Requires Residents to Wear Masks or Pay $1,000 Fine | Featured

In Laredo, Texas, all residents are now required to wear masks when entering a building other than their home. Otherwise, they face up to a $1,000 fine. This is in order to curb any further spreading of the novel coronavirus. The ordinance was approved by the Laredo City Council.

The ordinance mandated that “anyone entering a building, using public transit or pumping their gas must cover their nose and mouth with a mask, bandana, scarf or any cloth or face a fine up to $1,000,” reported Fox News. This rule will be in place until April 30th.

“This does not apply when a person is: engaging in a permissible outside physical activity; that are riding in a personal vehicle; that are in alone in a separate single space; that are with their own shelter group (household members); when doing so poses a greater health, safety or security risk; or for consumption purposes,” said the City of Laredo in a press release.

The council “also voted to extend the curfew that originally pertained only to juveniles to all Laredo citizens,” Laredo Morning Times reported. Only those who are out for essential services may leave the house between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Additionally, Violators will face a fine between $50 and $1,000 or jail time of up to 180 days. Citizens who must work during those hours must show proof — like an ID or a signed letter from their employer.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s order says that Texans can continue to exercise and walk pets on the sidewalk. He mentions that the curfew does not supersede that order.

The Effectiveness of Masks

Health officials originally said it was not necessary to wear a mask while going about daily life. The White House coronavirus task force advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday “the idea of getting broad community-wide use of masks is under active discussion” at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The U.S. Surgeon General shared an article on Twitter saying the World Health Organization (WHO) is standing by its recommendation. Previously, WHO claimed it’s better to wear masks if you are not sick or caring for a sick person. Although, other medical professionals “have questioned whether such a directive would wreak havoc on the health care system,” said Fox News.

“Save the surgical masks for health care professionals. Even if you can purchase them online, don’t. Health care workers and first responders need them more than average individuals,” said Summer Johnson McGee, the dean of the University of New Haven’s School of Health Sciences.

“If you have to go out for essential shopping, which is the only reason anyone should be outside their homes at this point, maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others plus the use of a bandana or scarf to cover your nose and mouth should offer sufficient protection.”

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