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What you need to know about Dallas County's new face mask requirement

Businesses can be fined up to $500 for each violation of the order.

A new order went into effect on Saturday requiring businesses and people across Dallas County wear a face covering.

The Dallas County Commissioners Court held an emergency session Friday morning to vote on adding the mandate to the existing county-wide mask policy. 

Commissioners passed the ordinance 3-2, with Judge Clay Jenkins, Dr. Theresa Daniel, and Dr. Elba Garcia voting in favor of the proposal. J.J. Koch and John Wiley Price voted against it.

Here's what's included in the order:

What is considered a face covering?

A face covering can include homemade masks, scarfs, bandanas or a handkerchief, as well as a traditional mask.

What does it have to cover?

The face covering must cover your nose and mouth. 

Who has to wear one, and when do you need to wear it?

Anyone 10 years or older has to wear a face covering when they are in a public place "where it is difficult to keep six feet away from other people or working in areas that involve close proximity with other coworkers."

When don't you need to wear a mask?

People don't need to wear face coverings when:

  • They're exercising or "engaging in physical activity" while outside
  • Driving alone or with other people they live with
  • While pumping gas or using outdoor equipment
  • If they're in a building or venue that requires security surveillance or screening, like a bank
  • When eating or drinking
  • If wearing a mask poses a greater safety, security or mental or physical health risk

What do businesses have to do under the order?

Any commercial entity in the county that directly services the public has to develop a "health and safety policy" that includes requiring anyone inside the business' facilities wear a face covering when in close proximity to other people or six feet of separation is not possible.  

Businesses can also add other measures like temperature checks or health screenings to their policy, which they must post in a "conspicuous location" to make sure people know about their policy. 

Can you be fined for not wearing a mask?

Businesses can be fined up to $500 for each violation of the order if they do not "develop and implement" a health and safety policy within five days of when the order went into effect. The order technically went into effect on June 19, at 11:59 p.m., so businesses will need to have their policies in place no later than Wednesday, June 24. 

How long does the order last?

The order is in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 4. It could, however, be extended, modified or ended early by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. 

To view the full order, click here.  

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