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Texas Governor Makes Big Shift on Masks

Newser — Newser Editors

Nearly everyone in Texas is now legally obligated to wear a mask when out in public. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott made it a rule Thursday in any county with more than 20 coronavirus cases, reports ABC13 in Houston.

The rule means that anyone inside a business or a building open to the public must be masked, and they must wear them outside, too, unless social distancing is possible, per the Texas Tribune.

Kids under 10 are exempt, as are people who are exercising, eating, or who have a medical condition. The move comes one day after Texas set a single-day record in registering more than 8,000 cases, notes Axios.

"Wearing a face covering in public is proven to be one of the most effective ways we have to slow the spread of COVID-19," said Abbott, who had previously resisted calls to make masks mandatory.

"We have the ability to keep businesses open and move our economy forward so that Texans can continue to earn a paycheck, but it requires each of us to do our part to protect one another—and that means wearing a face covering in public spaces."

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