Special to The Dallas Examiner
Mayor Eric Johnson on Thursday signed a new emergency regulation mandating face coverings inside all city buildings.
Face coverings have been required inside city buildings under a statewide mask mandate issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. But Abbott on Tuesday announced he would lift all statewide restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the governor’s order specifically states that “no person may be required by any jurisdiction to wear or to mandate the wearing of a face covering,” the order does not preclude “businesses or other establishments,” including local governments, from implementing mask requirements in their buildings.
The mayor’s new regulation – issued pursuant to the state of local disaster declared on March 12, 2020 – takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 10, 2021, when the governor’s statewide mask mandate expires.
“Masks are one of the most effective tools we have for halting COVID-19’s spread and mutations,” Johnson said. “We have to do all that we can do to get people to wear face coverings while they are around others because masking up saves lives.
“We have made great progress in our fight against COVID-19, and I am excited to return to normalcy. And we will get there. Vaccinations are ramping up, and the end is in sight. But we cannot afford to let down our guard yet.”
Johnson initially announced his intention to issue the emergency regulation on Thursday while speaking at a news conference at the city’s new vaccination hub outside The Potter’s House in southern Dallas.
The mayor is encouraging businesses and other establishments to follow suit by continuing to require their employees, customers and visitors to wear face coverings for now.