A new Dallas County order has been issued requiring all businesses to implement a health and safety policy that includes face coverings or masks for visitors and employees where six feet of separation is not feasible.
Effective as of 11:59 p.m. on June 19, 2020, (“Effective Date”) and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on August 4, 2020, unless extended, modified, or terminated early by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins:
a. From the Effective Date of this Order, all commercial entities in Dallas County providing goods or services directly to the public must develop and implement a health and safety policy (“Health and Safety Policy”). The Health and Safety Policy must require, at a minimum, that all employees or visitors to the commercial entity’s business premises or other facilities wear face coverings in an area or while performing an activity which will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public where six feet of separation is not feasible. The Health and Safety Policy required to be developed and implemented by this Order may also include the implementation of other mitigating measures designed to control or reduce the transmission of COVID-19 such as temperature checks or health screenings. Commercial entities must post the Health and Safety Policy required by this Order in a conspicuous location sufficient to provide notice to employees and visitors of all health and safety requirements. Failure to develop and implement the Health and Safety Policy required by this Order within five (5) calendar days following the Effective Date of this Order may result in a fine not to exceed $500 for each violation.
b. All people 10 years or older shall wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when 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. The CDC advises face coverings for people 2 years or older. Face coverings may include homemade masks, scarfs, bandanas, or a handkerchief. Dallas County residents should continue to maintain social distancing of at least six feet while outside their home. Dallas County employees are also required to wear face coverings under the same circumstances as the general public. IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU NOT OBTAIN OR WEAR MEDICAL MASKS OR N-95 RESPIRATORS AS THEY ARE A NEEDED RESOURCE FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS. Our healthcare workers and first responders on the front-line combating COVID-19 must have priority access to medical masks or other personal protective equipment. Face coverings do not need to be worn in the following circumstances:
i. When exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside
ii. While driving alone or with passengers who are party of the same household as the driver
iii. When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety, or security risk
iv. While pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment
v. While in a building or activity that requires security surveillance or screening, for example, banks
vi. When consuming food or drink
Please note that face coverings are a secondary strategy to other mitigation efforts. Face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing, frequent handwashing, and selfisolation when sick. All people should follow CDC recommendations for how to wear and take off a mask. Residents should keep up the following habits while in public:
i. Washing hand before you leave home and when you return
ii. Staying at least six feet away from others iii. Avoiding touching nose or face
iv. Not using disposable masks more than three times, and
v. Washing reusable cloth masks regularly to prevent the spread of the virus.
Consistent with Executive Order GA-26 issued by Governor Greg Abbott, no civil or criminal penalty will be imposed on individuals for failure to wear a face covering.