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North Texas City and County Leaders React to Abbott's Face Mask Order

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City, as well as county officials, are reacting to the statewide face mask order announced Thursday by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Abbott issued a mandatory face mask ordinance for all counties in the state of Texas that currently have more than 20 cases of COVID-19.

Along with that order, Abbott also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people and making it mandatory that, with certain exceptions, people cannot be in groups larger than 10 and must maintain six feet of social distancing from others. 

Collin County Judge Chris Hill issued a proclamation Thursday night, stating that "Collin County citizens are permitted to have outdoor gatherings in excess of 10 people."

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Cleburne Scott Cain spoke with an NBC 5 reporter on Thursday. "I just issued a standing order approving gatherings of 10-100 in Cleburne. Fourth of July for friends and neighbors is alive and well in Cleburne as we celebrate freedom," said Cain over the phone.

City, as well as county officials, are reacting to the statewide face mask order announced Thursday by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. NBC 5 Reporter Meredith Yeomans has the story.

NBC 5 also received a press release from the city of Colleyville about limiting gatherings. It said "Governor Abbott has limited indoor and outdoor activities to 10 people or less. The Mayor will provide a video outlining these new restrictions soon and will discuss this at next week's City Council meeting."

In Denton County, Sheriff Tracy Murphree told the Cross Timbers Gazette that his office will not enforce the governor's mask order. “I don’t have the time or manpower to worry about whether people are wearing masks or not,” Murphree said. “I believe the Constitution trumps everything, and I believe in personal responsibility,” Murphree told the Gazette. NBC 5 reached out to the Denton Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer, who stated: "Sheriff advised we are not enforcing."

In Rockwall, where city leaders voted to hold a Fourth of July parade and fireworks show, signs are posted encouraging distancing.

Mayor Jim Pruitt said they'll also encourage people to wear masks, but they won't enforce them this weekend or moving forward.

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“I think people can stay distanced apart. If they want to wear a mask, they can wear a mask. I encourage people to do that. If you have any questions about your family, either don’t come or there are so many places around town where you can park and see the firework show," said Pruitt.

Friday, the Dallas and Tarrant County Sheriff's Offices both said they would leave enforcement of the governor's order up to code enforcement.

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