New Mask Mandate Takes Effect in Dallas County

The order was approved by Dallas County commissioners on Friday morning and remains in place through Aug. 4, unless extended, modified or terminated early

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Saturday marked the first full day a new mask order in Dallas County was in effect.

The order was approved by Dallas County commissioners Friday morning and required businesses to ensure customers wear a face covering while inside. It officially went into effect at 11:59 p.m. Friday.

Dallas County Commissioners voted Friday morning to require businesses to ensure customers wear a face covering while inside or face a fine of up to $500.

All employees and visitors to any business must wear a face covering while in an area where 6 feet of separation is not feasible, the mandate states.

At the Dallas Farmers Market, Savannah Nordstrom said they were off to a good start Saturday and did not have issues with compliance. Nordstrom is the Farm and Enrichment coordinator for the Dallas Farmers Market.

“We have stations both at the Shed and the Market building where we can greet customers and let them know about the new mandates,” Nordstrom said. “If customers approach, then we just ask if they have one [a mask] with them. If they don’t, then we offer one of the disposable masks we have available and ask they keep them on as we shop.”

A copy of the order must be posted in the business and a failure to implement the requirements within five days of the effective date may result in the business being fined $500 per violation.

Exclusions of the order where face coverings do not need to be worn include when outside exercising, when driving alone or with members of the household. It is also not required when it poses a health or safety risk, pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment, in a building that requires security surveillance such as a bank, and when eating or drinking.

Mary Harris lives in Collin County and visited the Dallas Farmers Market on Saturday.

“It’s like, I get it and I understand it, but the thing is, talking here is weird. You’re outside and ugh, you still have a mask. It’s like, 'OK,'” Harris said. “It’s nice walking into the facility if you don’t have a mask that they provide it to you because one, not everyone always has the financial means to always have a mask on hand, so it’s nice that they provide the mask to you.”

Central Market announced on Facebook that it would follow all local ordinances, adding it would require the use of masks or facial coverings by all partners, vendors and customers while inside its nine locations in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Dallas, Plano and Southlake starting Monday.

The Dallas County order remains in place through 11:59 p.m. Aug. 4, unless extended, modified or terminated early.

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