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Fort Bend County mask order goes into effect at midnight tonight

The order says all commercial entities will have to post signs out front telling customers they must wear masks inside the business when within 6 feet of others.

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — Customers in Fort Bend County are required to wear masks or face coverings in all businesses starting Thursday.

Fort Bend County Judge KP George issued the order Tuesday that goes into effect June 25. The order says all commercial entities will have to post signs out front telling customers they must wear masks inside the business when within 6 feet of others. The only time a customer can take off his or her mask is when they are eating or drinking or while outside the facility. Businesses that fail to do this could be fined $500 for each violation.

The order does not include churches or other places of worship.

Judge George said the order is an important step in stopping the spread of coronavirus.

“Recently in Fort Bend County, we've already passed a dark milestone, surpassing 50 deaths, to do something about it,” Judge George said.

Judge George said he recently put out a survey asking residents whether they wanted a mask order. More than 17,000 residents responded, and nearly 80 percent said they would support a mask order in Fort Bend County.

H-E-B issued a statement in support of the mask order:

“H-E-B fully supports our local government officials and their dedication to keeping the health and safety of Fort Bend County residents a top priority.  Effective Thursday, June 25, in collaboration with the local order,  H-E-B stores located in Fort Bend County will require all customers to wear masks or facial coverings. H-E-B continues to require the use of masks or facial coverings by all of our Partners and vendors inside our stores. The CDC and State health officials strongly support the use of facial coverings in public as a proven way to slow the spread of COVID. Our Partners thank you in advance for also supporting this local order. #SlowTheSpread”

Sugar Land's mayor Joe R. Zimmerman also signed a mask order for the city through July 7.

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