Dallas County hopes to follow Bexar County's lead by issuing mask mandate for businesses

Bexar County now has a law making it mandatory to wear a mask in any commercial business. It’s an order that Governor Greg Abbott agrees with.

In North Texas, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says he will present a similar order.

Jenkins says while COVID-19 continues to spike, everyone should be wearing a mask. He is calling a special meeting this week to pass a new executive order.

Seeing people wear masks as they head into a business has become a common sight.

For months, Gov. Abbott said local governments cannot fine or jail people for not wearing masks.

Wednesday, the Bexar County judge in San Antonio issued an executive order mandating that commercial businesses require their employees and customers wear masks. The order would not penalize the customer, but a business could be fined for non-compliance.

In an interview Wednesday with KWTX-TV, Gov. Abbott says his statewide orders have always given local governments the authority to issue mandates for businesses.

“Businesses, whether it be in Waco or San Antonio or wherever, they have always had the opportunity and the ability,” Abbott said. “Just like they can require people to wear shoes and shirts, they can require people to wear masks if they come in their businesses.”

(Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Judge Jenkins and Gov. Abbott have verbally sparred over coronavirus restrictions.  But Jenkins says he's pleased the governor endorses Bexar County's plan. He says he'll ask county commissioners to pass a similar mask order.

“It’s an act of kindness that we all need to be doing,” Jenkins said. “The medical evidence now is overwhelmingly supporting that it’s the most effective thing to do.”

"While we appreciate the governor letting local elected officials make decisions about their community, after talking to the mayors of Tarrant County and CEO's of the local hospitals, we are not going to require businesses to require their customers to wear masks at this time,” said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley in a statement.

Walmart and Central Market said in a statement they encourage their customers to abide by the local laws when it comes to wearing masks in businesses.