Jun. 21, 2020

Mayor Turner and volunteers distribute thousands of face masks.

Mayor Turner and volunteers distribute thousands of face masks.
Mayor encourages everyone to wear masks and comply with new Harris County mandate to help stop the spread of COVID-19
HOUSTON - Mayor Sylvester Turner joined volunteers to distribute thousands of face coverings Saturday afternoon as businesses throughout Houston prepare to enforce a new Harris County mandate requiring customers to wear masks.

On Friday, Mayor Turner joined Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo as she announced a new order mandating that everyone over the age of 10 wear a face covering while in businesses or on commercial properties, including employees and all visitors and customers. The order will be in effect at 12:01AM on Monday, June 22.

"Toward the end of April and the first couple weeks of May, we flattened the curve, and the numbers of positive COVID-19 cases were heading in the right direction. Now, the numbers are starting to tick up, and we are encouraging everyone to mask up," said Mayor Turner, who believes the mandate can help stop the virus spread and save lives.

On Saturday afternoon, the mayor was joined at the mask distribution by members of FOCUS Humanitarian USA and the Ismaili Council for the Southwestern US. Earlier this week, the organizations donated 500,000 reusable face masks to the City of Houston, which the mayor said would help vulnerable populations and first responders.

The mayor and volunteers distributed thousands of masks along with boxed canned goods supplied by the Houston Food Bank.

The Heath Equity Resource (H.E.R.) Task Force also assisted in Saturday's mask giveaway. The H.E.R.Task Force is a vital component of the City of Houston’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery effort launched by Mayor Turner in April 2020 as an intervention for vulnerable and at-risk populations. The task force helped create the MASK UP! campaign to encourage everyone to wear a mask in public spaces protect the entire community.

"Scientifically, medically, what we do know is that masks work. If you need a mask, contact the city or directly contact your city council member," said Mayor Turner.

The Houston Health Department reported 844 new cases of COVID-19, on Saturday, June 20, bringing the total case count for the City of Houston to 12,533.
Ten additional deaths were reported bringing the total to 191.