THURSDAY, June 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Mayors in Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and five other Texas municipalities want Gov. Greg Abbott to give them the power to require people to wear masks in public "where physical distancing cannot be practiced."
The mayors made the request in a letter to the governor, saying that "many people in many of our cities are still refusing to wear these face coverings even though these coverings are scientifically proven to help prevent the disease from spreading," CNN reported. Abbott has repeatedly said masks are important, but that government should not force people to wear masks. His executive order to reopen the state banned local jurisdictions from such action.
However, Bexar County -- home of San Antonio -- issued an order on Wednesday mandating businesses to require face coverings for employees and visitors when they would be in close proximity. Violators could be fined up to $1,000, CNN reported.
A growing number of studies show face masks reduce the spread of the new coronavirus, but some people have refused to wear masks, claiming it infringes on their civil liberties.