The city of Laredo, Texas, which sits along the United States-Mexico border, implemented a new ordinance on Friday. Residents over the age of five are required to wear a mask or some kind of covering that protects their face and mouth when in certain public places. Suggested coverings include homemade masks, scarves, bandanas or handkerchieves.
Residents are required to wear masks in any public building; when utilizing public transportation, taxis or ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft; and while pumping gas. The exception to the requirement is when a person is exercising outside; in their own car; alone in a single space; with members of their household; or when eating.
Those that refuse to comply can face a Class C misdemeanor charge and a $1,000 fine, FOX 4 reported.
The city also has a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Those who are considered essential workers must have a work ID or letter from their employer proving they work for an essential business.
City officials have also issued a "shelter-in-place" order, meaning residents must stay home unless they're traveling to essential businesses – like grocery shopping, picking up take out food, seeking medical services or taking care of a family member – or they're considered essential workers.
The order is in effect until April 30th.
Laredo's city-wide order exceeds Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) social distancing orders. Although the order isn't consider a "stay-at-home" or "shelter-in-place" order, Abbott has encouraged Texans to minimize nonessential gatherings and in-person contact.
According to U.S. News and World Report, the Lone Star State has more than 4,600 Wuhan coronavirus cases and 68 people have died. Webb County, which Laredo is apart of, has seen 63 infections, four deaths and 12 hospitalizations.