EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The City of El Paso is amending the current Local Emergency Directive to make face coverings mandatory, officials said on Thursday.
The City of El Paso is also amending the current directive to prohibit all public and private social gatherings of any number of people occurring outside or inside a household.
City officials said the decision was made because of the ongoing upward trend in positive cases of COVID-19.
In a tweet, city officials said anyone over the age of two will be required to wear some form of face covering over their nose and mouth.
KTSM 9 News asked the city how it would work with Governor Greg Abbott’s order, which he said supersedes local orders.
The City said, “The Governor’s Order only prohibited making it a crime to not wear a face covering. Cities are not prohibited from mandating the use of face coverings. We are making it mandatory because we are still seeing an increase in the cases. It isn’t criminally enforceable we are mandating it because we want to prevent the spread of the disease.
City officials said that an updated Directive will be made available at www.epstrong.org under “Health Orders.”
Officials said a face-covering could be a cloth mask such as bandanas, scarves and neck gaiters that fit snugly but comfortable against the face secured with ties or ear loops.
Officials also said a face covering is not required on anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or exercising outdoors and not within 6 feet of any other individual not from the same household.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises the use of simple cloth face coverings can slow the spread of the virus by helping people, who may have the virus and do not know it, from transmitting it to others. (See: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
Health officials said it is recommended that the face coverings be cleaned daily.
Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash their hands immediately after removing the covering.