Howard County Sheriff Won't Enforce Mask Mandate
BIG SPRING, TX -- On Friday, the Howard County Sheriff announced he has no intention of enforcing the mask mandate announced by Gov. Abbott.
According to KTXS, Sheriff Stan Parker stated that if deputies see individuals not wearing a mask they will assume the individual meets one of the 11 exceptions.
As of Saturday, Howard County has reported a total of 43 positive cases and one death.
The full statement released by the sheriff can be seen below:
"I feel there is a lot of confusion relating to the new Executive order issued by the Governor yesterday, that goes into effect today. In the order, there are 11 exceptions to the order. If you are not wearing a mask then the Howard County Sheriffs Office will assume that you have met one of these requirements.
I am not trying to create controversy, however, I will give you the example of exception #2. "any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering". With this exception, we cannot ask you to disclose, by law, what your medical condition or disability is. If you state you have a medical condition or disability we by law can go no further, so there is no legal way to enforce this.
Exception #9 states "any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, but wearing a face-covering is strongly encouraged". How do we determine if you are or are not meeting the requirement of this exemption?
Please understand if you meet any of the 11 exceptions it is your choice to wear or not wear a mask. However, you need to understand a private business can require you to wear a mask upon entering their business. They do have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason.
Again, as for the Howard County Sheriffs Office if you are not wearing a mask it will be assumed you have met one of the exceptions. I can only speak for our Department, this in no way reflects or implies that other Law Enforcement agencies in this county have the same views.
Members of the Howard County Sheriffs Office may or may not be wearing a mask at all times, because they have met one of the exceptions.
I appreciate your understanding to this confusing order."
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