Harris County is being added to the list of Texas counties to enforce the use of face coverings in public as of Monday, April 27. This news was announced today during a news conference held by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo in an effort to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus. Residents that are 10 years and older will be required to wear face coverings in Houston for 30 days starting Monday. 

Residents can choose to wear a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchiefs as an acceptable face covering and have until Monday to obtain for use before leaving home.

Harris County consists of most of Houston, which is a whopping 4.7 million residents.

Currently, there are over 5,000 combined confirmed COVID-19 cases between Harris County and Houston, with over 1,000 recoveries. You can find out more about these numbers here.

Hidalgo put great emphasis on the necessity of wearing a protective mask in order to one day soon lift any and all orders. 

While Houston hospitals may be seeing a decrease in patients, it's important to not get ahead of ourselves.

"If we get cocky, we get sloppy," said Hidalgo.

Last month, a stay-at-home order was announced for the Houston area, which was set to last until Thursday, April 30, and required residents to stay home except for essential activities.

Nonessential businesses were closed during this time, and remain such.

Businesses that are deemed essential will be required to provide employees with face masks of some sort.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that as of Wednesday, April 15 all 50 U.S. states had reported cases of COVID-19.

According to a chart on the Harris County Public Heath's website, the combined city case count between Harris County and Houston seems to have peaked on Friday, April 10.

The measures being taken now are crucial to preventing an even wider spread of cases in the future.

"You guys have flattened the curve," said Hidalgo.