On August 11, 2021, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued an order requiring certain entities to develop health and safety policies and to require masks indoors.

In relevant part to employers, all commercial entities in Dallas County “providing goods or services directly to the public must develop a health and safety policy.” The policy must require, at a minimum, universal indoor masking for all employees and visitors to the commercial entity’s business premises or other facilities. Additionally, the policy may include other mitigating measures to control and reduce the transmission of COVID-19, such as temperature checks or health screenings. The policy must be posted in a “conspicuous location” to provide notice to employees and visitors. Commercial entities are required to implement the policy within three (3) calendar days of the effective date of the order. Failure to do so may result in a $1,000 fine per violation.

Additionally, the general public was urged, but not required, to wear face masks when indoors.

The order takes effective on August 11, 2021, at 11:59 p.m., and will continue until the order is rescinded. This order comes on the heels of a Texas state court granting a temporary restraining order in favor of Judge Jenkins and temporarily restraining enforcement of Governor Abbott’s executive order that prohibited jurisdictions from issuing mask mandates. That temporary restraining order is set to expire on August 24, 2021.