Houston mayor says he won't issue citations to anyone not wearing masks

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A day before Texas retailers opened as "to-go only" establishments, Mayor Sylvester Turner wanted to get Houstonians compliant to a county-wide mask mandate that starts on Monday.

READ MORE: Houston-area malls reopening with 'retail to-go' today

During Thursday's briefing on the city's COVID-19 response, Turner announced the launch of his "Mask Up" campaign as a way to encourage people to wear a mask.

Watch the full press conference below.

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On a busy Thursday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner offered his thoughts on the politics of the Harris County mask order, and had fiery remarks for the state takeover of Harvey aid.

Harris County issued a mandatory mask order Wednesday, which requires residents 10 years old and older to wear a covering, starting Monday, April 27.

READ MORE: Harris Co. mask order official and comes with $1,000 fine

"I want to give masks and not citations," said Turner.

Turner recruited a few familiar faces to kick off the campaign, including world champion gymnast Simone Biles, Astros star Carlos Correa and Houston rapper Slim Thug, who tested positive for coronavirus last month and has since recovered.

"Hopefully everyone out there gets to wear their mask," said a cheerful Biles via a video call. Correa added to that sentiment saying, "We want baseball back. We want everything back to normal."

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Houston Mayor Slyvester Turner names Simone Biles, Carlos Correa and Slim Thug "Mask Up" campaign ambassadors following Harris County's mandatory mask order.

After a few consecutive days in which the city did not report a COVID-19 death, Turner announced on Saturday three more deaths were confirmed. The city's total climbed to 38.

SEE ALSO: COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries in Harris County

On Wednesday, Turner also tried to make good on his vow to give away 70,000 masks in the city before the start of a 30-day face covering order in Harris County.

Addressing the enforcement aspect, the mayor said the mandate is to keep people healthy and not to fine or arrest anyone without masks in public. He insisted Houston police officers don't want to cite people. Rather, they want to give you a mask, he added.

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