Hundreds show up at mask giveaway as Harris County's mandatory order goes into effect

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Harris County's mandatory mask order went into effect Monday, and several locations throughout the area were giving out thousands of masks to those in need.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Monday that face coverings are not mandatory, but they are recommended.

In southeast Houston at Mount Hebron Missionary Baptist Church, there were hundreds of cars lined up hours before the giveaway was set to start.

"Concerned. Frightened. Fearful. Not knowing if they will be able to get more masks as we don't know what this virus is doing," Pastor Max Miller said, describing people's concerns. "They're trying anything and everything they can to make sure that they get some masks."

At this location alone, they handed out 6,000 masks paired with gloves and hand sanitizer.

Gloria Banks parked in line three hours before the event. She said she can't afford to get sick or get any of her loved ones sick.

"Please come out, and make sure you wear your masks and gloves," Banks said. "Because I think it's really necessary to do that."
According to the order, Harris County residents over the age of 10 are required to wear face coverings while in public or in a group setting.
Mayor Sylvester Turner, who also stopped by the event, said although the mandate states violators could face a $1,000 if they are not wearing a mask in public, he said it would be a last resort.

"People are taking it seriously, and even though we're saying we're not giving citations, people are being responsible, and they do want the masks," said Turner.

If you do not have a mask, there are two more giveaways for Tuesday. You can also make your own mask using material you have at home.

READ MORE: How to make face masks from materials found at home
Below is a list of mask giveaway locations and times:

Fountain of Life Center, located at 14065 Main St., beginning at 9 a.m.

Plaza Americas Mall, located at 7500 Bellaire Blvd., beginning at 10 a.m.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.