As doctors in Houston and across the state express concern about the number of rising COVID-19 cases, Mayor Sylvester Turner today joined other Texas mayors in a letter urging Gov. Greg Abbott to give them the authority to require face masks to protect their cities from coronavirus.

The letter signed by nine mayors states, “We are writing to you for the authority to set rules and regulations on the use of face coverings in each of our cities. A one-size-fits-all approach is not the best option. We should trust local officials to make informed choices about health policy. And if mayors are given the opportunity to require face coverings, we believe our cities will be ready to help reduce the spread of this disease.”

“We think you would agree that a healthy economy starts with healthy people,” the letter states. “If you do not have plans to mandate face coverings statewide, we ask that you restore the ability for local authorities to enforce the wearing of face coverings in public venues where physical distancing cannot be practiced.”

A copy of the full letter can be found here.

The letter is signed by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams, Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere and Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen.

The governor had not responded by Tuesday afternoon.

On Tuesday, the Houston Health Department reported 233 new cases of COVID-19 cases, bringing Houston’s total to 10,318. The total number of deaths increased by two to 162.