Gov. Greg Abbott issued a nearly statewide mask mandate Thursday as Texas scrambles to get its coronavirus surge under control.

The order requires "all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions," according to Abbott's office.

The order requires Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth while inside a business or other building open to the public, as well as outdoor public spaces, whenever social distancing is not possible. The order provides several exceptions, including people who are younger than 10 years old, people who have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, people who are eating or drinking and people who are exercising outdoors.

Abbott's order is effective as of 12:01 p.m. Friday.