Governor Abbott Stops Entities From Mandating Masks
Earlier today, Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order to stop most government entities from making masks mandatory.
Although the order includes a broad coverage including counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities and government officials, there are a few exemptions.
Some of those exemptions include:
State-supported living centers
Government-owned or operated hospitals
Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities
Texas Juvenile Justice Department facilities
County and municipal jails.
Also included in the list of exceptions are public schools making their own decision about continuing to follow current mask-wearing guidelines through June 4. After June 4, no student, teacher, parent, or other staff member or visitor can be required to wear a mask while on campus.
Texas State Teachers Association President Ovidia Molina called Abbott's action "premature" because most students age 12 and up haven't been vaccinated yet. Molina said The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that schools require masks and social distancing for the remainder of the school year because many students have not been vaccinated and will not complete their two-dose regimen of Pfizer vaccines until well into the summer and many of these children will be attending in-person summer school."
Abbott is very serious about relaxing the masks rule. So much so that as stated in his executive order today that beginning Fri, May 21st, officials who continue to require masks could be fined up to $1,100.
Governor abbott said "The Lone Star State continues to defeat COVID-19 through the use of widely-available vaccines, antibody therapeutic drugs, and safe practices utilized by Texans in our communities. Texans, not government, should decide their best health practices, which is why masks will not be mandated by public school districts or government entities. We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans' liberty to choose whether or not they mask up."
To view the Governor's Executive Order issued today, click here.