Abbott issues executive order banning governmental mask mandates, including in public schools

Texas Politics

AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order prohibiting governmental entities in Texas from mandating mask wearing.

The governmental entities include counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities or governmental officials. Public schools may continue to require mask wearing through June 4. After that, no student, parent, teacher or other staff member or visitor can be required to wear a mask on campus.

Local governmental or officials that try to impose a mask mandate can be subject to a fine of up to $1,000, effective Friday.

“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,” Abbott said. “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.”

Recently, the CDC issued new guidance on masks, stating that fully vaccinated people — those who are two weeks past their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — can quit wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings and give up social distancing.

Some are exempt from the executive order: state-supported living centers, government-owned or operated hospitals, Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities, Texas Juvenile Justice Department facilities, and county and municipal jails.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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