Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Bans Mask Mandates In Public Schools And Local Governments
On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order prohibiting schools and government departments from implementing mask mandates.
The latest directive prohibits school systems, state and county councils, elected agencies, and public health departments from ordering or mandating Texas residents to wear a face mask, according to a press release sent on Tuesday.
“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.
Abbott stated that Texans “should decide their best health practices” and said that “public school districts or government entities” will be prevented from imposing a mask mandate.
TX is prohibiting mask mandates by gov’t entities.
Starting May 21, local govts attempting to impose mask mandates can be fined up to $1K.
We're also prohibiting public schools from mandating masks after June 4.
Texans, not gov’t, should decide their best health practices. pic.twitter.com/M7iN4sLBJV
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 18, 2021
“We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans’ liberty to choose whether or not they mask up,” the governor added.
The order enables Texas public schools to continue to require students to wear masks until June 4, the end of the school year. Students, faculty, parents, and visitors to the school would be required to wear face coverings after June 4.
City governments or officials who want to enforce a mask requirement or “a limitation inconsistent or conflicting” with Abbott’s latest executive order will be fined $1,000 effective May 21.
The unmasking order would not apply to government-owned or run clinics, state-supported living centers, or criminal justice institutions.
After months of President Biden criticizing Texas’ reopening as “Neanderthal thinking,” the Texas Republican delivered the order after the Lone Star State reported zero new COVID-19 deaths on Sunday.
The number of new cases in Texas fell to its lowest level in 13 months on Sunday, as well as the number of hospitalizations, which fell to its lowest level in 11 months.
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