There is a growing number of local government officials in Texas that are mandating masking up of people – including students going to schools, essentially defying Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning COVID-19 restrictions and his pledge of penalizing any local officials who try to enforce restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of the pandemic.
Students who are yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19 are going back to schools in many parts of the state with the highly contagious delta variant threatening to overwhelm hospitals with coronavirus patients.
Earlier this week, officials in Dallas and Bexar sued and were successful in securing a court order siding with the right to again making wearing masks mandatory in public schools and many government buildings, albeit temporarily.
Going a step further Wednesday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins ordered mandatory masking up of employees and customers of child care centers and businesses respectively. “We are all team public health and the enemy is the virus,” Jenkins said. “Right now, the enemy is winning.”
And yet there were other local officials and authorities who did not wait for a court order in defying Abbott’s executive order of no COVID-19 restrictions.
For example, officials of Travis County issued an order mandating mask-wearing in public schools on Wednesday. And plans of requiring students, teachers, and staff to don masks have already been finalized by some of the largest school districts of the state including those of Austin, Houston, and Fort Worth.
“The rebellion is spreading across the state,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said. It has been reported that there is intense pressure on Abbott from some quarters of being strict against local officials who want to re-impose mandatory mask wearing and he is now trying to douse the rebellion.
“The path forward relies on personal responsibility — not government mandates,” Abbott said in a statement.