Texas Schools Can No Longer Require Masks After June 4, 2021
Texas governor bans local governments, schools from requiring face masks with new Executive Order 36. Governor Abbott argues mask mandates infringe on the liberties of Texans, and individuals should have the freedom to chose whether or not to wear a mask. Its important to note the Executive Order does not apply to private businesses, so stores may continue to require masks if they choose to do so.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order prohibiting governmental entities in Texas — including counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities, or government officials — from requiring or mandating mask wearing. Public schools may continue 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.
Earlier this week the CDC said they would not update their guidance on the use of masks in schools until this school year has ended.
While Governor Abbott may argue the latest numbers in Texas are the reason for this order:
May 16, 2021: 0 Covid related deaths–the only time that’s happened since data was tracked in March, 2020.
- the fewest Covid cases in over 13 months
- the lowest 7-day Covid positivity rate ever
- the lowest Covid hospitalizations in 11 months.
Others will say the heat is on Governor Abbott with potential opponents like Matthew McConaughey deciding whether or not to run against Abbott in the upcoming election.
Executive Order 36
Beginning May 21, local governments or officials that attempt to impose a mask mandate or impose a limitation inconsistent or conflicting with the Executive Order can be subject to a fine of up to $1,000.
“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,” said Governor Abbott. “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.”
Exempt from the Executive Order are 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.