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Texas governor issues executive order barring government entities from requiring masks

Texas counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities or government officials, may not require mask wearing.
Credit: KGW News

TEXAS, USA — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Tuesday barring governmental entities in the state, including counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities or government officials, from requiring or mandating mask wearing.

According to a release from the governor's office, public schools can 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.

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 fined 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," Abbott said in the release. "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."

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, are exempt from the order.