Defiance of Texas ban on mask mandates continues to grow

State & Regional

FILE – In this Tuesday, June 8, 2021, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas. Abbott, who faces a contested reelection primary next year, is pushing looser gun laws than he ever previously embraced and proposing unprecedented state actions, including promises to build more walls on the Mexican border. Similar scenes are playing out in campaigns in other red states including Arkansas and Idaho, where ultra right-wing challengers are tapping into anger among Republicans over Trump’s election loss and coronavirus-related lockdowns. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

HOUSTON (AP) — Defiance of Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates is continuing as another Texas school district announced plans to require students to wear face coverings and another county scored a legal victory in its efforts to issue such mandates amid a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations throughout the state.

The Houston suburb of Spring is the latest to require students and staff to wear masks. School districts in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Fort Worth have also issued mask mandates.

A spokeswoman for Abbott says “the time for mask mandates is over; now is the time for personal responsibility.”

A court ruling has allowed Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins to issue an executive order requiring masks be worn inside schools, county buildings and businesses.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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