EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The ban on mask mandates is back in place after a federal appeals court restored Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order that banned mask mandates in schools across the state of Texas.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals made the ruling after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton challenged an earlier decision by a court in Austin, Texas which allowed schools to impose mask mandates.
The three-judge panel said that they found no “concrete, or actual or imminent, injury” caused by Abbott’s ban on mask mandates.
Abbott has also previously banned vaccine mandates in the Lone Star state.
The following is a press release issued by Governor Greg Abbott’s office in May 2021.
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.
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.