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Bexar County can issue mask mandate for schools despite Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban, judge says in temporary order

Desks are spaced out in a classroom at Ott Elementary School on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020 in San Antonio..JPG
Posted at 4:04 PM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 17:04:54-04

A Texas district judge granted the city of San Antonio and Bexar County a temporary restraining order, blocking Gov. Greg Abbott’s restriction on localities imposing mask mandates.

On Tuesday, Judge Antonia Arteaga made the ruling following almost an hour of arguments from attorneys. Arteaga said she did not take her decision lightly, citing the start of the school year and public guidance given by Dr. Junda Woo, medical director of San Antonio’s Metropolitan Health District, concerning the need for masks in public schools as the highly contagious delta variant contributes to a surge in coronavirus cases across the state.

The decision is temporary, pending a hearing on Monday.

On Tuesday, the city of San Antonio and Bexar County sued Gov. Greg Abbott over his May executive order blocking local officials and school districts from forcing mask mandates.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2021/08/10/texas-mask-mandate/.

The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.