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Gov. Abbott issues order banning government mask mandates

Tyler, Longview, and Lufkin will be among the Texas towns and cities that will receive money...
Tyler, Longview, and Lufkin will be among the Texas towns and cities that will receive money from the Homeland Security Grant Program, according to Governor Greg Abbott’s office. (Source: Office of Greg Abbott Facebook page)(Office of Greg Abbott Facebook page)
Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 1:18 PM CDT
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From the Office of Governor Greg Abbott

AUSTIN, Texas (News Release) - 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.

View the Governor’s Executive Order.