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Gregg County judge reacts to Governor’s order prohibiting mask mandates

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 10:45 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - This week, Governor Greg Abbott signed a executive order that prohibits schools and government entities from imposing mask mandates.

Local government officials could face a fine up to $1,000 if the order is violated.

Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt says people will still have a choice to wear a mask should they desire to.

“If wearing a facemask makes them comfortable, we certainly encourage them to do so. for those who do not want to wear a facemask they also have that right to not wear a facemask as well. If an independent business wants to require a facemask, that’s their choice. we as elected officials are no longer going to require facemasks to be worn at the courthouse or anywhere else for that matter,” he said.

Stoudt said he believes this is a first step towards being back to normal.

“We’re all ready to start getting back toward normalcy and this is kind of a first step, a baby step, but it’s a first step. We’ve been very successful in our hub here, we’ve vaccinated close to 40% of our residents in terms of total population and that doesn’t cover what’s being available now through clinics and Wal-Marts and Sams and so forth,” he said.

The Gregg County Courthouse will start enforcing the executive order on Friday morning.

Schools are required to enforce the order beginning June 4.

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