Harris County to file suit challenging Gov. Greg Abbott's mask ban

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Wednesday, August 11, 2021
From March: Abbott responds to criticism over mask mandate
Earlier this year, Texas Governor Greg Abbott spoke briefly to ABC13 about criticism over his decision to rescind the statewide mask mandate.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- With efforts to bring down the number of surging COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in mind, Harris County will file a lawsuit challenging Gov. Greg Abbott's mask mandate ban.

On Tuesday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo shared the commissioner's court had the county attorney file the lawsuit challenging Abbott's GA-38 executive order. Abbott's order prevents local Texas governments from requiring masks.

"First responders and school leaders are speaking out and standing up as Delta ravages our community. We have their back," Hidalgo wrote. "Protecting the community during an emergency is a duty, not an option for government leaders."

Despite COVID cases rising again, Abbott has said he will not impose another statewide mandate.

It would be "inappropriate to require people who already have immunity to wear a mask," Abbott said.

Abbott lifted the statewide mask requirement in March. Two months later, he announced he was banning government entities - including public schools - from mandating masks. Abbott reiterated that Texas schoolchildren will not face mask requirements as they return to school later this summer.

Both Austin ISD and Dallas ISD are going against Abbott's ban on mask mandates. Houston ISD is scheduled to take up the issue on Thursday, Aug. 12.


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