Dallas County mandates masks for schools, businesses
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins signed an emergency order Wednesday requiring people to wear masks in schools, businesses and county buildings.
Why it matters: The order comes after a Texas judge temporarily voided Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) state-wide ban on mask and vaccine mandates. The state has struggled to contain a surge of new coronavirus cases that has driven up hospitalization numbers.
The big picture: The order will take effect Thursday and apply to child care centers, preschool through 12th grade schools, businesses and Dallas County facilities.
- The order also recommends the use of masks in "general indoor space."
- Jenkins worked with school superintendents, restaurant, bar and retail owners when crafting the order, notes the Dallas Morning News.
What he's saying: “The most important thing, obviously, is that everyone get vaccinated as soon as possible. Face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing," Jenkins said in a video of him signing the order.
State of play: Abbott announced several new initiatives to battle COVID-19 Monday, including asking hospitals to delay elective procedures. But he has not budged on his mask ban.