Aug 11, 2021 - Health

Dallas County mandates masks for schools, businesses

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkin

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. Photo: Stewart F. House/Getty Images

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.

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