Updated Aug 16, 2021 - Health

Texas Supreme Court temporarily blocks 2 counties' mask mandates

 Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, l, and Attorney General Ken Paxton hold a press conference in 2015
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (left) and Attorney General Ken Paxton. Photo: Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc./Corbis via Getty Images

The Texas Supreme Court granted an emergency stay to the state's Republican governor, Greg Abbott, over his ban on face mask mandates on Sunday.

Why it matters: The stay overrides lower court rulings in favor of local authorities in the counties of Dallas and Bexar, which includes San Antonio, to temporarily impose mask mandates despite Abbott's May executive order.

The big picture: Several counties in Texas have sought to implement mask mandates, as COVID-19 cases surge across the state.

  • Texas attorney general Ken Paxton (R) tweeted just before midnight Friday that he would fight for Abbott's order in the courts.

What to watch: Trial court hearings were scheduled in San Antonio for this Monday and in Dallas on Aug. 24.

  • Local officials from the Dallas Independent School District and City of San Antonio and Bexar County vowed to press on with mask policy plans, per the Texas Tribune.
  • City of San Antonio noted in a statement that state Supreme Court's ruling did not stop it from presenting its case to the court on Monday:

Go deeper: Florida and Texas schools defy governors' orders banning mask mandates

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include the Supreme Court's decision, further comment from Paxton and the City of San Antonio, and more context.

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