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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Friday that he's suing six school districts that have defied Gov. Greg Abbott's statewide ban on mask mandates.

The big picture: Some school districts in Texas have sought to implement masking requirements for teachers, students and staff as COVID-19 cases surge across the state.

  • The lawsuits challenge mask mandates issued by the Richardson, Round Rock, Galveston, Elgin, Spring and Sherman school districts.
  • Paxton's office said additional lawsuits might be filed should other “school districts and other governmental entities continue to defy state law.” 

Go deeper

Updated Dec 20, 2021 - Health

Omicron surge pushes elite colleges back into 2020 mode

Harvard campus. Photo: Fan Lin/Xinhua via Getty

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant is forcing colleges and universities to adjust their pandemic policies, with Harvard announcing Saturday that it will go remote for the first three weeks of January in an attempt to stymie the spread on campus.

Why it matters: Omicron is threatening to overturn the new normal as it drives COVID-19 cases to double every 1.5 to 3 days in areas where there is community spread.

Dec 18, 2021 - Health

Broadway cancels performances due to COVID cases

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Many Broadway shows announced plans this week to cancel performances following COVID-19 cases among cast or crew members.

Driving the news: The cancellations come as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are rising across the country as the Omicron variant gains a bigger foothold in the U.S.

Dec 18, 2021 - Health

COVID testing site lines spike ahead of holidays

Cars line up at a rapid antigen coronavirus testing site at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens near Miami, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

With a rise in coronavirus cases across the country and the holiday season in full swing, getting a COVID-19 test has become harder with testing sites already starting to see long lines, NBC News reports.

Driving the news: COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths are increasing across the country, and the U.S. is averaging 122,000 new cases per day as the holiday season gets underway and will bring more people together.