Gov. Greg Abbott declared Tuesday that public schools can’t need masks in their campuses beginning June 5. The conclusion was a part of a brand new executive order that bans government entities in Texas — such as counties and cities — by mandating masks in the struggle from the coronavirus pandemic.
The order exempts state-supported living facilities, government-owned or operated hospitals, Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities, Texas Juvenile Justice Department centers, and municipal and county jails.
The arrangement is potentially the most consequential for public colleges. After Abbott finished the statewide mask demand in early March, school systems were permitted to continue using their very own mask-wearing coverages unchanged. But following June 4,”no pupil, educator, parent, or other staff member or visitor might have to put on a face covering,” based on Abbott’s new purchase.
While 30% of Texans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the vast majority of children are unvaccinated. The Pfizer vaccine was authorized last week for children as young as 12. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are still only authorized for those 18 and older. School-age children have seen lower infection rates than other age groups. COVID-19 cases among those 5-17 years old make up 10% of total cases in the country.
Last week, the CDC said fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor places.
The Texas State Teachers Association called Abbott’s latest move premature. In a statement, the head of the association, Ovidia Molina, said Abbott should have waited until the CDC issued updated guidance on masks for the 2021-22 school year. Molina acknowledged that some Texas school districts have already ended their mask requirements but said the association believes “that also is ill-advised.”
“The health and safety of our students, educators and communities must remain our first priority as we attempt to emerge from this pandemic,” Molina said.