DALLAS — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has twice banned agencies that receive state dollars from enacting mask and vaccine mandates via executive order.

What You Need To Know

  • Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has filed a temporary restraining order to prevent Gov. Greg Abbott's ban on mask mandates from being enforced

  • Abbott has issued multiple executive orders that ban agencies from enacting mask or vaccine mandates 

  • In defiance of Abbott, Dallas ISD and Austin ISD have put mask mandates in place to begin the school year 

  • The spread of the delta variant is largely responsible for more than 9,000 current hospitalizations in Texas 

As the delta COVID-19 variant spreads largely unchecked, more than 9,000 Texans are hospitalized with the disease and students are returning to the classroom, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is challenging the mask mandate ban legally.

Jenkins on Monday said he has filed a temporary restraining order and declaratory judgment to prevent Abbott’s mask ban from being enforced.

This comes as several large school districts are defying Abbott and instituting mask mandates. Dallas ISD announced it will enforce such a mandate on Monday, and Austin ISD followed suit a short time later. Houston ISD, the largest school district in the state, will vote on a mask mandate later this week.

“The enemy is not each other. The enemy is the virus and we must all do all that we can to protect public health,” Jenkins wrote in a tweet. “School districts and government closest to the people should make decisions on how best to keep students and others safe. I'll do all I can to protect the public health and the people of Dallas County. I hope others will join me in following the science and listening to local doctors and the CDC to act swiftly and decisively.”

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, if you are not fully vaccinated you should wear a mask indoors. Studies have shown that mask usage reduces the spread of COVID-19.