Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued an executive order Aug. 11 requiring face masks be worn at public schools, businesses and county buildings regardless of vaccination status. The Texas Supreme Court then halted the enforcement of Jenkins’ executive order Aug. 15.
The current injunction order can be appealed to the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas and potentially to the Texas Supreme Court.
“I am very pleased with the court’s ruling,” Jenkins said during an Aug. 25 news conference. “This is a court victory, not a victory against any person or an entity. We should not personalize this as us against them. It’s all of us versus the virus.”
During the news conference, Jenkins said there are no available beds in pediatric intensive care units anywhere in Trauma Service Area E, which includes Dallas and Collin counties as well as 17 other North Texas counties. As of Aug. 23, the Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard showed 20.27% of hospital beds in the trauma service area were occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients.
Jenkins said he will consider updating his order after gathering more information.
The Aug. 11 executive order states no civil or criminal penalty will be imposed on individuals who fail to wear a face mask. However, in an Aug. 16 Tweet, Jenkins said he had modified his order to remove the $1,000 fine per violation for businesses that fail to develop and implement the required health and safety policy.
For more information on Dallas County's mask mandate, visit this link.
Joe Warner and William C. Wadsack contributed to this report.