Judge Christian Becerra of the 268th District Court upheld Fort Bend County’s order requiring face masks in county buildings yesterday, according to an Aug. 19 news release from the county.
Fort Bend County Judge KP George issued a mask mandate Aug. 11 requiring all employees of county facilities, including public schools, and visitors under the age of 2 to wear a face covering. The order went into effect Aug. 13, two days after Fort Bend ISD’s first day of school.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on July 29 prohibiting governmental entities from mandating masks. Judge O’Neil Williams of the 434th District Court granted a temporary restraining order for the county to allow the mask mandate to take place, according to the Fort Bend County news release. The Aug. 19 injunction denies Abbott’s appeal against the temporary restraining order, according to the county’s press release.
At a news conference Aug. 20, George said while the injunction is highly likely to be appealed in a higher court, the county will continue to fight Abbott’s order prohibiting mask mandates.
“I am committed to seeing this through to the end. And I will not be moved from my decision to listen to our health officials,” George said.
Face coverings are optional but highly recommended in both Fort Bend ISD and Katy ISD schools, according to the districts’ health and safety policies for the 2021-22 school year.
George said local authorities, including the school districts, will still have the power to decide whether or not to issue mask mandates at the Aug. 20 news conference.
“I strongly believe they will do the right thing by mandating the face covering,” he said.