In response to Gov. Greg Abbott's March 2 announcement that Texas' statewide mask mandate and COVID-19-related business restrictions will be lifted as of March 10, the Texas Education Agency released updated public health guidance March 3.

According to the March 3 news release, while Executive Order GA-34 will take effect March 10, TEA's authority to implement operational requirements for public schools remains in effect. As a result, TEA officials are leaving mask policies up to individual school boards.

"Under this updated guidance, a public school system's current practices on masks may continue unchanged. Local school boards have full authority to determine their local mask policy," the release reads.

In addition to the mask policy, the updated public health guidance includes changes to surface cleaning requirements, the release states.

The updated public health guidance comes the same day the Texas Department of State Health Services announced that educators and school support staff are eligible for vaccines effective immediately. For more information, click here.