The city of San Antonio sued Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday over his order forbidding local governments from imposing mask and vaccine mandates and has requested that a judge grant a temporary restraining order that will allow the local health authority to require masks in public schools, according to the San Antonio Report.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a statement that the city is “challenging the governor’s authority to suspend local emergency orders during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic,” pointing out that “ironically, the governor is taking a state law meant to facilitate local action during an emergency and using it to prohibit local response to the emergency that he himself declared.”
Nirenberg also said the San Antonio Bexar County Health Authority "will immediately issue an order requiring masks in public schools and requiring quarantine if an unvaccinated student is determined to be in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual" if the court grants the temporary restraining order.
Abbott signed the executive order late last month.
Abbott's order forbids government bodies, including schools districts, from imposing mask mandates and also bans governmental entities from mandating a coronavirus vaccine that is under emergency use authorization.
Any entity that defies the governor’s order is subject to a $1,000 fine.
San Antonio is not the only locality in Texas that is opposing Abbot’s order, according to the San Antonio Report.
Dallas County also sued on Monday night, with the Dallas Independent School District and Austin Independent School District announcing the same day that they would be requiring masks in schools despite the governor’s executive order.
There are also similar battles going on in other states run by Republicans, where GOP governors are attempting to block local officials from requiring masks, especially for schools, even though the delta variant is causing an increase in coronavirus infections.
For example, in Florida, which has become the epicenter of coronavirus cases, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has vowed to withhold salaries from school officials who enforce mask mandates.
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