Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced Tuesday night that the county has authorized the Harris County attorney to file a lawsuit challenging Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning mask mandates.
Abbott’s order, issued in the spring when coronavirus cases were on the decline, limits school officials’ ability to respond to the pandemic, which at the moment is in the middle of what some health experts are calling the fourth wave. With the delta variant being more infectious, cases are on the rise and more children are being sent to hospitals.
Hidalgo said Tuesday that the county is filing the suit following concerns from multiple school leaders, and the fourth wave of the coronavirus.
“First responders and school leaders are speaking out and standing up as Delta ravages our community. We have their back,” Hidalgo tweeted.
Despite COVID-19 numbers increasing, Abbott stated earlier this month that he was past the point of issuing government mandates to slow the spread of COVID-19, even as the delta variant has cases and hospitalizations up across the nation. Instead, he said it is time for personal responsibility, which he emphasized when he took away the statewide mask mandate earlier this year.
“Going forward, in Texas, there will not be any government-imposed shutdowns or mask mandates,” he said. “Everyone already knows what to do.”