Dallas County

Masks to Be Required in Dallas County Courts Starting Monday, District Judge Says

The order will apply to those who enter the George Allen Courthouse, the Frank Crowley Courthouse and the Henry Wade Building

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Face coverings will be required in three Dallas County courts facilities starting Monday, according to an order signed Friday by a district judge.

People who enter the George Allen Courthouse, the Frank Crowley Courthouse and the Henry Wade Building will be asked to wear face coverings, the order signed by Maricela Moore, the Dallas County local administrative district judge.

Moore is also the presiding judge of the 162nd Judicial District Court of Dallas County.

In the county order, she cited a Texas Supreme Court order that says the judiciary has authority to "take reasonable action s to avoid exposing court proceedings and participants to the threat of COVID-19."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued a new executive order Thursday making it harder for local officials to require anyone to wear face coverings.

Abbott said his latest order, GA-38, is related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and is designed "to promote statewide uniformity and certainty in the state's COVID-19 response" by combining several existing orders into one.

So far, Abbott has not responded to the new order issued Friday in Dallas County.

The governor's new order addresses masking, apparently in response to recent requests from local and state leaders and education associations who called on him for help and asked him to give local school districts the autonomy to decide if masking was necessary for their area.

It's not clear if the governor responded to any of the requests directly. However, his position remains clear in the order enacted Thursday in which he suspended several state statutes "to ensure that local governmental entities or officials do not impose any such face-covering requirements."

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended children wear masks in school and people vaccinated against COVID-19 return to wearing masks indoors in hotspot areas.

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