The Diocese of Dallas will require everyone inside its school buildings to wear masks starting Tuesday.
Superintendent of the Diocese of Dallas Catholic schools, Matt Vereecke, announced the mask mandate in a letter to parents Monday.
He cited "clear and present danger for unvaccinated children" from the delta COVID-19 variant and rising COVID-19 cases in North Texas.
"While these protocols will be in place until further notice, it is our intention to return local control as soon as it is safe to do so," Vereecke said.
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The Diocese of Dallas Catholic Schools has around 15,000 students at 31 schools across North Texas, including several in Dallas County, most notably Bishop Dunne and Bishop Lynch high schools.
The majority of the Dallas diocese's Catholic schools had already adopted mask protocols, the diocese said in a press release.
According to Vereecke, the factors determining the mask requirement are local case rates, vaccination rates, hopsital capacity and internal data regarding school cases.
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Abbott's executive order applies to local governments and school districts and public and private entities receiving state funding.