The Texas Supreme Court seemingly blocked mask mandates ordered by two of the nation's largest counties that defied Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Sunday, but Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says his order was not struck down by the state’s highest court.
The Texas Supreme Court -- which is entirely comprised of elected Republican justices -- appears to halt mask requirements that county leaders in Dallas and San Antonio put in place as new infections soar and students begin returning to school.
But Jenkins tweeted late Sunday night that the Texas Supreme Court’s stay on GA-38 didn’t strike down his mask order and that it remains in place.
The implications of Jenkins’ statement aren’t immediately clear.
The court’s ruling is temporary pending a court hearing, though a final ruling could take weeks. Officials in Houston and Austin, as well as public school districts, had also imposed mask mandates despite Abbott prohibiting local governments from reverting back to pandemic restrictions.
White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said last week that Texas and Florida accounted for nearly 40% of new virus hospitalizations nationwide. The COVID-19 death toll has started soaring again as the delta variant tears through the nation's unvaccinated population and fills up hospitals with patients, many of whom are younger than during earlier phases of the pandemic.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins responded to the decision in a tweet.