Fort Bend County reinstates indoor mask order after judge grants temporary restraining order against Gov. Abbott’s mask mandate

The mask order went into effect on Thursday

RICHMOND, Texas – Following Fort Bend County Judge KP George’s temporary restraining order against Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order on mask mandates, the judge announced Thursday that the county has now issued an indoor mask mandate for all Fort Bend County employees and visitors at county facilities.

The order went into effect on Thursday.

“To quickly curb the dangerous and rapid spread of the Delta variant, I have taken this action to protect our Fort Bend Family,” stated George. “Now that we have cleared the way and removed the hurdles that have prevented our municipalities and school districts from taking the same action to protect their communities and the children, I would expect them to do what is necessary and follow the Health Authorities guidelines.”

George said he reinstated the mask order for all county schools and federal buildings. The order will apply to all county facilities and the health authority’s guidance will apply to all schools and childcare facilities.

“Since the County’s filing and the granting of the Temporary Restraining Order on August 11, 2021, Dr. Minter recommends that it is necessary that all students over the age of 2 years old, educators and school staff, and all visitors to school campuses and district facilities, wear face coverings while indoors or while in proximity closer than 3 feet where possible. It is also immediately necessary that campuses make every reasonable effort to establish physical distancing of 3-6 feet between all students, staff, parents, and visitors,” the release read.

Fort Bend Independent School District parents and guardians received this message from Fort Bend ISD on Thursday.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As communicated last night, On Wednesday, August 11, 2021, a temporary restraining order was granted by the 434th District Court prohibiting any enforcement of the Governor’s order prohibiting mask mandates (GA-38). As a result, we anticipate an order from the Fort Bend County Health Director mandating the wearing of face coverings in public county buildings including FBISD schools. Fort Bend ISD will comply with the requirements of this order when issued.

We understand that many of you may have questions about this order, as the new school year is already underway. We ask for your patience as we determine how the county’s order will change our COVID 19 mitigation efforts.

We ask that you direct your questions, comments and concerns about the District’s Virtual Learning Program, masks, health and safety protocols and other district-wide matters to Let’s Talk. District administrators are best able to answer your questions and address your concerns.

In the meantime, Fort Bend ISD continues to highly encourage face coverings on campuses and facilities, whether individuals are vaccinated or not. We also maintain other COVID-19 mitigation strategies such as frequent hand washing, observing social distance of 3 feet whenever possible, practicing healthy lifestyle habits, and staying home when feeling ill.

We ask that you assist us in keeping the focus of our teachers, principals and school staff on the mission of delivering quality instruction to our students.

We appreciate your continued support as we work to provide safe and healthy learning spaces for all our students. Again, please direct your questions and concerns to Let’s Talk and continue to monitor the District’s website for important information and updates.

Sincerely, Fort Bend ISD

Earlier in the day, George, along with several county leaders, announced the submission of a lawsuit that challenged the executive order GA-38.

The lawsuit requested a temporary restraining order against the governor’s executive order.

“We are experiencing a health crisis emergency and I am concerned about the health and safety of our children and the hardworking employees in Fort Bend County,” said George. “How do you strip local government of the power to protect public safety? You can not play with people’s lives, and I feel that the governor’s executive order causes harm and risks the health and safety of our public employees and their families, many of whom have school-age children.”

WATCH: Harris County Judge KP George speaks with KPRC 2 about the temporary restraining order against Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order:

Judge KP George said he's trying to save the citizens and children's lives
Judge KP George said he's trying to save the citizens and children's lives

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