Texas is on the move.
And as residents roam to and fro, they won't necessarily be masked.
On Tuesday, Republican Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order regarding face coverings and state institutions.
Greg laid it out — bodies possessing governmental power will no longer force anyone to make like a surgeon:
No government entity, including a county, city, school district, and public health authority, and no governmental official may require any person to wear a face covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering; provided, however, that:
state supported living centers, government-owned hospitals, and government-operated hospitals may continue to use appropriate policies regarding the wearing of face coverings; and
the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, and any county and municipal jails acting consistent with guidance by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards may continue to use appropriate policies regarding the wearing of face coverings.
It's big news, and a notable point in the turning of a year-long tide.
But the order won't go into effect immediately; public schools may continue to enforce masking 'til June 4th.
On that date, the Texas Education Agency's policy will transform such that “no student, teacher, parent, or other staff member or visitor may be required to wear a face covering.”
As for local governments, their mask requirements will go the way of the dodo bird by May 21st.
At that point, any government in violation may face a fine of up to $1,000.
Texas has been attempting monumental measures as of late, and not just in the area of masking.
On the floor, Rep. Steve Toth put it this way:
“House Bill 3979 is about teaching racial harmony by telling the truth that we are all equal, both in God's eyes and our founding documents.”
Relating to requiring public school students to compete in interscholastic athletic competitions based on biological sex.
Back to the coronavirus, on Sunday, Gov. Greg celebrated some milestones:
Via a press release, he championed The Longhorn State's ongoing victory:
“[Texas] continues to defeat COVID-19 through the use of widely-available vaccines, antibody therapeutic drugs, and safe practices utilized by Texans in our communities.”
When it comes to masks, the governor's pro-choice:
“Texans, not government, should decide their best health practices, which is why masks will not be mandated by public school districts or government entities. We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans' liberty to choose whether or not they mask up.”
The coronavirus has changed the country, and I'm not sure it's ever going back to the way it was before.
Nonetheless, out west — as well as other places across the nation — steps are being taken in an effort to try.
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