Cities around Texas have announced policies of their own to try to keep face covering requirements in-place on the local level in response to Gov. Greg Abbott's order lifting the mask mandate.
This is where things stand as of Tuesday night:
Dr. Mark Escott, Austin's chief medical officer, announced that masks will be required in the city to protect from the spread of Covid-19. The city mask mandate and other health rules remain in place through April 15, when they may be extended based on health authority and Austin Public Health Department recommendation.
Last Thursday, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson issued an order mandating face coverings inside all city buildings. The new regulation goes into effect on March 10 at 12:01 a.m., according to a news release from the mayor's office. In the release, the city argues that Abbott's executive order dropping Covid-19 restrictions and lifting the state mandate does not prevent local governments "from implementing mask requirements in their buildings."
In a news conference Monday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner reiterated employees and visitors will continue to be required to wear a mask on any city-owned or operated facility. "And look, we want businesses to open. We want businesses to thrive, and I was saying," Turner said. "And quite frankly, I do believe that two months from now, the landscape will be much better than what it is today. I do believe that it’s too early now to just take off the masks."
Michelle Vigil, public relations manager, told CNN on Tuesday that San Antonio is "currently operating at a 25% occupancy and will require masks for anybody entering our facilities." CNN has inquired whether the mask requirement will be made via a new order issued by the mayor or city manager and did not receive a response Tuesday night.
Last week El Paso announced on Facebook it “will continue to require individuals entering any facility owned by the City to properly wear a face mask over their nose and mouth." A city spokesperson told CNN Tuesday via email an updated order has not been issued yet and that staff "are still finalizing." "Our city facilities will continue to require face masks. All city-owned and operated facilities will require face masks," El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser said during a news conference last week.