A Travis County judge on Friday granted Harris County a temporary retraining order against parts of Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates, according to County Attorney Christian Menefee.
In a statement, Menefee wrote that the order would allow Harris County officials to implement their own mask mandate without fear of retribution from the state.
“While this decision is temporary, it’s a victory for residents in Harris County who are concerned about this public health crisis,” the statement read. “We need every tool at our disposal to stop the spread of COVID-19, including masks and other measures that are proven to slow the spread.”
Menefee added that he expected State District Judge Jan Soifer to sign the order by Friday evening.
It comes one day after Harris County filed a lawsuit challenging Abbott’s executive order, and after the county health department issued a mandatory mask mandate for county schools and child care centers.
Bexar, Dallas and Fort Bend counties have also joined the legal fight against executive order GA-38, with each county successfully obtaining their own temporary retraining order — allowing them to issue county-wide mandates. The state has since appealed the Dallas and San Antonio decisions, and the issue is expected to be settled in the Texas Supreme Court.