Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced an emergency executive order on Wednesday afternoon that would require face masks in public schools, businesses, and county buildings. The order is the latest challenge to Greg Abbott’s, who had previously declared that local lawmakers were forbidden from issuing health and safety measures like mask mandates.
On Tuesday evening, Jenkins won a ruling from Judge Tonya Parker that enjoined Abbott’s earlier executive order. On Monday, Dallas ISD announced that face masks would be required on public school campuses, which was also in defiance of the governor.
The new masking order comes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have rapidly increased throughout the state. In north Texas, hospital executives were sounding the alarm at the decreasing rate of intensive care units. Currently in north Texas there are only two pediatric ICU beds in the entire region.
Jenkins has been highly critical of Abbott’s handling of the pandemic. Speaking to WFAA-TV Jenkins noted that Abbott’s orders against local mandates were rooted in partisan politics. “The governor’s decisions are based on polls of how people who are likely to vote in his primary next year feel about issues,” said Jenkins.Before Jenkins issued his order, Attorney General Ken Paxton was on the conservative Mark Davis radio show and said that the Texas Supreme Court could imminently throw out local rulings regarding mask requirements.
A longtime writer and journalist, Jessica was thrilled to join the Texas Signal where she could utilize her unique perspective on politics and culture. As the Features and Opinion Editor, she is responsible for coordinating editorials and segments from diverse authors. She is also the host of the podcast the Tex Mix, as well as the co-host for the weekly SignalCast. Jessica attended Harvard College, is a onetime fitness blogger, and has now transitioned to recreational runner (for which her joints are thankful).