Businesses, courts and hospitals can continue implementing mask mandates, County Judge says


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego says local businesses and courts can continue requiring masks in their facilities despite a court decision on Thursday.

The Texas 8th Court of Appeals lifted an indoor mask mandate this week after the local health authority issued the order in mid-August. For now, a case involving the city of El Paso, Health Authority Hector Ocaranza, and the Texas Attorney General’s Office will continue over whether local governments can mandate mask wearing.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego stated on Friday that mandates can still be made to protect individuals from the spread of COVID-19.

“To clarify, although the order has been temporarily lifted, businesses, courts, and hospitals can still mandate masks in their respected facilities,” Samaniego said.

The county judge encourages El Pasoans to continue observing COVID-19 precautions to slow the spread of the virus.

Samaniego says school districts will have to make decisions based on their “unique situations.”

“I encourage our school districts to hold steady and protect our teachers and students as much as possible as they are our most precious assets,” he said. “Teachers just like healthcare workers are confined to the same environment for long periods of time on a daily basis.”

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