EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso City and County leaders held a joint news conference today where they reacted to Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order prohibiting governmental entities, including schools, from mandating mask wearing in Texas.
While El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser and County Judge Ricardo Samaniego say there will not be a mask mandate they hope everyone still wears a mask.
“We cannot require but we are going to strongly encourage like we did encourage citizens to please where a face masks. continue to social distance and sanitize your hands,” said Leeser.
Tuesday morning, Mayor Leeser announced the community is on it’s way to herd immunity with almost 54 percent of El Pasoans fully vaccinated and 69 percent partially vaccinated.
“There numbers didn’t come by accident. They came because our community came together,” said Leeser.
Governor Greg Abbott said it’s people not the government, who should decide their best health practices. The county judge said it has been the community has been working together and deciding to wear masks.
“We made a decision as a community that we are going to protect ourselves,” said Samaniego.
The county judge wants people to continue wearing masks voluntarily.
“It’s a plea. show the rest of the country that we know how to protect ourselves,” said Samaniego.
The judge and mayor referencing how late last year El Paso was making national headlines for being a COVID hotspot.
“It will all start over again if we are not careful,” said Samaniego.
“We will not stop and we will continue to make sure everyone gets vaccinated and continue to advocate for social distancing and masks until we no longer lose a single life,” said Leeser.
You can view the full order below or download here:
You can view the full news conference in the video below: