Original Countywide indoor mask mandate reinstated as Court ok’s temporary injunction against Governor regarding Local Authority

Thursday afternoon, the City of El Paso was granted a preliminary injunction against Texas Governor Greg Abbott allowing the Local City-County Health Authority’s original indoor mask mandate for the entire County of El Paso to be reinstated at 12:01am on Saturday, September 4, 2021.

Thursday’s court decision reinstated the original Local Health Authority order which will be posted online at www.EPStrong.org.

Judge Ruben Morales in the County Court at Law No. 7 granted the City’s petition for temporary injunction, which was filed on Tuesday, Aug. 17.

Judge Morales’ original temporary restraining order was amended on Friday, Aug. 27, by order of the 8th Court of Appeals based on a motion filed by the Texas Office of the Attorney General (AG).

The 8th Court of Appeals’ order partially granted and denied the AG’s motion and narrowed the mask mandate.

Judge Morales issued a temporary injunction finding that Governor Abbott’s Executive Order, GA-38, exceeds the Governor’s authority under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975.

City health officials continue to advise the public to not only continue wearing face coverings when they are in public indoor spaces but also to continue observing health and safety protocols such as practicing social distancing, frequently washing hands, and getting vaccinated.

As of today, 73.4 percent of the community’s population aged 12 and older is fully vaccinated and more than 86 percent are partially vaccinated.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our region and our loved ones. Every week, we continue to see new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and even more heartbreaking, we continue to see COVID-19 deaths,” said City-County Local Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza. “Our community’s mask mandate is just one simple way to safeguard the health of our community and our loved ones. As we have repeatedly advised, we as a community can overcome this pandemic, but we must be united in our effort to protect each other. We, as a unified region, can also reduce the number of cases and deaths if we wear a mask in public, practice social distancing and good hygiene, and, more importantly, if all eligible individuals get fully vaccinated.”

Gov. Abbott is anticipated to appeal the County Court’s decision to the 8th Court of Appeals. The trial on the City’s request for a permanent injunction and a declaratory judgment is currently scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 7.

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