With Gov. Greg Abbott’s statewide mask mandate ending next week, some school districts are likely to face contentious discussions about whether to continue requiring masks in schools.
Masks are still required in Texas public schools unless local school boards decide to make them optional, the Texas Education Agency announced Wednesday.
The guidance follows an announcement from the Texas Department of State Health Services that school and child care staff are now eligible for vaccines, effective immediately. It fills an information gap Gov. Greg Abbott created Tuesday when he announced he was rescinding a longstanding mask mandate, effective next Wednesday, but gave no details about how that would affect schools.
Health experts recommend wearing as many as two masks indoors to protect against COVID-19, especially as more contagious variants circulate.
“Every student, teacher, or staff member shall wear a mask over the nose and mouth when inside a school building, school facility, facility used for school activities, or when in an outdoor space on school property or used for school activities, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household,” the TEA’s new public guidance reads.