WACO, Texas (KWTX) – Some school districts in Central Texas say they will continue to require masks despite a ruling from a federal appellate court Wednesday that temporarily restored Gov. Abbott’s executive order banning schools and other entities from mandating masks.
Waco ISD spokesperson Alice Jauregui said the district will continue to require masks as it has proven to be a successful COVID-19 mitigation tool.
“We have seen a great reduction in the number of cases from when the mask mandate went into effect,” Jauregui said. “The week it went into effect we had 285 cases reported throughout the district and as of this week we only have 3.”
The district, which had been sued by the state’s attorney general Ken Paxton for having a mask mandate, said it will continue to monitor the various legal cases regarding masks in Texas. However, Jauregui said removing the mask requirement now, especially during the holiday season would be dangerous.
“We are watching to see what happens with the numbers and to see if any of the gatherings does play a factor in cases possibly rising. And with the discovery of the new variant (Omicron) that’s also top of mind as well. We are in flu season as well so we have to take that into consideration,” Jauregui said.
Marlin ISD is another one of the few Central Texas school districts to require masks. The district released the following statement to News Ten saying it will maintain its mask mandate despite the recent ruling.
“Marlin ISD continues to be committed to going above and beyond to keep our students, staff and community safe. Our safety protocols and mitigation measures have allowed us to resume learning with few COVID-related disruptions, and we have had zero cases since September 20. We will continue to modify and adapt our protocols in line with the indicators that will help us most effectively reduce the spread of COVID-19 so that we can be squarely focused on the teaching and learning the community entrusts us with.”
Written by Rosemond Crown