This afternoon, Bexar County Judge Antonia Arteaga granted a joint application for a temporary restraining order filed by the City of San Antonio and Bexar County which restrains the enforcement of certain provisions of Governor Abbott’s executive order GA-38. The City of San Antonio and Bexar County sought court intervention in response to an alarming rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in San Antonio and Bexar County.
In relevant part, Governor Abbott’s executive order GA-38 prohibits cities, counties, public schools and health districts from enacting masking requirements. Under GA-38, City and County employees and visitors cannot be required to wear masks, nor can schools impose those requirements. City and County officials believe Governor Abbott exceeded his authority under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975 when he improperly restricted the ability of local jurisdictions to respond to this critical health emergency. Additional details may be released during tonight’s City-County briefing which begins at 6:13 p.m.
“Health officials have made it clear that there are two things that help to contain the spread of COVID-19, especially the Delta variant: vaccinations and masking. All that we are trying to do is to allow government to continue to serve the community, our schools to safely operate, to prevent the spread of this potentially deadly virus and avoid full closures. We know how harmful this latest surge has been to our community due to the highly infectious Delta variant. We could have avoided taking Governor Abbott to court if he would simply allow local government and schools to make public health decisions, with the advice of our local health experts, which are better suited for the circumstances present in our community. In coordination with the City of San Antonio, my office will continue to fight for the safety of the citizens of Bexar County,” said District Attorney Joe Gonzales.
A full hearing on further injunctive relief is scheduled for Monday at 9 a.m. Click here to view Bexar County’s COVID-19 orders and declarations.