CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — An order issued Sunday that requires school districts in Nueces County to mandate that teachers and students wear masks didn't even last the night after a late ruling ruling by the Texas Supreme Court.
It was just Sunday afternoon when Nueces County Health Authority Dr. Srikanth Ramachandruni issued a mask mandate for all county schools that would remain in place for the next 30 days.
“I believe this directive includes appropriate control measures based on current knowledge including the risk for rapid spread of COVID-19 variants in congregate settings such as schools, and the current unavailability of COVID-19 vaccine for persons under the age of 12, and the record increase in hospitalizations for school age children with COVID-19,” Ramachandruni said.
Even as Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales announced the order, the Texas Supreme Court was working to override similar mandates in Dallas and San Antonio. Less than an hour after her announcement, the Texas Supreme Court issued their ruling, siding with Governor Greg Abbott to prevent mask mandates from being in place.
Canales issued a statement Sunday evening, explaining that their goal is to protect kids from COVID-19, but for now the order is effectively dead. Her statement reads as follows:
"Today, our Local Health Authority issued a Public Health Order to help protect our children in public schools and our community. Science tells us that wearing masks saves lives. The Public Health Order is a valid order. Today, the Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling to temporarily stay other mask orders in San Antonio and Dallas. As a practical matter, this Texas Supreme Court ruling puts everything on hold. We will respect the Supreme Court ruling and the Local Health Authority's Public Health Order will not be enforced at this time. We will wait for the Texas Supreme Court to make a final ruling. In the meantime, Public Health and I are asking students to be smart - practice social distancing where possible, wash your hands - and please voluntarily wear your masks while in close quarters and indoors with others. We have beat COVID 19 once. Let's work together to beat the Delta variant."
Meanwhile, the City of Corpus Christi has announced a special City Council meeting at 9 a.m. Monday to talk about the mask mandate. 3News will bring you the latest information as it becomes available.
For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.
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