HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - As the battle against mask mandates wages on between lawmakers and schools, the Harris Co. Public Health Authority has put its foot down on a decision.
According to an order issued Thursday, officials say effective immediately, all public and non-religious private schools in Harris Co. will be required to follow CDC recommendations to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Among them involve requiring staff members and students - regardless of vaccination status - to wear masks indoors.
"School Systems and Child Care Centers within Harris County shall follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for universal indoor masking and require all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face mask indoors while on school property and school buses," the order reads.
Additionally, the order says school authorities will be required to notify parents if their child comes into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
"Unvaccinated individuals who are determined to be in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person shall quarantine for 14 days after their last contact with a person who has COVID-19, as recommended by the CDC. Students, staff, teachers," the order continues. "And visitors shall remain off-campus and not attend any school-sponsored events during their quarantine period."
You can read the full order below or by clicking here.
Several Houston-area school districts have already announced some type of mask mandate in defiance of Abbott's order.
Late Wednesday night, Texas Governor Greg Abbott responded to the decisions by the school districts and local government officials who are choosing not to follow his order by stating he would "take them to court."