Temporary Restraining Order granted after Harris Co. files lawsuit challenging Governor’s executive order

FILE - Generic gavel on wooden table.

A temporary restraining order has been granted to Harris County after filing a request for an order preventing the state from enforcing Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order, GA-38. 

The order prohibits local officials from mandating masks and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

According to a release, the Harris County Attorney’s Office expects the order to be signed on Friday. 

Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee said in a statement, "While this decision is temporary, it’s a victory for residents in Harris County who are concerned about this public health crisis. We need every tool at our disposal to stop the spread of COVID-19, including masks and other measures that are proven to slow the spread. It’s critical that we work swiftly to do as much as possible to protect those who cannot be vaccinated, like our young children heading to school and our immunocompromised."


Once the order is signed, according to the release, it will be in place until the court has a hearing on the County’s request for a temporary injunction (which would last until the final ruling in the case) and makes a decision. 

TROUBLING TREND: Texas sees most COVID-19 hospitalizations in 6 months

In the interim, officials said, the temporary restraining order allows Harris County and local school districts within Harris County to enact masking requirements for students and employees. 


As we reported on Thursday evening, the Harris County Health Authority announced an order requiring teachers and students in public schools and child care centers in Harris County to wear masks. 

RELATED: Harris Co. Public Health Authority requiring teachers, students in public schools to wear masks

So far, Spring ISD has said they will be requiring masks. Houston ISD announced they would be enacting a mask mandate, which the school board unanimously gave its approval for during their meeting on Thursday night.

RELATED: Spring ISD to require masks in district buildings, campuses

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." 

RELATED: Gov. Abbott warns schools, local governments will be 'taken to court' for implementing mask mandates