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Metro Health orders mask use at all Bexar County schools, 'effective immediately'

Earlier Tuesday, a district court judge cleared the way for local mask mandates via a restraining order against Gov. Greg Abbott.

SAN ANTONIO — Bexar County kids will have to start packing a mask or two to school starting Wednesday. 

On the same afternoon that a district court judge cleared the way for local mask mandates via a restraining order against Gov. Greg Abbott, Metro Health issued a directive requiring them at all public and private schools in the county. 

The order, signed by Metro Health Medical Director Junda Woo, applies to students, instructors, staff and visitors to schools, "regardless of vaccination status." It comes amid a virulent delta two weeks, Texas doubled its number of current COVID-19 hospitalizations; on Tuesday, the number stood at 10,041. 

Metro Health's order also requires Bexar County school officials to notify parents in the event of new COVID-19 cases on campus.  

The restraining order is only effective until Monday. District Attorney Joe Gonzales said an injunction hearing is expected to be held at that point. Abbott in a statement expressed confidence  that the court would uphold his order, but so did local officials at a Tuesday-evening coronavirus response briefing. 

"We have to feel like we're leading the charge," Gonzales said. "I don't think this is going to be the end of it. I think you'll hear other cities doing what we did today."