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22345 views   |   37   |   Last updated on Nov 18, 2021    COVID-19 Masks

GA-38 Replaces Previous Mask Orders

Previous executive orders from the governor that required the use of face coverings/masks are no longer in effect. They were rescinded by the governor's Executive Order GA-38 [PDF], issued July 29, 2021, which states: 

No governmental entity, including a county, city, school district, and public health authority, and no governmental official may require any person to wear a face covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering;

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently announced on Twitter that his office is taking reports of violations of GA-38 by local government entities via e-mail at maskmandate@oag.texas.gov.

Exceptions to GA-38

GA-38 outlines several exceptions where face coverings can still be required: state living centers, government hospitals, TDCJ and TJJD facilities, and county and municipal jails are permitted to “continue to use appropriate policies regarding the wearing of face coverings.”

Violations of GA-38

GA-38 supersedes any local mask requirements, and a governmental entity that imposes a mask requirement is subject to a fine of up to $1,000, but GA-38 does not include details on where or how to report a violation. However, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently announced on Twitter that his office has created a point of contact specifically for reports of GA-38 violations by local governments. You can email these reports to maskmandate@oag.texas.gov

Masks at Businesses

You may still see mask requirements at private businesses as they generally have the right to set their own safety and hygiene policies for customers and employees. For more details about mask requirements at private businesses, please see our FAQ Can a business require me to wear a mask? I thought the mask mandate was over.

For more information, please see the Mask Laws page of the COVID-19 & Texas Law research guide

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