Mask mandate stays in Austin, Travis County despite Paxton’s lawsuit

After a back-and-forth battle over masks, Austin and Travis County ended up on top.

On Friday, a Travis County judge declined to block Austin and Travis County’s order requiring employees and customers to wear a face mask in businesses, according to a tweet from Travis County Judge Andy Brown.

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Travis County officials after enforcing a public health face mask order not long after Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the face mask requirement in Texas. Abbott said business owners can decide on their own if they want to enforce it, but the city can not.

State District Judge Lora Livingston announced her ruling in a three-hour hearing held remotely via Zoom, according to the Austin American-Statesman. She cannot find that the state met its burden to demonstrate the right to relief it seeks, the Statesman reported.

In short, public health mandates are allowed under a different state law, which leaves the face mask mandate in place.

Although Austin officials won this round, the Statesman reports Paxton is expected to quickly appeal the ruling. However, for now, if you’re in Travis County, mask up.

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