Despite Governor Abbott’s order banning mask mandates in Texas Schools, the Dallas ISD has instituted a ‘temporary’ mask mandate. 

KERA reports the mandate will officially take effect tomorrow (August 10). The policy applies to all students, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. However, virtual learning is not an option at this time. 

In a statement, Dallas ISD cited the fact that COVID-19 hospitalizations are rising at the fastest rate since the pandemic began as reasons for the mask order: 

The announcement comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Dallas County Health officials have raised the COVID-19 alert to level red and reported that hospitalizations are rising at the fastest rate since the pandemic began, among all age groups, including children. Students under 12 are not eligible for a vaccine, however, school attendance is mandatory and virtual learning is not an option at this time...Governor Abbott’s order does not limit the district’s rights as an employer and educational institution to establish reasonable and necessary safety rules for its staff and students.

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With COVID-19 cases on the rise, particularly the more contagious Delta variant, I expect to see more school districts push back against the governor’s order. In Fact, Houston ISD is scheduled to vote on a mask mandate later this week. 

It will be interesting to see how everything unfolds as students prepare to return to campus this week here in Wichita Falls. Texoma’s Homepage reported 4 new COVID-19 related deaths and 310 new cases in Wichita County as of last Friday (August 6). That brings the total number of active cases in the county to 504. 

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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