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Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued new executive orders on Thursday as a continued response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Cases and hospitalizations are on the rise throughout Texas. Nationally, the Centers for Dieses Control and Prevention have recommended mask wearing even for those who have been vaccinated.

The rise in cases and the new guidance from the CDC has led some in Texas to call for Governor Greg Abbott to bring back mask mandates or to allow school districts and local municipalities to set their own policies moving forward.

On Thursday though, the Governor threw cold water on those hoping for more restrictions and mandates. Instead, Governor Abbott's executive orders relies on personal responsibility over government mandates.

Under the executive order government entities and jurisdictions are not allowed to mandate mask wearing. That includes school districts. According to KXAN, Abbott's executive order also applies to vaccines and business closures.

Additionally, it stops those same governing bodies from requiring vaccination and prevents state agencies and political subdivisions from requiring proof of vaccination from individuals to enter a place or receive a service.

For local businesses, the order says they do not have to follow any local operating limits, but customers “are encouraged to follow the safe practices they have already mastered” like wearing masks and social distancing.

You can read Governor Greg Abbott's latest executive order here.

So what does this mean for our area? No one, other than the Governor can issue restrictions or mandates. Even if a hospital region goes over 15% COVID cases, there can be no restrictions imposed by local governments.

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