School districts respond to Abbott’s Mandate… The Masks Stay on

DR. JOHN MOORE, Superintendent of Galena Park ISD, wears a mask at a recent news conference.
DR. JOHN MOORE, Superintendent of Galena Park ISD, wears a mask at a recent news conference.

By Jada Mier

Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order (GA-34) lifting the mask mandate in Texas and increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100 percent. Although this gives institutes the freedom to lift their own mandatory mask protocols, many feel that it is unwise to do so.

Galena Park ISD, Channelview ISD, Sheldon ISD and San Jacinto community college have all decided that in wake of this new mandate it would be safer for students and staff to carry on with their mask requirement.

Galena Park ISD approved the requirement for all students, employees and visitors to continue wearing a face mask while on district property and at district events. This requirement is consistent with the advice from health professionals and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Additionally, GPISD will continue to follow their health and wellness protocols for the safety of their students and staff at all campuses and district buildings, including practicing social distancing and using good hygiene practices.

Sheldon ISD said they prioritize the safety of their students and staff and are continuing to follow the recommendations from the CDC. There will be no changes to their current mask-related process in their schools or buildings. Channelview Independent School District reports that they will continue the necessary COVID-19 safety precautions and require all students, staff and visitors to wear face coverings in all district facilities and campuses. Channelview ISD will also continue to adhere to the guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

San Jacinto College acknowledges the executive Order GA-34 but reports that the health and safety of their students, employees, and visitors remains a top priority at this time. All current San Jacinto College COVID protocols – including wearing a face covering, completing a daily pre-screening questionnaire, and social distancing – will remain in effect at all campuses and College facilities, and at all College events, until further notice.

It is no surprise that many are hesitant to allow facilities with a high volume of people revert back to a mask-free environment, considering we are still in the midst of a global pandemic.