A U.S. District Court judge refused to grant the State of Texas an emergency, temporary injunction on Friday, meaning that the mask mandate from Austin and Travis County will stay in place for at least two more weeks.
This is not a final ruling as Judge Lora Livingston stated that she wanted more time for each side to make their case and has set another hearing for March 26.
These latest developments do mean that Austin and Travis County will be able to enforce its mask mandate through spring break, which starts this weekend. Travis County Judge Andy Brown tweeted Friday after the latest ruling, “After today’s court hearing, the requirement to wear masks in Travis County and Austin businesses remains in effect.”
Governor Abbott issued an executive order that ended the statewide mask mandate on March 10 and reopened Texas businesses to 100% capacity. That order was intended to overrule local ordinances, but Austin and Travis County refused to comply, saying they were doing so at the guidance of their health authorities.
Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Thursday after tweeting, “I told Travis County & The City of Austin to comply with state mask law. They blew me off. So, once again, I’m dragging them to court.”
Paxton has not commented since Friday’s ruling was released.