Lewisville ISD will continue to adhere to its current COVID-19 protocols for the time being, a district spokeswoman said Tuesday.
This comes in the wake of a Tuesday announcement from Gov. Greg Abbott stating that executive order GA-34, which goes into effect March 10, will rescind a statewide requirement for face coverings, in addition to allowing business to open at 100% capacity.
Abbott announced the mandate’s ending on Tuesday while addressing the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.
"With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus,” Abbott said, according to a press release. "We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent. Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed.”
In counties that are not in an area with high COVID-19 hospitalizations, individuals are “strongly encouraged” to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth wherever it is not feasible to maintain a social distance of six feet from someone not in the same household. However, nobody can be required by any jurisdiction to wear or mandate the wearing of a face covering, the order states.
In an email to Star Local Media, LISD said it will for now remain in “level orange” disease activity level. Level orange requirements include the use of face masks in hallways and common areas, as well as classrooms where social distancing isn’t possible. It also includes designated entry areas at campuses, screenings, hand sanitizer, staggered exits from classrooms and congregation restrictions.
“We are aware of the governor’s statement regarding the statewide mask mandate ending on March 10,” said Amanda Brim, chief communications officer for LISD, “but our schools will remain in level orange until the district has the opportunity to consult with local health experts and make an informed decision with the best interest of our students and staff in mind.”
Brim said it’s unclear when the district will meet with health experts.
“As a result of the lifting of the order on masks, TEA has updated its Public Health Guidance," the TEA said in a Wednesday statement. "Under this updated guidance, a public school system’s current practices on masks may continue unchanged. Local school boards have full authority to determine their local mask policy."
This story has been updated to include an updated statement from the Texas Education Agency.