Longview ISD issues mask warrant due to increase in COVID-19 cases

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Just a week after welcoming the students for the new school year, officials from the Longview Independent School District decided to enact a mandatory mask mandate for their schools. Longview joins a growing list of Texas school districts requiring students, staff and visitors to wear face covers due to the acceleration of positive COVID-19 cases statewide.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently ordered school districts not to put in place mandatory mask warrants. Several school districts, including several in the Houston area, Austin and D / FW, have defied the order by putting in place warrants. A school district (Paris ISD) circumvented the governor’s decree by including masks in the school dress code. More recently, the Texas Supreme Court issued a decision in which it refused to support Governor Abbott’s order banning mask warrants. This has undoubtedly opened the door for some school districts to make the decision to issue the mask warrants.

In an article on the Longview ISD Facebook page and website, they cite the current increase in COVID-19 cases in their district and the surrounding community that has led to the decision to institute the mask mandate which will begin on Monday 23 August. All students, staff and visitors to Longview ISD are required to wear face coverings at district facilities.

“The number of known cases of COVID-19 among students and staff at Longview ISD is currently higher than last year and positive cases continue to emerge at an alarming rate.”

Longview ISD administrators emphasize that the safety of their students and staff is their top priority. Officials point out that in a similar wave in the previous school year, wearing masks along with frequent hand washing and social distancing worked well to keep COVID-19 under control in the district. They hope the same measures will yield positive results this year.

At the time of this posting, no other school in Deep East Texas has issued a mandatory mask policy, however, school districts such as Lufkin ISD have indicated they are considering a term as an option.

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