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Judge blocks Gov. Abbott’s order, so El Paso mask mandate is in effect Wednesday

EL PASO, Texas — A judge blocked Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order forbidding mask mandates late Tuesday night, clearing the way for a new mask rule from El Paso's City/County Health Authority to take effect at midnight.

County Court at Law Judge Ruben Morales signed a temporary restraining order after ruling that Abbott exceeded his authority under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975. The restraining order had been requested by the City of El Paso, which filed suit against Abbott earlier in the day.

With the court ruling, El Paso Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza said his countywide indoor mask mandate would take effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. It requires the following:

  • All individuals over the age of two (2), are to wear some form of face covering over their nose and mouth, while in indoor spaces.
  • A face covering may include a variety of options.
  • Parents and guardians of children over the age of two (2) and under the age of ten (10) shall be responsible for appropriately masking children when outside their residence.
  • A face covering is not required on anyone who has trouble breathing, has a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering, or is actively exercising indoors and not within 6 feet of any other individual not from the same household.
  • A person is not required to wear a face covering while the person is consuming food or drink.
  • Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for the Covid-19 vaccination, for maintaining 6-feet social distancing and handwashing, as these remain important steps to slowing the spread of the virus.

Failure to comply with the mask mandate is a misdemeanor crime; violators could face fines of up to $500. The measure will be enforced by both peace officers and code enforcement officers, city officials said.

A copy of the judge's ruling as well as the full Health Authority order signed by Ocaranza can both be viewed below.

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.



    1. Madmike to sue for millions you need money to pay for a lawyer. In the thousands. Money u don’t have idiot. So it’s best for you to stfu! Moron

  1. Damn they went straight for the fines…. people are not even working and you wanna fine $500. The city submits a restraining order against the governor of the state but wants the citizens to follow their orders? Yeah they just look dumb and are wasting tax payer money, you sure the guy and then put a restraining order on him? What happens when another judge or the SCOTX over rules the other judges order? The city council recently approved their own raises and want you to just listen

  2. #10 says if you are broadcasting or giving a speech. I’m broadcasting to FB live or insta or whatever so i don’t have to wear a mask. These will be 911 calls, I’m sure those dispatchers are none too happy. City council make the mandate but I’m sure it’ll be about 2 days before we see videos of them not following the mandate. I think it’s fine cause most people prob won’t, get in someone’s face and see what happens idk

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