On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order restricting governmental systems in Texas, such as counties, school districts and government officials, from requiring face masks.
The order said public schools may continue to follow current face mask guidelines through June 4. After that day, no student, teacher, parent, staff member or visitor can be required to wear a face mask while on campus.
Several school districts and colleges in the Coastal Bend acknowledged the governor’s order and announced their plans for the future.
CORPUS CHRISTI ISD
In accordance with Abbott’s order, CCISD announced Thursday the district will no longer require face masks on district properties starting June 4 at 11:59 p.m. The change will apply to all students, staff and visitors.
CCISD said anyone who prefers to continue wearing a mask is welcome to do so.
With graduation ceremonies taking place May 21 and 22 and June 4 and 5 at the American Bank Center and Selena Auditorium, the district is encouraging all to wear masks while attending. Seating limitations will remain in place due to the center’s safety policies.
CCISD said it continues to encourage staff, families and students age 12 and older to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
DEL MAR COLLEGE
Starting Friday, Del Mar College will no longer require face masks at any location. The college still encourages students, employees and guests to continue health and safety practices such as social distancing and face masks.
Additionally, DMC has now entered its Return-to-Campus Phase III. The phase is focused to provide support required to open the college to students and corporate training clients, apply restricted access for events and gatherings and transition remaining workforce.
Standard employee operations will resume and students are able to return in adherence with county and state guidelines. DMC is planning to offer a variety of learning environments including online, hybrid and face-to-face. Social distancing and college health and safety guidelines will be followed.
For more information about Phase III, visit delmar.edu/rtc/phase-three.html.
The district announced Tuesday it is aware of Abbott’s executive order and will continue to follow face mask wearing safety protocols until June 4.
Students, teachers, parents, staff members and visitors will be required to wear a face mask while on campus or attending school functions.
On Tuesday, the district’s board of trustees voted to lift the face mask mandate after the school year ends June 3.
For summer school and the 2021-2022 school year, Sinton ISD will return to face-to-face instruction with face masks being optional to students, staff and visitors. At this time, the district does not plan to offer a remote learning option for the 2021-2022 school year.
TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-CORPUS CHRISTI
The institution announced Friday face masks and vaccinations are encouraged, but no longer required on its campus.
TAMUCC said if students, staff or visitors are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 they should not be on campus. COVID-19 testing remains available on campus and contact tracing, and quarantining protocols for those who have not received vaccinations, remain in effect.
The campus will continue to hold scheduled clinics for COVID-19 vaccines for those not vaccinated yet. TAMUCC said it recommends continuing practicing healthy habits including physical distancing where possible, wearing a face covering over your nose and mouth if you are not vaccinated and remaining home when sick.
For more information about how the college is handling COVID-19, visit tamucc.edu/campus-guide/student-return-to-campus-guide.
TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-KINGSVILLE
On Monday, TAMUK announced the use of face masks is no longer required on the campus effective immediately.
Individuals wishing to continue to wear face coverings may do so, the institution said. Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to continue to wear face coverings to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Oliva covers education and community news in South Texas. Consider supporting local journalism with a subscription to the Caller-Times.