Galveston County won’t make masks mandatory, judge says

GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas — People who live in Galveston County won’t be required to wear masks or face coverings, Judge Mark Henry announced on Wednesday.

In a Facebook post, Henry said the county will not be issuing orders that require residents to wear the masks or face coverings in public.

“America was built upon the fabric of individual liberty and freedom,” wrote Henry. “It’s important now more than ever that we stress personal responsibility. Covering your face while in public is being recommended by national and local health authorities. While we encourage that you consider these recommendations for your own safety and the safety of others around you, I will not be mandating it because I believe it is unconstitutional to do so.”

Harris County’s announcement of a mandatory mask order has drawn opposition from community leaders, ranging from how it will be enforced, to how the order should be handled individually.

Judge Lina Hidalgo is slated to make the order official during her briefing at 3 p.m.