COVID-19 related signs are posted to the entrance to Ott Elementary School in San Antonio last week. Credit: Allie Goulding/The Texas Tribune

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After the state’s highest civil court nullified a mask mandate in San Antonio this weekend, a Bexar County judge ruled Monday that local officials can proceed with requiring face coverings in public schools.

“My thoughts continue to be with those children in our schools that don’t have access to the vaccine, but must attend school, coupled with the dire situation right here in Bexar County hospitals, and where we currently find ourselves,” State District Judge Antonia Arteaga said in making her ruling.

The new temporary injunction is part of an ongoing legal challenge to Gov. Greg Abbott’s statewide ban on mask mandates that the Texas Supreme Court allowed to continue Sunday when it also overruled previous moves by lower courts that had also cleared the way for local mandates.

Officials in San Antonio and Bexar County last week successfully sued Abbott for the right to enact their own mask mandate. Upon winning, they quickly put one in place for public schools — a requirement soon replicated by three of the state’s other largest counties.

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