Response to Governor’s Executive Order GA 36 on Face Coverings
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
On May 18, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Executive Order No, GA-36 stating: “No governmental entity, including a county, city, school district, and public health authority, and no government official may require any person to wear a face covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering.” As a state-funded institution, this Executive Order applies to Texas State University.
Pursuant to the Executive Order, effective immediately, masks are no longer required for students, faculty, staff, and visitors at any university facility or event, indoors or outdoors, at Texas State. We have requested clarification from the Governor’s Office if this applies to non-hospital settings where we provide healthcare services, including the Student Health Center and healthcare clinics on our Round Rock Campus.
Mask-wearing is still strongly encouraged, especially for those who are not vaccinated. Numerous scientific studies have proven that wearing a face mask can significantly reduce the transmission of COVID-19. For over a year, our university community has embraced mask-wearing as one of the ways we show one another respect and protect each other. Thank you for your diligence in incorporating this simple and effective precaution into your daily routines for the past year.
Vaccination for COVID-19 is the best way to bring this pandemic to an end. To date, we have distributed 10,380 vaccine doses to students, faculty, and staff, and partnered with Hays County to administer another 4,796 doses of vaccine to Texas State and other community members. We plan to host additional mass vaccine events in the summer and fall. Beginning May 24, the Student Health Center will provide vaccines to students, faculty, and staff through scheduled appointments Monday through Friday.
We intend to keep our classroom capacity limits and in-person large event limits in place through the end of the summer, as previously announced. Our other on-campus health and safety measures remain in place. We continue to promote regular testing for COVID-19, with free testing available on our San Marcos Campus, and weekly random testing of our university community. We will continue to implement the on-campus cleaning and disinfecting protocols and will use the Bobcat Trace reporting system to initiate contact tracing to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.
As the COVID-19 situation improves, and as vaccines become more readily available, it is still important to remain vigilant in practicing the prevention measures that have protected us throughout this pandemic. We still recommend face coverings, social distancing, and good hand hygiene. Stay healthy and safe, Bobcats.
Denise M. Trauth