Savannah Elementary

Denton ISD students perform for other students during a celebration last week at Savannah Elementary School. The school district will make face masks optional for all beginning June 1.

Denton ISD and North Central Texas College were some of the last local government entities to announce major overhauls to mask policies before the governor issued an order Tuesday ending mask ordinances for local schools and governments.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, in his newest executive order early Tuesday afternoon, declared that nearly all government entities cannot have mask mandates beginning May 21.

Public schools will be allowed to enforce their mask mandates through June 4 only, and Abbott carved out exceptions for state supported living centers, government-owned hospitals and jails.

Local governments that impose mask mandates after May 21 will be subject to a $1,000 fine.

Roughly an hour before that order was signed, Denton ISD sent all district employees notice that facial coverings would become optional for all students, employees and visitors beginning June 1, which is two weekdays after the last day of class on May 27.

“District leaders are still in the process of analyzing the guidelines for contact tracing and specific cleaning measures, and any further updates to those protocols will be posted later,” according to the email sent to Denton ISD employees.

NCTC, on the other hand, eliminated outdoor mask requirements following a Board of Regents vote Monday evening.

A series of other changes will go into effect on May 24 at NCTC campuses:

  • The indoor mask requirement will drop.
  • Visitors will be allowed back on campus.
  • Water fountains will be turned back on.
  • Employees can share work items.
  • Elevator occupancy limits will be lifted.

Current cleaning protocols will remain in place.

University of North Texas officials announced Friday that several similar changes would go into effect June 1.

MARSHALL REID can be reached at 940-566-6862 and via Twitter at @MarshallKReid.

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