GEORGETOWN, Texas - The Williamson County Justice Center has announced that all individuals, including the public and employees, attending a court proceeding at the Justice Center are requested to wear masks. Judges, at their discretion, may require masks to be worn in their courtroom according to revisions to the COVID Operating Plan for the Williamson County Justice Center.
Williamson County says individuals coming to the Justice Center for other business, such as visiting the County Clerk’s or District Clerk’s office, will not be required to wear masks. This clarification was necessary given the unique circumstance that the Williamson County Justice Center is a facility shared by multiple elected officials.
The ability to require masks within courtrooms is allowed under Governor Greg Abbott’s order. The Courts are unique in that the judicial system is a separate branch of government. The Supreme Court of Texas has the authority to make rules of administration applicable to the courts.
"Red" reflects an uncontrolled community spread of COVID-19 in Williamson County.
"This action is being undertaken based on the recommendation of the Williamson County Local Health Authority. Their guidance is that the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is through vaccination and that, beyond vaccination, the best way to further mitigate risk is through face covering and social distancing," Williamson County Courts explained in a press release.
"We are aware of the governor’s recent order regarding mask mandates and Governor Abbott‘s executive orders have been considered in making these very important decisions," explains Williamson County Courts. The Courts are unique in that the judicial system is a separate branch of government. The Supreme Court of Texas has general responsibility for the efficient administration of the Texas judicial system and the authority to make rules of administration applicable to the courts. The Office of Court Administration has specifically determined that previously issued executive orders do not alter the Supreme Court’s emergency order, the ability of a judge to control his or her courtroom, or judiciary-imposed requirements for those entering a court building who will be attending a court proceeding."
This directive will be revisited when the COVID risk phase changes.
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