'We have no choice': Texas' largest county issues school mask guidance — defying Republican governor
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo (YouTube).

On Thursday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who oversees the largest county in Texas, announced that Houston-area schools will be put under an order requiring masks — directly defying Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who issued a directive blocking local governments from enacting such orders.

"Pediatric COVID-19 cases are at all-time highs in Texas, and most schools haven't even started yet," wrote Hidalgo on Twitter, explaining the decision. "We have no choice."

Harris County joins several other large counties in Texas in defying Abbott's orders, including Dallas County and Travis County, which includes Austin. Abbott has already filed a legal challenge to the mandate in Dallas.

Texas has among the worst rates of COVID-19 in the nation. 40 percent of all new cases in the United States are in Texas or Florida.