By Staff

AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – A Texas judge is allowing the City of Austin to continue to require face coverings in local businesses weeks after Gov. Greg Abbott ended a statewide mask mandate and other COVID-19 safety measures.

The ruling Friday, March 26, by state District Judge Lora Livingston was at least a temporary victory for local leaders in the state capital who have clashed with Gov. Abbott over his handling of the pandemic.

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Earlier this month, Texas became the biggest state to drop COVID-19 restrictions.

“This push to continue masking has never been about laws and enforcement, it’s about communicating a culture of common decency and concern for one another,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said.

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who sued the city over the mandate, did not immediately react to the ruling, although an appeal is likely.

The roughly 3,400 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Texas are the lowest numbers since October.

On Monday, March 29, Texas will begin making all adults eligible for the vaccine.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) Staff