Texas Becomes Largest State to Lift Mask Mandate
Gov. Greg Abbott announced he is lifting the mask mandate in the state of Texas as well as allowing businesses to reopen to 100% capacity. He announced the changes in a press conference on March 2 in Lubbock, TX.
The new rules will go into effect March 10.
“With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus,” said Governor Abbott.
“We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent. Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed.”
Gov. Abbott’s announcement comes as hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are beginning to drop. As of March 1, 6.57% of Texans had received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
Abbott also announced in the press conference that 5.7 million vaccine shots have been administered in the state, and 10 million Texans have recovered from coronavirus.
Texas has the third highest number of coronavirus related deaths in the U.S., preceded by New York and California.
“Removing state mandates does not end personal responsibility and caring for your family members, friends and others in your community,” Abbott said.
“People and businesses don’t need the state telling them how to operate.”
Abbott understands that lifting the mandate and opening to 100% capacity could alarm officials of worsening COVID-19 in their communities, but he said his executive order addresses that concern.
“If Covid hospitalizations in any of the 22 hospital regions in Texas rise above 15% of the hospital bed capacity in that region for seven straight days, then a county judge in that region may use Covid mitigation strategies in their county,” Abbott said.
However, a judge can not penalize people who don’t wear masks, nor jail anybody who does not follow coronavirus orders on a county level.