WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced on Tuesday that his state will end the mask mandate and businesses can reopen “100 percent” next week.
- Abbott made the decision following Texas’ increasing inoculation schemes, COVID testings, and treatments, as well as decreases in daily new infections.
- Amid the declaration, the governor advised the public to remain vigilant in observing the health guidance.
During Tuesday’s press conference, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that Texas will end its statewide mandate and businesses can fully reopen by next week.
“For nearly a half a year, most businesses have been open either 75 percent or 50 percent and during that time too many Texans have been sidelined from employment opportunities. Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills. This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100 percent,” Abbott said.
“So today, I am issuing a new executive order that rescinds most of the earlier executive orders…effective next Wednesday, all businesses of any type are allowed to open 100 percent.”
The governor also added that he’s “ending the statewide mask mandate.”
During the press briefing, Abbott bragged about the increasing vaccination efforts, treatments, COVID testings, as well as the declines in new cases to back his new declaration.’
Currently, over 5.7 million doses were given to Texans and are expected to go up to 7 million next week. The governor said that they had a record high of 216,000 administered vaccines on Tuesday. He also touted that majority of the elderly will get the shots by next week and the entire group would be vaccinated by the end of March.
While he lifts the restrictions, Abbott noted that state residents still need to be accountable for following public health guidance to mitigate the virus. He said that establishments are free to choose whether they would enforce safety precautions or limit their in-house capacity.
The announcement came as new COVID-19 infections have been halted to about 70,000 daily cases after a significant decrease.
On Monday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky expressed worries over the interruption of declining cases as states continue to reopen amid new COVID-19 strains.
“With these new statistics, I am really worried about reports that more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from COVID-19,” she said during a White House COVID-19 briefing. “Please hear me clearly: At this level of cases with variants spreading we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained. These variants are a very real threat to our people and our progress.”
Source: The Hill