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Gov. Abbott to lift mask mandate, other Texas virus restrictions on March 10

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Gov. Greg Abbott will end Texas' statewide mask mandate and allow all businesses to reopen at full capacity as of next Wednesday, March 10.

"It is now time to open Texas 100%," Abbott said at a news conference Tuesday. "People and businesses don’t need the state telling them how to operate any longer."

"Covid has not suddenly disappeared," he added. "But it is clear from the recoveries, from the vaccinations, from the reduced hospitalizations, and from the safe practices that Texas are using, that state mandates are no longer needed."

Abbott's latest executive order is effective March 10, overriding a previous executive order on business restrictions issued in October. Meanwhile, the state's mask mandate has been in effect since the summer — and Texans (88%) had grown widely comfortable with it, according to polling from the University of Texas and Texas Tribune.

Businesses may still limit capacity or implement safety protocols at their own discretion, Abbott said, adding that there is nothing stopping businesses from requiring employees or customers to wear masks.

He also urged Texans to still exercise "personal vigilance" in navigating the pandemic. "It's just that now state mandates are no longer needed," he explained.

The new order does indicate that if hospitalization rates in an area exceeds 15% bed capacity for seven days, county judges would have the authority to re-implement local restrictions, according to Abbott.

However, Abbott specified that "under no circumstance" can a county judge jail someone for not following their orders. They also cannot impose penalties for failure to wear a mask. And if local restrictions are triggered, businesses still must be allowed to operate at 50% capacity at the minimum.

Health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have cautioned against states reopening too quickly. At a White House briefing recently, Fauci warned against easing restrictions until the U.S. baseline average of new infections is lower.

"We have to carefully look at what happens over the next week or so with those numbers, before you start making the understandable need to relax on certain restrictions," Fauci said. "Watch it closely, and be prepared to react according to what actually happens.”

As of Tuesday, Texas had reported 2.6 million infections and 43,918 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

During his announcement, Abbott touted the state's positivity rate as being "under 9%," but that is still nearly double the 5% threshold recommended by the World Health Organization.

While Abbott also voiced optimism that vaccinations will accelerate soon, so far in Texas there is 6.8% of the population that has received both doses of the vaccine. That is lower than the national average of 7.9%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Texas will become the most populous state in the country not to have a mask mandate. More than 30 states currently have one in place.

The absence of statewide restrictions should not be a signal to Texans to stop wearing masks, social distancing, and doing other things to keep the virus from spreading, said Dr. John Carlo, a member of the Texas Medical Association’s Covid-19 task force.

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Comments

52 Comments

    1. Then why don’t you carry your leftist ass to New Mexico? Oh, that’s right, you can’t leave without your parole officer’s permission.

    1. That’s not a problem. It will be your decision. Not scooby doo doo or alberto or anyone. I can only respect your decision. As I know you will respect mine.

      1. Hey Nado, they are placing a migrant children center near to your home. Now your offspring can feel comfortable. Is that where your interracial affairs began?

    1. You are so right. It doesn’t make a bit of difference if you wear a mask or not in any of those states. No scientific basis for anyone to wear a mask other than the demoKKKrats wanting to control people in their daily lives.

      1. last time i saw madmike riding his sportster harley with his thing behind him i thought the circus was practicing in the coliseum for the next show. A harley riding beluga. aka. avalanche

    1. I know someone with asthma that will still wear a mask in public for the time being. She’s not a “pussy biatch” as with her martial arts training I bet she could kick your ass until you cried. But, you half-witted and uneducated mouth breathers that equate wearing a mask with weakness are generally too stupid to understand things like that.

  1. People are realizing that science, Fauci and the CDC ate dimwits that got nothing right. Over a year of masks and tape lines on the floor HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH OMG TOO FUNNY

  2. It might have been a very risky good idea but for the emergence of the variants. Most intelligent people will continue to social distance and wear masks. Most folks will not patronize business that do not require masks and distancing. Hopefully madmike272 and his sidekick nadodave will not wear masks and will frequent places that have no mask requirements. I strongly urge them to do so.

    1. If they do and catch the China Virus they can just ask their doctor for hydroxychloriquin, zinc, vitamin D and Z pack and be just fine. Proven effective.

          1. A**jason, you really shouldn’t type while drunk because as you can’t hide how much of a moron you are. You are an absolute moron and you completely fit the profile of a Trumptard.

          2. 🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴🐴. TONDO SOME REEASRXH HCQ WORKS, y’all!! Jason says! HICKUP! HICKUP! Oh, excuse me!! Ma moonshine is stronga than a’thought!

          3. I think I’ll listen to the doctors if you don’t mind. They have already turned in the verdict on the hcq.

          1. That’s the guy who is the SO you idiots are always talking about. I live far south of there near Country Club and Montoya.

          1. Mad/foreman, you really should keep your tranny/anal fixation to yourself. I guess that’s how you’re spending your free time now that you can’t rip off the government under the build the wall pretense.

          2. The Turner you’re worried about lives off of North Loop in the Lower Valley. He’s the one you should REALLY worry about from what I learned recently.

        1. I have no idea who Alex Jones is. Is he a doctor? Doctors all across the country are using it. It doesn’t do anything for late infections but if treated early it’s working.

          1. Its never worked to treat covid. Doctors using it to treat covid would lose their license.

      1. Don’t forget Bleach cocktails and Ultraviolet baths😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 100% effective because Granny maga has proven that it works.

    2. Charlie, you are absolutely right!! None of these Trumpturds have a fraction of intelligence. It’s impossible for self-righteous pricks to be able to think outside of the box. They will stop wearing the masks and essentially dig their own graves. Good F-ing Riddance to all of them!!!

      1. Agreed Mia!! Covid deniers, Please listen to Hot Wheels Abbot!! Don’t wear a mask, go to Bars, feed your face at the nearest diner, and let your White Nationalist flag fly. It’s your right to die by Covid19 if you want to. Just don’t expect anybody to send flowers to your funeral. Just make sure they bury you deeper than 6 feet in the ground so your dead bag of bones doesn’t infect anybody else.

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