Governor Greg Abbott announced he’s lifting the mask mandate in Texas, even with the health advisory warning him not to.
Abbott made the announcement during a Lubbock Chamber of Commerce event where he issued an executive order rescinding most of his earlier executive orders like the mask mandate. Business of any type will be allowed to open 100% beginning March 10.
“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 Texass 100%,” he said.
Abbott said Tuesday 5.7 million vaccine shots have been administered in the state, there is a surplus of personal protective equipment (PPE0 and “ 10 million Texans have recovered from Covid.”
“ 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.”
He said he knows some officials will worry that opening the state 100% will lead to worsening of COVID in their communites, which his executive order addresses that concern.
People who don’t wear masks won’t be penalized.
“ 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.
The mayors of Mission, Houston and Dallas all said they would continue to either encourage mask wearing or require masks in their respective city buildings, despite Abbott’s executive order.