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Texas Governor lifts mask mandate

2021-03-02T23:34:33.218Z

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he will lift the mask mandate, even as health officials warn that safety restrictions should not be eased.



Biden to distribute 25 million masks across the US 1:06

(CNN) -

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he will lift the state's mask-wearing mandate, even as health officials warn that safety restrictions should not be eased.

Abbott, a Republican, made the announcement during a Lubbock Chamber of Commerce event where he issued an executive order that struck down most of his previous executive orders, such as the mask-wearing mandate.

Also announced Tuesday, Abbott said companies of any type of business will be able to open 100% starting March 10.

“Too many Texans have been sidelined from job opportunities.

Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills.

This must end.

Now is the time to open Texas 100%, "he said.

Abbott's announcement comes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to decline across the country.

However, health experts say that relaxing restrictions now could lead to another increase, especially with the spread of the variants.

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In the past year, Texans "mastered daily habits to avoid contracting COVID-19," Abbott said.

As of Monday, 6.57% of Texans have been fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Abbott himself said Tuesday that 5.7 million vaccines have been administered in the state, there is a surplus of personal protective equipment (PPE) and "10 million Texans have recovered from covid."

"Eliminating 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 to tell them how to operate."

Abbott said it knows some officials will be concerned that opening the state to 100% will lead to a worsening of COVID-19 in their communities.

He says his decree addresses that concern.

“If covid hospitalizations in any of the 22 hospital regions in Texas exceed 15% of hospital bed capacity in that region for seven days in a row, a county judge in that region may use covid mitigation strategies in their county, ”Abbott said.

However, at the county level, a judge cannot jail anyone for not following COVID-19 orders and no sanctions can be imposed on people who do not wear masks, Abbott said.

"If restrictions are imposed at the county level, all entities must be able to operate at least 50% of their capacity," he said.

Texas joins 12 other states that have no mask requirements.

CNN's Chris Boyette, Carma Hassan, and Leslie Perrot contributed to this report.

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Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-03-02

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