UPDATED: 8:58 A.M. ET, Mar 3rd, 2021 —
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has lifted all COVID-19 restrictions along with ending the state’s mask mandate, welcoming all visitors with or without the virus.
It has officially been one year since COVID-19 shut down the world and ended normal life as we know it. The death toll is passing 500,000 and the emotional toll is still rising every day. People have lost loved ones, jobs, and almost everything that gave them a reason to get up in the morning. Even with vaccines rolling out, restrictions are still in place to try and keep everyone safe and stop unnecessary casualties.
For some reason, Governor Greg Abbott over in Texas thinks it’s all a game and is lifting every restriction in place to battle COVID-19 in his state, including the mask mandate. This comes only weeks after a massive power outage in Texas that forced people to end social distancing to huddle together in the warmest environment they could find.
Yesterday, 1,566 Americans died of COVID-19 and hospitalization hit the lowest number since November 1, 2020, but this move in Texas could bring an end to the downward trend. The Lone Star state still has a ways to go before normalcy can be restored. According to the Texas Tribune, COVID-19 infections continue to surge in the state, averaging “over 200 reported deaths a day over the last week.” The Governor added that only if COVID-19 hospitalization rates rise above 15% for “seven straight days” that he would then considering issuing “mitigation strategies” to subdue the rate of infection, but the plan seems daring.
Unsurprisingly, many Texas state officials are now slamming Abbott for the premature move. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said that the Governor needs to focus on the “science.”
“We need to focus not on what the governor tells you the law allows, but what doctors and the facts and the science that we all know well at this point tell us is necessary to keep us safe and give us our best chance of reaching herd immunity as quickly as possible,” Jenkins explained.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price urged the Governor to open more vaccination sites for Texas citizens.
“I am calling on Gov. Abbott to open up additional vaccine tier categories so that more people are eligible to get a vaccine if they want one,” Price said in a statement. “As the state’s directive has changed, so must our response. Now, more than ever, vaccines and testing must be readily available.”
With Texas being 100% open, this opens the door for travelers to flock to the area in an effort to getaway. Hopefully, everyone will stay as safe as possible despite the restrictions being lifted.