This Governor Just Lifted COVID Lockdown 100%
This week, multiple top experts—including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm, Ph.D., MPH, have warned against states and individuals easing up on restrictions and COVID-19 prevention measures. Why? Because cases of COVID-19 will likely surge again due to the new, more highly infectious variants rapidly spreading around the country, which could happen within the next few weeks. However, on Tuesday, one governor has opted to lift all state COVID restrictions. Read on to find out who and where—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Gov. Greg Abbott Lifted the Statewide Mask Mandate and Allowed 100% of Businesses to Open
On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he was lifting the statewide mask mandate and allowing all Texas businesses to reopen at full capacity, which will start going into effect March 10. "This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100 percent," he announced at an event in Lubbock. "Everybody that wants to work should have that opportunity. Every business that wants to open, should be open."
His reasoning? That three COVID-19 vaccines are now available, and hospitalization rates have decreased along with infection rates. According to one report, only 6.5% of Texans had been fully vaccinated as of Sunday.
Some local health experts aren't supportive of the decision, with Houston Health Authority Dr. David Persse declaring "this would absolutely not be a good time to do that," on Monday. "We are seeing the UK variant is increasing."
Gov. Abbott Says People Should Still Be Responsible but No Mandate is Required
"Removing state mandates does not end personal responsibility," Abbott cautioned. "Personal vigilance to follow the safe standards is still needed to contain COVID. It's just that now state mandates are no longer needed."
The challenge at this point is, "getting people to take the measures now, before the virus gets here," Osterholm said on Tuesday. "If you look at what happened in Europe, those countries have been in lockdown, complete lockdown, for almost a month and a half, just to try to control this particular virus variant. We're going to find ourselves in a very similar situation in the weeks ahead." He likened what is to come to a tropical storm. "We're opening up everything—and I understand why—people see the case numbers coming down. But this is like a hurricane that has been coming at us for the past weeks. Now it's still 150 miles off shore, but it's going to make shore and soon."
How to Stay Safe During This Pandemic
Follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.