Updated March 3, 2021 at 5:58 AM CT

Texas to end to mask mandate, businesses open to 100%

        Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that the mask mandate and the restriction on businesses’ capacity will officially be lifted next Wednesday, March 10. Businesses in Texas will reopen at full capacity. No masks. No social distancing. Roughly 6.5% of Texans had been fully vaccinated as of Sunday.

“This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100%,” Abbott announced in Lubbock. “Everybody that wants to work should have that opportunity. Every business that wants to open, should be open.”

Abbott declared that all seniors will be vaccinated by April 1. 

“By next Wednesday, over half of our seniors will have received a vaccine shot,” Abbott said. “And by the end of this month, every senior who wants a vaccine shot will be able to get a vaccine shot.

“Despite these changes, remember this: removing the state mandates does not end personal responsibility,” Abbott said. “Or the importance of caring for your family members or caring for your friends and caring for your community.”

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo childishly accused Abbott of lifting restrictions to distract from the winter storm disaster. She called the governor’s action “an unacceptable and dangerous proposition” that puts Texans at risk.

“Now is not the time to reverse the gains we’ve worked so hard to achieve. At best, today’s decision is wishful thinking. At worst, it is a cynical attempt to distract Texans from the failures of state oversight of our power grid,” Hidalgo said.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Dr. David Persse with the Houston Health Department said Gov. Abbott’s announcement puts the public at even greater risk.

“I’m at a bit of a loss for words,” Dr. Persse said. “Let’s remember that somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 percent of the people who are infected have no symptoms and have no idea they are spreading it.”

Worldwide, coronavirus deaths have fallen each of the last three weeks. The number of new cases worldwide has fallen for the sixth consecutive week.

 Dr. Anthony Fauci figures May or early June as a window for when most Americans could have access to vaccines. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said returning students to in-person learning amid the coronavirus pandemic is “not an easy issue,” but it will happen. That means that our return to normal is much closer that we thought. 

Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson says it will be able to provide 20 million U.S. doses of its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine by the end of March. The company reiterated that it will have the capacity to provide 100 million vaccine doses to the U.S. by the end of June. 

Like Texas, much of the country will soon be lifting restrictions on social distancing, gathering, and masking. Pre-pandemic norms will soon return to churches, restaurants, sports, theater, and cultural events. We’ll be able to gather with our friends and family and not have a sense of fear.

This summer could be the summer of love. Summer is safer than winters during the pandemic because people spend more time outdoors, our activity level is higher, and UV light is good for your immune system.

Life expectancy in the United States is now a year shorter than before COVID-19. We’ve lost over 500,000 lives. Much more than any other country. The coronavirus is not going to disappear this summer, but cases will drop, and restrictions will lift in many places. Normalcy is around the corner, friends, but don’t let your guard down just yet.



Ran DeBord - All Access Sporting News

 Follow @AASNSports on Twitter, or me, @RanDeBord

Attributes: AASNSports; WHO; FDA; StateOfTexas


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