Texas will become the first state in the US to officially open up to 100% by government mandate, made by Gov. Greg Abbott this afternoon. According to Gov. Abbott’s press release, nearly “5.7 million vaccine shots have been administered to Texas, and the state is now administering almost one million shots each week.” Texas has a population of approximately 29 million according to 2019 data, so the whole state could potentially be vaccinated by the end of the month if they keep on track.
Writes Statesman, “Abbott’s new order will allow all businesses to expand their occupancy rates to 100%. However, county officials may use ‘COVID mitigation strategies’ if coronavirus hospitalizations rise above 15% of an area’s total bed capacity for seven straight days.”
NEW: Issuing an executive order to lift the mask mandate and open Texas to 100 percent.
NEW: Issuing an executive order to lift the mask mandate and open Texas to 100 percent. pic.twitter.com/P4UywmWeuN
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 2, 2021
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 3, 2021
Despite the advantages of vaccines, many feel it’s premature to open the state up. Journalist David Gura noted that current COVID numbers (new cases) are higher now, even if only slightly, than when Gov. Abbott first announced a mask mandate last July. When Gov. Greg Abbott announced a statewide mask mandate, I was on a reporting trip to Houston. On that Thursday, July 2nd, there were 7,434 new #COVID19 cases in #Texas, and 44 deaths. Yesterday, there were 8,140 cases and 129 deaths.
When Gov. Greg Abbott announced a statewide mask mandate, I was on a reporting trip to Houston.
Yesterday, there were 8,140 cases and 129 deaths.
— David Gura (@davidgura) March 2, 2021
— David Gura (@davidgura) March 3, 2021
Still, the decision is sure to please many who, rightfully or not, are tired of lockdown and are looking to get back to events. Ubbi Dubbi is scheduled to take place April 24-25 at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis just a half hour outside Dallas. Camping will also be available. The event doesn’t feature any COVID-19 safety information on their website, but does include a COVID-19 waiver and release: “By purchasing tickets, you acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19 and voluntarily assume the risk that you may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19 by attending the event and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, disability, and death.”
via Statesman | Photo via Rukes.com