LUBBOCK, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Gov. Greg Abbott made the announcement to lift the mask mandate and open Texas 100%, starting next Wednesday, at Montelongo’s Mexican Restaurant in Lubbock in an address to the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.
Abbott released a statement about Executive Order (GA-34), lifting the mask mandate in Texas and increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100%.
“COVID still exists in Texas and the United States and across the globe, but it is clear from the recoveries, from the vaccinations, from the the reduced hospitalization rates and from the safe practices that Texans are using, that state mandates are no longer needed,” said Gov. Abbott.
This executive order rescinds most of the Governor’s earlier executive orders related to COVID-19. However, there are still some other important details for businesses and people on the High Plains to consider.
Abbott said if the COVID-19 hospitalization rate in any of the 22 hospital regions gets above 15% for seven straight days, a county judge in that region may use COVID-19 mitigation strategies. However, County Judges may not impose jail time or other penalties for failing to wear a face mask. If restrictions are imposed at the county level, the restrictions may not include reducing capacity to less than 50% for any entity.
Texas Senator Kel Seliger put out a statement on Facebook Tuesday addressing the continued use of masks by Texans.
Governor Abbott went on the say during his announcement, “With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus,” said Governor Abbott. “We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent. Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed. Today’s announcement does not abandon safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year. Instead, it is a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal safety and the safety of others. With this executive order, we are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny.”
Abbott noted that 5.7 million vaccinations have been administered and the state is administering almost 1 million shots each week, according to Abbott.
Abbott said every senior who wants a vaccine should be able to get one.
Abbott continued saying Texas has a surplus of P.P.E, and has the capability to perform 100,000 COVID-19 tests a day.
The City of Amarillo said in a statement today, “The City of Amarillo is currently reviewing Governor Abbott’s latest executive order to ensure our operations follow all state requirements and guidance related to COVID-19. We will continue to work closely with the governor, the Amarillo healthcare community, and the entire Amarillo community to ensure we can continue our recovery from the COVID pandemic.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick also issued a statement regarding Governor Abbott’s announcement reopening Texas, “the Texas economy is coming back stronger than ever and Governor Greg Abbott’s announcement today will help us restore the livelihoods of millions of Texas even faster. Texas has proved what I have said throughout this long year of the pandemic — we can do two things at once — maintain our economy and fight COVID-19. Today, Texas is one step closer to a return to normalcy.”
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