Governor Abbott lifts mask mandate and opens Texas to 100 percent. Mandate in Texas and increase the capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to. Health Care · Special Advisory Council · Economic Revitalization · Education. Greg Abbott has announced that the state will pause any further reopening of its economy for now, a day after he said Texas is facing a massive coronavirus outbreak.
Even so, he said, “State mandates are no longer necessary because advanced treatments are already available to people with Covid-19, the state can test large numbers of people for the virus every day, and 5.7 million vaccines have already been administered to Texans. Although conditions in the state and nation have improved due to a large increase during the holidays, the coronavirus is still spreading rapidly in Texas. If hospitalizations for COVID-19 in any of Texas' 22 hospital regions exceed 15% of hospital bed capacity in that region for seven straight days, a county judge in that region can use COVID-19 mitigation strategies. Texas Medical Center in Houston said Tuesday that 97% of its ICU beds were occupied and that 27% of those patients were people who had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Abbott's announcement Monday came as the number of coronavirus cases in Texas reached at least 25,297, including 663 deaths, according to the latest figures from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Nearly 90,000 Texans filed for unemployment last week, NPR member station KUT reported about 5,480 fewer new claims than the previous week. Abbott's press conference on Monday marked his second announcement regarding the restart of the Texas economy amid the pandemic. Texas was one of the first states to begin the reopening process and many businesses are up and running once again.
Texas said Tuesday it was lifting its mask requirement and would allow businesses to fully reopen, the broadest step by any state to lift coronavirus restrictions, as Americans across the country are eager to get out after a year of isolation in the pandemic. Texas's move, with its 29 million residents, goes beyond similar actions in other states and cities that are quick to reduce as many limits as they can. Greg Abbott, of Texas, said Tuesday that he was ending his mask mandate statewide, starting March 10, and that all businesses in the state could then operate without capacity limits. In San Antonio, fan availability fell below 70% for the first time Wednesday, Texas Public Radio reported.
Abbott's new order comes as questions persist about Texas' low level of testing and what is being done to increase capacity. Even so, the total number of tests conducted as of Monday 290,517 was still approximately 1% of Texas' nearly 29 million inhabitants. Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order (GA-3) that lifts the mask mandate in Texas and increases the capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100 percent.