Despite COVID variants spreading all over the country, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has decided to open the state and end the mandate that requires residents to wear masks in public settings.
At a March 2 press conference, Governor Abbott said, “Too many Texans have been sidelined from employment opportunities. Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills. This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100%.”
According to Johns Hopkins University, as of March 1 only 6.57% of Texans have been fully vaccinated.
In a statement to CNN, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said, “Every time public health measures have been pulled back, we’ve seen a spike in hospitalizations… Now is not the time to reverse the gains we’ve worked so hard to achieve, 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.”
Additionally, Mississippi is also opening at 100 percent with no mask mandate starting today (March 3). Only 7.6%of Mississippians are fully vaccinated, according to NPR.
For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.