No More Mask Mandates in Texas; Governor Abbott Overhauls COVID Policy
The COVID-19 global pandemic has been a wild ride, to say the least. It wasn't all that long ago that people were forced to shelter in place and lockdown. Some states (including Texas) were closing their borders to out of state travelers. A lot has happened over the past year and a half.
But, things are finally starting to ease up. Restrictions are being lifted and life is getting back to normal. In fact, after reporting the first day since the start of the pandemic without a death related to COVID, Texas is doing a major overhaul to their COVID policies.
Texas had already lifted most of their COVID restrictions, including the mask mandate in most situations, a moved President Joe Biden called the move 'Neanderthal' like. However, with extreme low numbers across the board, Governor Greg Abbott has issued a new executive order that would prevent Government entities on any level from issuing mask mandates.
According to the new order, counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities or government officials will no longer be allowed to issue mask mandates to the public. In fact, the order specifies that starting on May 21st, any person or government body trying to impose a mask mandate or any COVID restrictions conflicting with Governor Abbott's order is subject to a $1000 fine.
Starting on June 4th, students, teachers, parents, staff and visitors will no longer be required to wear a mask on school campuses.
As with all Government orders, there are some exceptions. Those include state-supported living centers, government-owned or operated hospitals, Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities, Texas Juvenile Justice Department facilities, and county and municipal jails.
Here's what Abbot had to say about the newest executive order:
The Lone Star State continues to defeat COVID-19 through the use of widely-available vaccines, antibody therapeutic drugs, and safe practices utilized by Texans in our communities. Texans, not government, should decide their best health practices, which is why masks will not be mandated by public school districts or government entities. We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans’ liberty to choose whether or not they mask up.
While some people have disagreed with the way that states like Texas and Florida have handled the pandemic, the numbers show that they're no worse off that states that were completely locked down and, arguably, in many cases are in a better position today.