1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

Texas Governor Abbott lifts masks order & allows businesses to open to 100% capacity

Discussion in 'Other Legal Issues' started by army judge, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. army judge

    army judge Law Topic Starter Super Moderator

    Messages:
    33,000
    Likes Received:
    5,229
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Jurisdiction:
    Texas
    govabbott.jpg

    Beloved, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has ended the statewide mask mandate and rescinded all orders limiting business occupancy levels that were issued during the pandemic.

    Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference to address small business and community leaders in Lubbock on Tuesday.

    Abbott said most businesses have been open with limits during the pandemic and "too many Texans have been sidelines from employment opportunities, too many have struggled to pay bills."

    "It is now time to open Texas 100 percent," Abbott said.

    Abbott said Texas is in a different place then when he issued orders last year, with PPE, COVID tests and therapeutic drugs to treat COVID.

    He said most Texans know how to avoid getting COVID now in comparison to last year, and we now have vaccines.

    Nearly 5.7 million vaccine shots have been administered to Texans, and the state is now administering almost one million shots each week, according to Abbott.

    He said over half of our seniors will have received vaccine shots by next week.

    "Importantly, the number of vaccines will continue to increase rapidly," Abbott said. Texas will soon expand the categories of who can get the vaccine, according to the governor.

    Abbott said the number of active COVID-19 cases is the lowest since November. According to Abbott, the state is under a 9% positivity rate.

    "State mandates are no longer needed," Abbott said.

    Today, Abbott is issuing a new order effective next Wednesday rescinding most of his previous orders related to COVID-19.

    Effective next Wednesday, all businesses of any type may open to 100% capacity.

    Additionally, this order ends the statewide mask mandate in Texas.

    Businesses may still limit capacity or implement additional safety protocols at their own discretion.


    Governor Abbott has ended the statewide mask mandate and rescinded all orders limiting business occupancy levels that were issued during the pandemic.

    Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference to address small business and community leaders in Lubbock on Tuesday.

    Abbott said most businesses have been open with limits during the pandemic and "too many Texans have been sidelines from employment opportunities, too many have struggled to pay bills."

    "It is now time to reopen Texas to 100 percent capacity," Abbott said.

    Abbott said Texas is in a different place then when he issued orders last year, with PPE, COVID tests and therapeutic drugs to treat COVID.

    He said most Texans know how to avoid getting COVID now in comparison to last year, and we now have vaccines.

    Nearly 5.7 million vaccine shots have been administered to Texans, and the state is now administering almost one million shots each week, according to Abbott.

    He said over half of our seniors will have received vaccine shots by next week.

    "Importantly, the number of vaccines will continue to increase rapidly," Abbott said. Texas will soon expand the categories of who can get the vaccine, according to the governor.

    Abbott said the number of active COVID-19 cases is the lowest since November. According to Abbott, the state is under a 9% positivity rate.

    "State mandates are no longer needed," Abbott said.

    Today, Abbott is issuing a new order effective next Wednesday rescinding most of his previous orders related to COVID-19.

    Effective next Wednesday, all businesses of any type may open to 100% capacity.

    Additionally, this order ends the statewide mask mandate in Texas.

    Businesses may still limit capacity or implement additional safety protocols at their own discretion.

    "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."

    If COVID-19 hospitalizations in any of the 22 hospital regions in Texas get above 15% of the hospital bed capacity in that region for seven straight days, a County Judge in that region may use COVID-19 mitigation strategies. However, County Judges may not impose jail time for not following COVID-19 orders nor may any penalties be imposed for failing to wear a face mask.

    If restrictions are imposed at a County level, those restrictions may not include reducing capacity to less than 50% for any type of entity.

    In October, Governor Abbott issued an order adjusting the occupancy levels for businesses to no more than 75% of the total listed occupancy of the establishment. In areas with high hospitalizations, any business establishment that otherwise would have a 75% occupancy or operating limit could only operate at up to only 50%.

    Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order 29 in July of 2020 requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces, with few exceptions, in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases.

    Texas governor lifts masks order; says businesses can open at 100%
     
  2. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    8
    With masks, as I did not read all that?

    Good for him,
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Law Topic Starter Super Moderator

    Messages:
    33,000
    Likes Received:
    5,229
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Masks no longer required by state mandate, but businesses can require masks at their discretion.
     
    hrforme likes this.
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    8,715
    Likes Received:
    2,669
    Trophy Points:
    113

    No more mask requirement in Texas.
     
    army judge likes this.
  5. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Texas, -- "Land of the Free"
     
    army judge likes this.
  6. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

    Messages:
    8,448
    Likes Received:
    1,588
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Soon to be, Land of the Dead.
     
    eerelations and justblue like this.
  7. army judge

    army judge Law Topic Starter Super Moderator

    Messages:
    33,000
    Likes Received:
    5,229
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Just a guess, mind you, but the timing seems to line up with "spring break".

    I'm almost certain the "spring breakers" and town merchants will be as happy and contented as a baby after being "burped".
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Law Topic Starter Super Moderator

    Messages:
    33,000
    Likes Received:
    5,229
    Trophy Points:
    113

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas is lifting its mask mandate, Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday, making it the largest state to no longer require one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

    The announcement in Texas, where the virus has killed more than 42,000 people, rattled doctors and big city leaders who said they are now bracing for another deadly resurgence. One hospital executive in Houston said he told his staff they would need more personnel and ventilators.

    Federal health officials this week urgently warned states to not let their guard down, warning that the pandemic is far from over.

    Abbott, a Republican, has faced sustained criticism from his party in America's biggest red state over the statewide mask mandate — which was imposed eight months ago — as well as business occupancy limits that Texas will also scuttle next week. The mask order was only ever lightly enforced, even during the worst outbreaks of the pandemic.

    “Removing statewide mandates does not end personal responsibility,” said Abbott, speaking from the crowded dining room of a restaurant in Lubbock, surrounded by several people not wearing masks.

    “It’s just that now state mandates are no longer needed,” he said.

    The repeals will take effect March 10.

    The full impact of Texas' reversal was still coming into focus. Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, said he had no immediate plans to change the limits on fans at home games. Their biggest crowd so far this season was about 3,000 spectators.

    Restaurant owners began confronting whether they, too, would relax COVID-19 safeguards in their dining rooms. And school administrators scrambled to figure out how the end of the mask mandate would impact the state's 5 million public school students.

    “While we’ve made significant progress, I’d hate to have that go away,” said Tinku Saini, the CEO of Tarka Indian Kitchen, which has locations across Texas. He said Abbott's announcement left him with mixed feelings, and that he would now allow customers to go maskless but still require face coverings for staff and keep tables spread apart.

    Abbott joins a growing number of governors across the U.S. who are easing coronavirus restrictions. Like the rest of the country, Texas has seen the number of cases and deaths plunge. Hospitalizations are at the lowest levels since October, and the seven-day rolling average of positive tests has dropped to about 7,600 cases, down from more than 10,000 in mid-February.

    Only California and New York have reported more COVID-19 deaths than Texas.

    “Absolutely reckless,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, tweeted in response to Abbott’s announcement.

    Texas is doing away with the restrictions just ahead of the spring break holiday, which health experts worry could lead to more spread as people travel.

    “The fact that things are headed in the right direction doesn't mean we have succeeded in eradicating the risk," said Dr. Lauren Ancel Meyers, a professor of integrative biology and director of the University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium.

    She said the recent deadly winter freeze in Texas that left millions of people without power — forcing families to shelter closely with others who still had heat — could amplify transmission of the virus in the weeks ahead, although it remains too early to tell. Masks, she said, are one of the most effective strategies to curb the spread.

    The top county leader in Houston, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, called the announcement “wishful thinking" and said spikes in hospitalizations have followed past rollbacks of COVID-19 rules.

    “At worst, it is a cynical attempt to distract Texans from the failures of state oversight of our power grid," said Hidalgo, a Democrat.

    Dr. Joseph Varon, chief medical officer at Houston’s United Memorial Medical Center, said he called the hospital’s top leaders immediately after Abbott’s announcement and said they will need more staff and ventilators.

    “I am just concerned that I am going to have a tsunami of new cases,” Varon said. “I truly hope I am wrong. But unfortunately history seems to repeat itself.”

    Early in the pandemic, Abbott stripped local officials of their power to implement tougher COVID-19 restrictions, but now says counties can impose “mitigation strategies" if virus hospitalizations exceed 15% of all hospital capacity in their region. However, Abbott forbade local officials from imposing penalties for not wearing a face covering.

    Retailers and other businesses will also still be allowed to impose capacity limits and other restrictions on their own.

    Abbott imposed the statewide mask mandate in July during a deadly summer surge. But enforcement was spotty at best, and some sheriffs refused to police the restrictions at all. And as the pandemic dragged on, Abbott ruled out a return to tough COVID-19 rules, arguing that lockdowns do not work.

    Politically, the restrictions elevated tensions between Abbott and his own party, with the head of the Texas GOP at one point leading a protest outside the governor's mansion. Meanwhile, mayors in Texas' biggest cities argued that Abbott wasn't doing enough.

    Most of the country has lived under mask mandates during the pandemic, with at least 37 states requiring face coverings to some degree. But those orders are increasingly falling by the wayside: North Dakota, Montana and Iowa have also lifted mask orders in recent weeks.

    In Texas, it was only last week that emergency restrictions on restaurants and businesses were relaxed in the Rio Grande Valley, which has been walloped by the virus like few other places in America.

    “I appreciate Governor Abbott's desire to return to normalcy, but I remained concerned that, at least in Hidalgo County, we may be moving too quickly," Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez said.

    ———

    Associated Press writers Nomaan Merchant and Juan A. Lozano in Houston; Jake Bleiberg and Schuyler Dixon in Dallas; and Jim Vertuno in Austin contributed to this report.
     

Share This Page