Just two weeks before the one-year anniversary of the first day of “15 days to slow the spread” in 2020, the beginning of the end is in sight.
Pandemic lockdowns are starting to come to an end as states ramp up vaccine distribution to our most vulnerable groups.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott made a statewide announcement this week signaling significant changes to the state’s current coronavirus guidance.
Abbott announced Tuesday night that “Texas is OPEN 100%. EVERYTHING,” adding, “I also ended the statewide mask mandate.”
I just announced Texas is OPEN 100%.
I also ended the statewide mask mandate.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 2, 2021
The governor said during a press conference in Lubbock, Texas, “This must end.”
“Everybody that wants to work should have that opportunity. Every business that wants to open, should be open,” KHOU 11 reported.
Abbott’s statewide measures to lift the statewide mask mandate and reopen businesses at full capacity will go into effect on Wednesday, March 10.
Shortly following Texas’s move, Mississippi officials made a nearly identical announcement.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves revealed, “Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules.”
“Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!”, Reeves continued.
Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules. Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 2, 2021
Texas and Mississippi are the third and fourth states to officially lift all government-imposed restrictions.
South Dakota was the one and only state to remain 100 percent open, never shutting down or imposing a mask mandate once.
Florida has been open without government restrictions since Spring 2020, and without enforceable mask mandates since last Fall.
Compared to South Dakota and Florida, Texas and Mississippi’s reopening efforts are not exactly praise-worthy as they should have rescinded their mandates long ago. However, it is a positive step in the right direction to “go back to normal” as soon as possible.
It’s time for the remaining 46 states to begin reopening at full capacity now that the ball is rolling.