Texas is about to reopen all the way, Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday afternoon.

Citing a statewide decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations and in new cases and of progress in distributing vaccines, Abbott announced he was canceling his statewide order limiting capacities in businesses and requiring people to wear face coverings in public places.

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

Abbott’s announcement was met with a mix of elation, acceptance, skepticism, optimism and uncertainty about how to manage the details among local civic and business leaders.

In the first announcement about COVID restrictions in nearly six months, Abbott on Texas Independence Day said he was ready to remove the state from under COVID protection protocols and allow people to make their own decisions about keeping themselves safe from the virus.

“Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared,” Abbott said. “But it’s 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’s a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal safety and the safety of others.”

His executive orders go into effect March 10.

LOCAL REACTION

Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said it was “about time” Abbott rescinded the statewide mask order.

Henry said he didn’t believe masks protected people from the virus.

“The only studies I have seen say masks don’t do any good at all,” Henry said. “I don’t know why we did it in the first place.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as local entities including the Galveston County Health District and the University of Texas Medical Branch, have recommended masking as one of the most protective measures against the virus for nearly the entire pandemic.

Other leaders were more critical of Abbott’s decisions.

“I think it’s absolutely premature, counterproductive and may very well incite another surge in the virus,” Texas City Mayor Dedrick Johnson said.

“I’m just as tired as the next person, but I am not so tired that I want to risk my health and the health of those around me for the sake of exercising my liberties.”

La Marque Mayor Keith Bell said the governor’s actions were “an attempt to balance our physical well-being with our fiscal well-being.”

“It will require personal responsibility from us all,” Bell said. “If we want our economy to rebound, its incumbent upon all of us to be prudent. We will see what happens next.”

In Galveston, where city leaders last week began discussion and then postponed talks about ending the city’s pandemic-related emergency orders, Mayor Craig Brown declined to comment directly on Abbott’s announcement.

“When you’re in a situation like this, there’s probably never a good time,” Brown said.

The Galveston City Council had been poised to talk about implementing a masking ordinance to replace a rule tied to emergency orders. That’s a moot point now because the city will follow Abbott’s orders, Brown said.

“We would request that our visitors down here take safety precautions to protect themselves,” Brown said. “We understand that they have the option to not follow those orders.”

Thousands of visitors are expected to drive to Galveston in the next two weeks for spring break. City and tourism officials expect this will be a busy spring break, which will lead to a busy summer season.

BUSINESSES REACT

In his speech from a Lubbock Chamber of Commerce meeting, Abbott emphasized the onus would now be on individuals, and individual businesses, to decide what COVID precautions to take.

“If businesses want to limit capacity or implement additional safety protocols, they have the right to do so,” Abbott said. “It’s their business and they get to operate their business the way they want to.”

The next week likely will bring announcements about how businesses will deal with unmasked customers without the mandate that has been in place since June.

After a challenging year of limited dining capacity at restaurants and in some cases watching large parties being turned away because of state restrictions, Johnny Smecca, principal of Galveston Restaurant Group, welcomed Abbott’s announcement with a sense of optimism, he said.

Galveston Restaurant Group owns concepts on the island and League City, including Saltwater Grill, The Gumbo Diner, Papa’s Pizza, Mario’s Seawall Italian Restaurant, Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar and Taquilo’s Tex-Mex Cantina.

“The opening of the dining room does so much for us,” Smecca said. “We were choked off for almost a year. Having our dining rooms back right before spring break gives us an opportunity to catch up.”

But Galveston Restaurant Group will continue to follow pandemic protocols and require employees to wear masks at least through spring break, Smecca said. The company’s restaurants will continue working to make employees and customers feel safe and will keep in place all its sanitation protocols, he said.

“I’ve always looked at first how to protect employees — they’re the lifeblood — and then I looked at what I have to do to make customers feel safe,” Smecca said.

Some major employers were quick to announce their policies under the new mandate. H-E-B, which operates five grocery stores in Galveston County, said it would begin to allow customers in without a masks but would require employees and vendors to keep wearing face coverings.

Landry’s Inc., which operates dozens of businesses in Galveston County, including two amusement parks, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about Abbott’s orders.

League City Mayor pro tem Hank Dugie, chairman of the Galveston County COVID-19 Business Taskforce, applauded Abbott’s announcement and called on people to support local businesses “regardless of what decision they make.”

“I think it’s a great thing and great timing with it coming on Texas Independence Day,” he said. “It’s symbolic of the true nature of Texas.”

LINGERING QUESTIONS

Abbott’s announcement came with little forewarning. He hinted at a major business announcement Monday afternoon, before making the announcement Tuesday afternoon. He didn’t take any questions from the media after the announcement.

The announcement left unclear how schools should respond. The Galveston Independent School District said it was waiting for guidance from the Texas Education Agency, while Texas City ISD said it would keep its current rules, which require masks, in place for the time being. Clear Creek ISD also said it would continue current protocols until it heard from the Texas Education Agency.

Two hours after Abbott’s press conference, the education agency said it would issue new guidance later this week.

Abbott didn’t mention any changes in rules allowing schools to operate virtual classrooms.

Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said he was seeking guidance from the Texas Jail Commission about whether he could begin allowing people to visit inmates for the first time since March 19, 2020.

WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY

Abbott cited heartening statistics on the number of Texans who have been vaccinated or have already recovered from the virus to justify reopening.

Public health officials had hoped to get as many as 80 percent of the population vaccinated.

As of Tuesday, about 2 million Texans, 8 percent of the state’s population, were fully vaccinated. In Galveston County, about 11 percent of the population is vaccinated, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

About 7 percent of Galveston County residents have contracted and recovered from the virus, although that doesn’t account for people who have caught the virus and recovered without a confirmed diagnosis.

Abbott, citing unnamed experts, said the true number of recoveries in the state is as much as five times the reported number.

Abbott also cited a better situation on the ground in terms of hospitalizations and active COVID cases in Texas, saying the figures are back to levels that existed in November.

Galveston County has yet to return to those low levels of hospitalizations seen last fall, however. On Monday, about 70 COVID patients were in Galveston County hospitals, according to the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. At the height of the winter spike, more than 130 people were in county hospitals with COVID-19. In October, the number of daily hospitalizations was in the 20s.

Similarly, the 4,161 active cases in the county Tuesday were more than double the number of known active cases in November.

WHAT’S NEXT

Abbott left the door open for more restrictions in the future at the judgment of local leaders. If the number of people hospitalized with COVID in a region surpasses 15 percent for more than seven days, a county judge can implement local COVID restrictions, Abbott said.

If a county implements its own rules, the restrictions can’t be enforced with jail time or other punishments, Abbott said.

Henry didn’t believe the county would have to worry about returning to the high hospitalization rate it saw during the winter peak, he said.

The nine-county Trauma Service Area that includes Galveston County has been below the 15 percent hospitalization rate since Feb. 13.

Henry didn’t dismiss the possibility of implementing local orders if cases spike again, however.

He said he would consult with the Galveston County Health District and make a decision.

Managing Editor Laura Elder and reporters Matt DeGrood, Keri Heath and Myer Lee contributed to the article.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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(50) comments

Charlotte O'rourke

Not unexpected, but frustrating as ....! Should I follow the Nostradamus prediction or the plot that the goal is to decrease the social security deficit. Since our leaders don’t follow the science or CDC recommendations .... Decisions .... decisions.

https://www.galvnews.com/news_ap/nation/article_f8382b9f-294a-5fe7-8523-33da362e05ce.html

Donna Spencer

I can't help but wonder where the County Judge gets his information ? All the reputable information I have seen, from reputable doctors and scientists, clearly indicates masks help. I would like for him to be a bit more transparent but of course, we know he won't. He's a Republican and doesn't believe in science.

Carlos Ponce

"Masks provide no real protection against virus" - UTMB Dr. Victor S. Sierpina

"Which brings us to a fact. Masks aren’t really all that effective in preventing airborne infections."

https://www.galvnews.com/health/article_cc6b16ee-6ae7-51b4-8681-421c9b02500b.html

Charlotte O'rourke

I wonder if the Dr. like Fauci has changed his mind on a couple of points like masks as this article was written in Feb. 2020. He mentions covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze. Well a mask helps with that wouldn’t you think?

Carlos Ponce

Probably no change. Communicable diseases are communicable diseases no matter when the article was written. I would trust the advice from a UTMB physician more than a Washington, DC government paid doctor. I have heard the same advice from various doctors since February 2020.

Charlotte O'rourke

Health care workers wear masks. I bet the Dr. wears one if in contact with patients. Most wear them to prevent making patients sicker by spreading their germs. When I was hospitalized at UTMB during the early start of covid ALL hospital personnel who entered my room wore masks.

Carlos Ponce

Key word is "patients". People in church, at the store, in a restaurant are not considered "patients".

Charlotte O'rourke

Key words are “risk” of “death”. “People in church, at the store ....” aka - close contact are at risk when a covid carrier sneezes or coughs or comes too close and the risks are death or serious illness.

As the article you posted stated in Asian countries masks are routinely worn. Instead of being top of the world in minimizing the spread of covid, we are super spreaders of the world.

Gary Miller

Carlos> I saw a report that said if you can smell a peach or blow out a burning match your mask is useless.

Jim Forsythe

What does DR. VICTOR S. SIERPINA say about wearing mask and other issues that COVID give us? All of the following.

"Even those of us who’ve been fortunate enough to get the vaccine early will need to continue to mask, wash hands and maintain social distancing for several reasons."

Just as the above is in the Galveston daily news the below is also in the same story, Feb 3, 2021

. The link is, I survived the COVID-19 vaccine | Health | The Daily News (galvnews.com)

"Another unknown is whether vaccinated folks can become carriers who don’t have symptoms, thus conveying it unwittingly to others. At least a few people have gotten COVID after the vaccine, though usually not the serious form."

"The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines that went into effect Tuesday where masks are required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and train stations. This is a step in the right direction and will help workers in those areas reduce spread and manage mask-resisters more effectively and legally. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov"

"For now, even if you have been vaccinated, stay safe with the COVID hygiene precautions. This is going to take a while. I will share news about post-COVID syndrome next week."

Bill Sterchi

Science? Let's do some math - you know, the language of Science. The "bug" is 2.38X10-12. Those "masks will stop particulate 1X10-6 or larger. As far as those cute little masks being made at home out of Tee Shirt materials, you may as well be wearing your screen door. There is a delta of six decimal places between the bug and what you are wearing to capture it.

If masks work, why aren't the homeless decimated yet? They have no access to constant hand washing or a clean environment. You wear a mask for the 20 feet to get into a restaurant, then promptly remove it. What, is the bug only in that 20 foot space?

Being a Republican or a Democrat does not play into this at all. Doing the math is important, as well as being observant.

I applaud Gov. Abbott for finally (emphasis on finally) taking a leadership role in returning to the very basic of freedoms and putting each of us - as individuals - back in charge of our own personal safety, rather than being the English Manor Lord and mandating something that does nothing.

Bailey Jones

Bill, you sound like someone who is reasonably intelligent. I'm surprised that you aren't aware that the virus doesn't travel alone - it rides in spit and snot blobs, some of which can be quite large. An analogy is the chain link fence around a batting cage. It certainly won't keep the mosquitos out - but if every mosquito is riding on a baseball it keeps 100% of them out. As for the homeless - being homeless they are, by definition, outside. To my knowledge, there's been no evidence that outside contact is a vector for transmission, probably because of air currents. Besides, the info I've seen indicates that the homeless are 2-3X more likely to die from COVID than the general population. Even if they were 10X as likely to die, we've lost, nationally about 1 in every 600 Americans. 10X that would be 1 in 60 (math). I doubt that I'd notice that there are only 59 homeless people on the street instead of 60.

I do agree about the restaurants - which is why it's so important to social distance once you're inside. I'm glad to hear that my favorites are keeping their COVID protocols in place.

Gary Miller

Donna> You of course are a Democrat that believes truth is whatever you say it is.

Bailey Jones

OK, let's take stock. In the last 7 days, Texas has had 53849 new cases, that's a weekly average of 7693 cases per day. In the last 7 days, Texas has had 1594 deaths, which is a weekly average of 228 deaths per day. In the last surge - the post-summer surge, case rates were doubling about every 4 weeks. So, I'll predict we're averaging 15,000 cases a day by April 10th, and let's say 350 deaths a day by the end of April.

I'll keep wearing my mask - a cloth one for the grocery store, a KN95 for work. Maybe by the time the inevitable April/May surge comes, I'll be eligible for my shots - and immune from Abbott's idiocy.

FB joke: Greg Abbott, Ted Cruz, and Ken Paxton get stranded on a desert island.

Who survives?

Texas.

Wayne D Holt

Bailey, I'm afraid you don't understand what the Covid shots (certainly Pfizer's and I assume the others except perhaps J&J) actually do. You won't be immune from Abbott's decisions and you certainly won't be immune from Covid.

The shot does NOT give you any sort of immunity from the virus. The protocols of the mRNA trials that even Facemask Fauci admitted called for the shot to lessen symptoms in mild to moderate cases. The object was to prevent fully developed symptoms that would more likely spread the disease through aerosol disbursement. It never claimed to make you immune from contracting Covid.

With all due respect, how can you comment on the necessity of a medical approach when you fundamentally misunderstand its therapeutic effect?

Charlotte O'rourke

Love the joke. LOL.

Ted Gillis

Our CEO just sent out a company wide email, saying, “not so fast”. We are still adhering to the CDC COVID 19 protocols, in all of our facilities, which includes about 15,000 employees state wide.

Let’s all get vaccinated, quickly, before the cart gets too far away from the stables.

Wayne D Holt

Judge Henry is 100% correct about the masking voodoo cult and Gov. Abbott is right on target to try to salvage what remains of Texas small and medium businesses from oblivion.

Two weeks to flatten the curve has become a year of social isolation, business failures and the repurposing of many other maladies into contributing causes of Covid deaths, rather than death from the chronic conditions that happened to also coincide with Covid traces.

And now we learn from the CDC itself that false positives and jacked up PCR testing cycles were inflating the numbers all along. The reliance on statistical sleight of hand has contributed greatly to the public hysteria about this virus. While no doubt serious and worthy of commonsense precautionary behavior, it was inflated into the 21st Century equivalent of the Salem Witch Trials by Big Pharma's profits-first ethos and government's perennial interest in control of the people instead of the other way around.

Congratulations, Texas! We've just been given the first sign of intelligent life among our leaders in almost a year. Those who wish to continue with taking experimental gene therapy aka the Covid shot (it is experimental; that's how it qualified for emergency exemption) or swaddle their head like Lazarus meets Doc Holiday may continue to do so without the benefit of government strong-arming the rest of us.

Bill Sterchi

Yeah Wayne!

Nick Saum

I’m sure these same elected officials who bend to a vocal minority special who abhor science because “a mask infringes on my freedoms” were at the front of the line to get the vaccine. The party that questions evolution keeps trying to prove it time and time again, and each time they move too quickly they pay the price and try to blame someone else. The democrats and their leaders are no better, but at least pretend you care about society as a whole and public health more than a fringe element that thinks that their right to not wear a mask (or maybe even a seatbelt) outweighs your right to live.

Bailey Jones

I suspect this is half appeasement of the scientifically illiterate, and half deflection from the massive failure of the winter storm.

Wayne D Holt

More like a mask infringes on my credulity. There was no masking standard, so a Kleenex on a string was considered as effective as a self-contained biohazard suit. Well, it was as effective to meet the legal standard and public perception; for real life health prophylaxis, not so much. And those who don't bother to actually consider all this--you know, the party that thinks the State is God--swallowed it hook, line and sinker and hardly blinked.

That fringe element you talk about is probably about half the country. And it is definitely outside the sphere of those who, for some inexplicable reason, can overlook government's unblemished record of lies, distortions, subterfuge, illegal activity, unwarranted wars, experimentation on unknowing subjects, cronyism, influence peddling and exemption from the laws the rest of us must abide by...overlook it all and think that this time is different, they really do just care about us. God bless their itty bitty hearts, they actually believe that. Just wow.

Just a parting question: if seatbelts and masks are actually protection, why does my not wearing one endanger you? If mRNA shots are 95% effective, why does everyone have to get one before the pearl clutching calms down? If I'm asymptomatic and the CDC says it is not a high risk activity unless I am showing the familiar signs, why is Covid singled out for this attention rather than even more deadly pathogens? And finally, if the case numbers have been blown to smithereens by the CDC's admission of erroneous declarations of cases and overamped CTR testing cycles, why are you in such a panic? Everything points to this being a serious flu-like strain that should be avoided as intelligent people have always done when in the presence of someone doing a Doc Holiday impersonation behind you on an elevator. Hard to believe, but it really wasn't necessary to increase youth suicide rates, alcoholism, domestic abuse, bankruptcies, homelessness and social isolation. Whoda thunk it?

Brian Tamney

it's about time, how anyone felt safer wearing a mask to walk 10 feet into a restaurant, to sit and eat without one is beyond me.

Charlotte O'rourke

I understand part of your point. I tried to never eat inside, but when you pass between tables you are closer than 6 feet in many restaurants. While eating outside if my servers don’t wear masks, I wouldn’t go. I’m sure many Texans will be happy of the removal of restrictions at the state level. It takes the pressure off the governor's office and places it locally. Let’s hope the fourth surge doesn’t comes down defeat our opening process, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Wayne D Holt

Brian, it should be obvious many restrictions NEVER had to make sense, they just had to pander to the darkest fears that could be inflamed with lurid headlines. That's why Walmart and Target could pack 'em in at the height of the Scourge and yet local businesses were prohibited, in many instances, of serving their customers with deliveries curbside. So...we destroy hundreds of thousands of small/medium American businesses so the mega corporations--and their billionaire owners--can gorge themselves on even fatter profits. Mission Accomplished, America!

The biggest shame in this whole charade is that the America people actually went along with "mandates" that weren't laws, to enforce preventative measures that were documented as ineffective, and did it as the fat cats and blowhard politicians kept getting a steady paycheck while they destroyed the ability for millions to even keep body and soul together. Shame, shame, shame on us.

Chuck DiFalco

It's about time we finally lifted the business and worker lockdowns.

Wayne D Holt

[thumbup]

Ted Gillis

I was thinking the same thing Bailey.

Abbott is constantly having to look over his shoulder at Patrick and his crazy followers to see what their next outrage is. It used to be all a conservative had to do was run with an “r” by his name. They didn’t actually have do anything. They didn’t have to govern or legislate. Now they have be subservient and act on the wishes of the Alex Jones (Q Anon) crazies to just get past the primaries.

That’s what he’s up against.

Virginia Stone

Abbott is just hoping this gets everyone's mind off the electrical grid failure, nothing else, opening Texas too soon and the negative impact it will cause isn't a concern of his, so don't forget the grid failure and this failure and remember to wear your mask use social distancing, follow the science, not the Governor.

Wayne D Holt

I had no idea Gov. Abbott was the guy sitting in Austin with the big red switch marked Turn Off All Electricity in State. Good to know.

If you truly had been following the science like I have for a year it would be obvious most of this scare has been predicated on science fiction more than science. "Conspiracy theories" six months ago having to do with testing flaws, false positives, alternative therapies and a host of other Covid lore have been seen as recently as the last few days to be confirmed SCIENCE by the CDC itself. I have a box of N95 masks I bought three years ago for emergencies. It remains unopened on my shelf and, at 71, I'm still here by the grace of God to note that fact.

Rather than continuing to abuse your respiratory system through recirculating the waste products of your lungs, I warmly encourage you to take the mask off, breathe deeply of the Gulf air, get plenty of Vitamin D through sun exposure, and vow you will never again trust the government to be honest about anything important. You'll be way ahead of the game.

Gary Miller

Opening late is better than not opining at all. Abbott has put Texas in the same condition as the states that were the most successful handling covid 19.

Doug Sivyer

Who gives a rats ass about the opinion of some non-significant Quack from UTMB. The CDCD and ALL health EXPERTS agree masks do help prevent the spread of Corona Virus. Governor Abbott is a coward and is bowing to his ignorant constituency rather than doing what is in the best interest of all Texans. His grossly incompetent decision to lift the mask mandate and open business to 100% capacity will likely cause an increase in infection, illness, hospitalizations, and deaths. Our Stats are currently at the levels they were in the summer, so what is the justification for easing and lifting these restrictions? This coupled with the failure of our state electrical grid 2 weeks ago show Governor Abbots gross incompetence and inability to govern our state in a responsible and effective manner. He should be removed from office along with much of the legislative body.

Paula Flinn

Healthline.com

“Experts say people can still spread and even develop COVID-19 after getting a vaccine.

They note the immunity from the vaccine doesn’t begin to emerge until at least 12 days after inoculation.

They add the vaccine doesn’t prevent coronavirus infection. It helps protect against serious illnesses.

Experts advise people who get vaccinated to continue wearing a mask, washing their hands, and maintaining proper physical distancing.“

My opinion is that it is TOO SOON to eliminate the mask mandate and social distancing. I agree with the others who call for following the latest scientific information in prevention, and the removal of Governor Abbott.

Gary Miller

Paula> The mask mandate was repealed, wearing a mask is still legal.

Chuck DiFalco

"what is the justification for easing and lifting these restrictions?"

For the mask restriction, none.

For the business restriction, to ease the ongoing inflationary Depression 2.0, which has only just begun, and which threatens to kill far more people that coronavirus ever could when dictators across the globe see weakness and start wars.

Ted Gillis

Oh and don’t forget that recent immigrant to the state and current GOP state chairman, wacko Allen West. He and that beauty parlor owner from the Dallas area have been breathing down Abbott’s neck pretty hard these days.

Loud distractions.....

George Laiacona

Defiance! It’s just another political decision to contradict CDC recommendations. We will soon see more Republicans in our hospitals suffering from their naive decision to think All is safe just because the Republican Governor says it is. This is a situation where as politics overrules logic.

Susan Fennewald

I've read that Kroger corporate HQ said that all their stores will continue to require mask. The same for Target and Macy's.

If the stores I go to require masks, then it won't have much effect on me. But I don't want to have to walk into a store that doesn't have a mask requirement.

Bailey Jones

I shop at HEB and Arlens. Haven't heard from Arlens yet.

"Although there is no longer a statewide mask order, H-E-B believes it is important that masks be worn in public spaces until more Texans and our partners have access to the Covid-19 vaccine," H-E-B said in a statement sent to the San Antonio Business Journal. "H-E-B will still require all our partners and vendors to wear masks while at work, and we urge all customers to please wear a mask when in our stores."

https://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/latest-news/2021/03/h-e-b-to-urge-customers-to-wear-masks-next-week.html

Susan Fennewald

That means HEB is not requiring mask (from its customers).

Carlos Ponce

I went to HEB Monday. A mother and a young daughter were shopping sans mask.

I walked into a very busy restaurant. The waitresses, cooks (I saw them when the door to the kitchen opened), cashier, diners were without masks. Patrons included two uniformed police officers. Many patrons entered the establishment with no mask on. No one complained.

Enforcement of the mask rule is up to the management and staff.

I imagine the decree from HEB upper echelons is either PR or CYA.

Susan Fennewald

But now I've heard that Kroger is not going to require masks.

Charlotte O'rourke

I hope not. Was it a reliable source?

Bailey Jones

"To ensure the continued safety of our customers and associates, The Kroger Family of Companies will continue to require everyone in our stores across the country to wear masks until all our frontline grocery associates can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We also continue to advocate to federal, state and local officials to prioritize frontline grocery workers for the vaccine rollout plan, and we will offer a $100 one-time payment to associates who receive the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine."

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/kroger-will-continue-to-require-masks-in-texas-and-mississippi-stores-2021-03-03#:~:text=%22To%20ensure%20the%20continued%20safety,receive%20the%20COVID%2D19%20vaccine.

Gary Miller

Texas is now following the same policies as the states who were the most successful in coping with Covid-19. Late is better than not at all.

Gary Scoggin

Like South Dakota? Second highest COVID rate in the nation. One of the highest in the world. Of course SD Governor Kristi Noem got a lot of love at CPAC last week. I'm sure Greg is jealous.

Bailey Jones

But you're counting per capita rates, Gary Scoggin. That's too complicated for Texas math.

Thank goodness for CPAC, though, with its Chinese made Golden Calf. Since I don't need to watch the news anymore I had forgotten how much fun it is to laugh at all things Trump.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdgT0hX1swc

Ted Gillis

I was in Arlan’s today. Everyone was wearing a mask. I was also in Mugshots today. Both baristas were wearing masks, and so were the other customers. The business owner even has a box of free masks up front for those who forgot to wear theirs in.

I think most sensible people and businesses will continue to wear masks. Only the “statement” makers will be going around in public without masks. It’s the same as the folks that continued to smoke in public when they were told not to. You just can’t fix stupid, or as the president says “Neanderthal”.

Carlos Ponce

Wear two masks, Ted.... no, make that three.

Bailey Jones

[thumbup]

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