Mississippi, Texas lift COVID-19 restrictions despite warnings
Texas and Mississippi announced yesterday that they were ending mask mandates and opening indoor businesses after a year of restrictions because of COVID-19.
“I just announced Texas is OPEN 100%. EVERYTHING. I also ended the statewide mask mandate,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted yesterday afternoon.
Abbott said in a press conference he was not suggesting the threat of COVID-19 was over, but with the arrival of vaccines and a significant drop in cases, the state was ready to reopen beginning Mar 10. Abbott also said his state was vaccinating 1 million people per week, a rate that should comfort those doubtful about lifting restrictions.
In Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves ended a statewide mask mandate and also said he was reopening indoor businesses throughout the state.
“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 tweeted yesterday.
CDC heads calls lifting restrictions a mistake
The Republican governors both said the openings were necessary for their state economies, which had suffered for too long under closures. But today Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, said lifting any restrictions now would be a mistake.