BREAKING NEWS: Governor Greg Abbott lifts mask mandate in Texas

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Created by Emily Merrill

Governor Greg Abbott lifts mask mandate.

On Tuesday, March 2, 2021, Governor of Texas Greg Abbott announced that the state-wide mask mandate would be lifted and all businesses would be available to open with no restrictions.

Abbott made the announcement on Texas Independence Day in Lubbock, TX during a Chamber of Commerce meeting.

“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.”

The mask mandate in Texas started eight months ago and has been carried up until this point. COVID-19 has affected the United States tremendously in the past year and Texas is no exception.

According to ABC News, the number of deaths in Texas caused by COVID-19 was over 43,000 people and only 7.1% of the population has been vaccinated. Federal health officials are urgently warning other states to not let their guard down.

The lift on the mask mandate will go into effect on March 10.

Considering the mask mandate is no longer in effect, Governor Abbott addressed that COVID-19 is still an issue and needs to be taken into consideration moving forward.

“Removing state mandates does not end personal responsibility and caring for your family members, friends and others in your community,” Abbott said.

The repeals will affect Texas colleges and universities greatly, including West Texas A&M University. These institutions will have to come up with their own plans of action as students and faculty begin to make their own choice in wearing masks.

WTAMU students have already begun ditching the masks per Abbott’s announcement. The campus will have some division on who will continue wearing their masks and who won’t be.

“As a U.S. citizen, I believe in the right of freedom of speech, pursuing my own rights and the ability to live my own without the influence of the government. With the mask rule in effect, I feel that my own rights of being able to wear what I want, or being able to live the life of an American, was put down at a standstill,” said senior engineering technology major, Ty Todd.

Some have made the decision to continue wearing their masks and walking through life in a cautious manner for the safety of others and themselves. Along with that, are completely in disagreement with Abbott’s decision and announcements about the mask mandate.

“My mom got COVID-19 last May and it was a near-death experience and she still isn’t at 100% yet. My dad has been quarantining at a farm for the past year because he cannot get sick and my whole family depends on him. It’s crazy, our health is in the government’s hands, not just our own. It’s totally ignorant and really disrespectful to the community, and every community,” said junior musical theatre major Ella Elizabeth Hawes.

COVID-19 vaccinations will continue to become more available to the public. For more information please visit Texas Human and Health Services at https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx.

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