Texas, Mississippi lift Covid restrictions and mask mandates, despite CDC warnings

Greg Abbott, governor of Texas, speaks throughout an Operation Warp Speed vaccine summit on the White House in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The governors of Texas and Mississippi each introduced Tuesday that they’re lifting statewide mask mandates and permitting companies to reopen at full capability even because the decline of day by day Covid-19 circumstances slows and federal officers urge states to train warning.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott mentioned at a press briefing at Montelongo’s Mexican Restaurant in Lubbock that he’ll concern a brand new government order that rescinds most of his earlier Covid-19 restrictions, together with a statewide mask mandate. He added that each one companies can be allowed to open “100 percent,” efficient March 10.

“Removing statewide mandates does not end personal responsibility,” Abbott mentioned, talking in a crowded eating room the place many weren’t carrying masks. “It’s just that now state mandates are no longer needed.”

“It is now time to open Texas 100 percent,” he added.

At roughly the identical time as Abbott’s remarks, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves introduced at a separate press briefing that he’s rescinding all county mask mandates and eradicating statewide restrictions on practically all companies.

“I am replacing our current orders with recommendations,” Reeves mentioned. “The only rules that will remain in this order are a capacity limit of 50% on indoor arenas and those that govern K-12 schools.”

Both bulletins come shortly after federal officers, together with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, warned state officers towards lifting public well being restrictions too shortly.

Walensky mentioned Monday at a White House Covid-19 briefing that whereas day by day new circumstances have been falling quickly because the peak in January, the decline seems to be levelling off at a worryingly excessive fee of an infection. She added that the unfold of latest, extra contagious variants of the coronavirus are a brand new menace that might undo the nation’s progress, at the same time as vaccines roll out.

“At this level of cases, with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained,” she mentioned. “With these statistics, I am really worried about more states rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from Covid-19.”

“Please hear me clearly: At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained,” she mentioned.

— CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.

This is breaking information. Check again right here for updates.

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