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Gov. Greg Abbott Opening Texas To 100 percent

Gov. Greg Abbott in a major announcement in Lubbock announced the end to his orders first put in place at the beginning of the pandemic.

He said “it is now time to open Texas 100 percent,” meaning the capacity limit at local businesses will no longer be 75 percent starting next Wednesday.

“Removing statewide mandates does not end personal responsibility,” said Abbott, speaking from a crowded dining room where many of those surrounding him were not wearing masks.

“It’s just that now state mandates are no longer needed,” he said.

County judges can impost stricter COVID-19 mitigation strategies if COVID-19 hospitalizations rise above 15 percent for seven straight days, Abbott said. However, they cannot impose face mask restrictions.

“Texas will experience more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths,” state Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, a Democrat from the border city of Laredo, told Abbott in a letter Monday.

Laredo has endured some of the worst outbreaks of the pandemic, running out of beds in hospital intensive care units as recently as January. The international trade hub has been among Texas’ most aggressive cities in trying to blunt the spread of the virus, taking measures that have included curfews.

“Elected by the people, your most fundamental obligation is their health and safety. Please do not abrogate your duty,” Raymond said.

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