On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott whipped the media into a frenzy by announcing that he was ordering the removal of the statewide COVID-19 mask mandate and re-opening the state to 100 percent capacity within the next week.
The move was widely cheered on social media and, not surprisingly, highly criticized within minutes by members of the left-leaning mainstream media.
According to Local Memphis, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves decided to one-up (sort of) the Lone Star State by announcing that his statewide mask mandate would expire as of Wednesday, March 3.
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!
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 2, 2021
Here’s an excerpt from the governor’s bombshell order, which many Mississippians will likely appreciate.
“Today, Governor Tate Reeves signed Executive Order 1549. This order will go into effect at 5:00 PM on March 3rd and stay in effect until March 31st.
“Today, I signed what I expect will be one of my last executive orders regarding COVID-19. Our hospitalizations have plummeted, and our case numbers have fallen dramatically as well. In fact, our case numbers have fallen to the point where no county meets the original criteria for a mask mandate,” said Governor Tate Reeves.
“I am replacing our current orders with recommendations. Everyone should continue to listen to Dr. Dobbs and other health advisors for the best possible wisdom regarding how you can personally stem any risk of catching COVID. Their insight is valuable. 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.”
Reeves added a section at the end of the statement in which he “encouraged” residents of his state to wear masks when appropriate, with the obvious exception that it will no longer be mandated. That means for many in the state, grocery stores and other frequented businesses will no longer have to require that their customers wear masks while shopping.
The only mandate exception will be schools, as the governor said when social distancing isn’t possible, students will be required to wear masks. While some students might groan, it’s probably only a matter of time before that rule is also lifted, especially as more teachers, students and parents receive vaccinations and herd immunity increases.
Capacities for both indoor and outdoor events for schools were also increased, in most cases by double the current capacity, which parents and students will presumably celebrate.
Perhaps soon, other states will join these two Republican governors and give back some of the freedoms that were stripped away during the course of the pandemic that was supposed to only last a few months.
ARTICLE SOURCE : thefederalistpapers.org