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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Texas opens up 100% as vaccines roll out

Azul+Sordo%2FThe+Collegian%0AA+masked+woman+walks+through+a+Downtown+Fort+Worth+shopping+center.+As+of+next+Wednesday%2C+all+Texas+businesses+will+be+able+to+open+at+full+capacity.+
Azul Sordo/The Collegian A masked woman walks through a Downtown Fort Worth shopping center. As of next Wednesday, all Texas businesses will be able to open at full capacity.
Azul Sordo/The Collegian
A masked woman walks through a Downtown Fort Worth shopping center. As of next Wednesday, all Texas businesses will be able to open at full capacity.

 

LYDIA REGALADO
campus editor

Gov. Greg Abbott addressed Texans on Tuesday and stated that beginning March 10 Texas will be open 100%. Mask mandates will also end.

“Hospitalizations are the lowest that they have been in four months,” Abbott said. “The number of active COVID cases is the lowest since November, and is less than half of what it was just a month ago. That means that far more Texans are recovering from COVID than contracting it.”

Abbott said the vaccinations are increasing so rapidly that soon the categories of people who will be able to receive the shots will expand.

As of Tuesday, the total number of people fully vaccinated in Texas was nearly 2 million according to Texas Health and Human Services.

The Janssen vaccine, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, is the latest vaccine available and was declared safe for people 18 years and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Unlike Pfizer and Moderna, Janssen is a single-dose vaccine.

Abbott said that just because mandates are ending does not mean that people should ignore personal responsibility or caring for others.

“To stay safe, Texans should continue following medical advice preventing COVID just as they do on other medical issues,” Abbott said.

Abbott said businesses have the right to choose to operate however they see fit, whether that means continuing to limit capacity or implementing additional safety measures.

As a part of Abbott’s executive order, if COVID-19 hospitalizations in any of the 22 hospital regions in Texas rise above 15% bed capacity for seven straight days then a county judge may use COVID-19 mitigation strategies, however, Abbott said that he does not expect this to happen.

NE student Kristina Randerson said she is excited for the mandates to end and that businesses will be able to open up.

“To me, this signals a return to normalcy, whatever that is now,” NE student Kristina Randerson said. “People can still wear a mask if they choose to.”

Rake said an emergency meeting was held last Thursday to discuss suggestions for if and when campuses will open up again. In the meeting, staff gave suggestions on how many students should be in a class, social distancing measures and other protocols.

“I think we’re just gathering initial information and suggestions for ways that we could get back,” Rake said. “I think it’s just on the preliminary, preliminary stage right now.”

Captain Terry D. Moak with the TCCD Police Department said that they will continue to take the necessary steps to keep everyone safe.

“We will continue to support whatever actions the State of Texas, the CDC, and the Tarrant County Health Department suggest in our continued effort to support their cause to help combat Covid 19,” Moak said.

Rake said he’s proud of the way TCC faculty and leadership have stepped up during the process.

“Good leadership, good cooperation, everybody has one goal, and that’s help the students, that’s just what we do,” Rake said.

Texas is now among 12 other states with no restrictions which include Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee, according to the New York Times.

Flags across the U.S. continue to fly at half-mast in memory of the more than 500,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19.

“Texas is doing more than ever to save lives, and to reduce the spread of COVID,” Abbott said. “We will continue to grieve for all those that have suffered through this pandemic, and we will always mourn the loss of lives.”

The CDC recommends staying vigilant and consistent in following safety recommendations while working towards mass vaccinations.

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