Nearly one year ago, on March 13, 2020, Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency over the Chinese coronavirus.
Since then, he has signed a slew of unilateral executive orders in response to the virus, shutting down some businesses and instituting capacity restrictions on others, as well as a statewide mask mandate.
Could there be a light at the end of the tunnel?
During a press conference in Corpus Christi on Thursday touting a new vaccine distribution plan, Abbott was asked when he believed statewide orders—and the mask mandate, specifically—could be ended.
“We’re working right now on evaluating when we’re going to be able to remove all statewide orders, and we will be making announcements about that pretty soon,” Abbott replied.
Were the mandates to be lifted, Texas would be far from the first to do so. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted all COVID-19 restrictions in September, while South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has made national headlines for never shutting the state.