Governor Abbott's Executive Order

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Texas Independence Day has a new meaning this March 2nd.  Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order today and held a press conference in Lubbock to make the announcement.  Governor Abbott stated, “With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus.”   


Executive Order (GA-34)


Main Points from Governor Abbott’s Press Conference:


  1. First and foremost the bottom line is this: mandates to wear masks, as well as capacity limitations on businesses will be terminated next Wednesday, March 10th.
  2. Texas is seeing the lowest hospitalizations in four months; far more Texans recovering from COVID-19 than contracting it.
  3. Also highlighted positive vaccine progress, including:
    1. 5.7M vaccine shots have been given to Texans
    2. 216K shots given today alone
    3. 1M shots given per week
    4. 7M total shots given to Texans by this time next week
  4. For all counties without high hospitalizations “there are no COVID-19-related operating limits for any business or other establishment,” and “individuals are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth wherever it is not feasible to maintain 6 feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household, but no person may be required by any jurisdiction to wear or to mandate the wearing of a face covering.”
  5. “High hospitalizations” is defined as any Trauma Service Area with seven straight days of COVID-hospitalized patients in excess of 15% of that TSA’s hospital capacity.
  6. In any county located within a Trauma Service Area (TSA) with high hospitalizations, there are no state-imposed COVID-19-related operating limits for any businesses/establishments nor any face-covering requirements, but, a county judge may institute COVID mitigation strategies to prevent the spread of the virus, so long as:
    1. Mitigation strategies may do not include enforcement of criminal or civil penalties,
    2. And do not limit business capacity to less than 50%
  7. A current list of areas with high hospitalizations will be maintained at
  8. Importantly, Gov. Abbott did not restrict private businesses from enforcing their own safety protocols as they see fit, including imposing face mask requirements.
  9. Often discussed state entities such as public schools, jails/prisons, and assisted living facilities are directed to follow guidance from their state agency of oversight (e.g. TEA for schools).



Cheri Brimberry Huddleston

Legislative Consultant