Tuesday afternoon (March 2nd) at an event in Lubbock, Texas, Governor Greg Abbott announced the state is being reopened after months of COVID-19-related restrictions.

In his remarks, the governor announced that all businesses in the state are allowed to reopen at 100 percent, without exception, effective Wednesday, March 10th. The governor also announced the mask mandate that's been in place since last summer is being rescinded.

Governor Abbott stressed personal responsibility in his remarks, emphasizing that Texans should continue to remain vigilant and addressed fears that the COVID-19 rate would rise with this order. Abbott said if COVID-19 cases rise above a 15-percent level for seven straight days, local judges could place new occupancy restrictions.

However, no criminal charges can be bought for violating those orders, and no one will be prosecuted for not wearing a mask under any circumstances. County judges cannot unilaterally put any new local restrictions in place.

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Citing Rudy Rosales and his family at Montelongo's, Governor Abbott stressed the importance of self-reliance and self-responsibility. He also cited lower positive COVID-19 cases and the availability of vaccines as his impetus for lifting orders that have been in place since July of 2020.

One question that was not answered in the governor's remarks was how this affects schools in our area or if educators will require masks or social distancing within schools. Governor Abbott made no statement regarding education, though the assumption is that schools are included in this complete reopening order.

In addition, no statement was made regarding venues that are under federal control, including airports.

Governor Abbott's new executive order will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 10th, 2021.

Texas is open.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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