The New Mask Mandate Is Confusing…Let’s Make Sense Of It
A couple of days ago, Gov. Greg Abbott updated the mask mandate for the state of Texas. Since then, I've spoken to a lot of people who are rather confused by what it means.
Today, we're gonna break this thing down a bit more and hopefully it helps us all understand what it means.
When Gov. Abbott first said that masks were no longer required in Texas, a lot of people rejoiced. They thought they could take their masks and throw them in the trash. Well, not so fast. According to the press release about the executive order, it states "No governmental entity, including a county, city, school district and public health authority, and no governmental official may require any person to wear a face covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering..."
So what I take away from this is basically anything that is run by the state can no longer require you wear a face covering. However, there are several exceptions to this that I won't delve into that mention state assisted living, hospitals and jails.
The one thing is DOESN'T say, is that private businesses are required to abide by the rule. Remember the state doesn't own everything, and they can't force privately owned operations to do certain things. Wearing face coverings is one of them. Sure, they have state rules and regulations they have to follow, but this one falls under the concept of "no shoes, no shirt, no service". If a business wants you in a face covering, you have to abide by that businesses policy. Throwing around the state mandate means nothing.
I have noticed that a lot of places are allowing you to enter without a mask. I've even seen employees of businesses not wearing them anymore. If you're comfortable without wearing one, and the business allows it, then by all means take it off.
To further complicate things, the CDC issued new guidelines saying that if you've been vaccinated, you don't need to wear a mask anymore. However, those guidelines are even MORE confusing and keep in mind, those are only guidelines, NOT a law or executive order issued by the President.
Hopefully this helps you understand the new mask guidelines a little bit better. If you want to venture into a store or restaurant without one, maybe at least put it in your pocket in case they still require them. They are under no obligation to let you in without one. We aren't out of the woods with COVID just yet, and we may never be, but it does appear things are loosening up just a bit and getting better.