Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday that Texas businesses can open at full capacity without masks starting next week. Texans, Abbott explained, can be responsible for their own safety. Earlier on Tuesday, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves in a Tweet announced that businesses in his state would also be allowed to operate at 100 percent capacity, starting tomorrow.
“We are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules,” writes Reeves. “Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!”
If you run a business in these states, that means you are now responsible for your own safety–as well as the safety of your employees and your clients. Moral obligations don’t go away, and neither do Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) obligations. What should you do?
To keep reading, click here: Texas and Mississippi Say All Businesses Can Open 100 Percent, With No Masks
3 thoughts on “Texas and Mississippi Say All Businesses Can Open 100 Percent, With No Masks”
Unless everyone working in close settings is vaccinated or at least following safety precautions, I can see problems. If they want to go this route in those states, anyone who feels uncomfortable should be allowed to follow the safety precautions without any criticism by management and customers.
Okay, maybe Texas is trying to be daring to go forth and open everything up, but I hope that they are also actively getting the population vaccinated. Now, my concern is companies that have nationwide sites will try to force employees in other states to follow Texas, against other states’ mandates. Hopefully, HR will adapt per geographic location.
Unfortunately, Texas is lagging in getting everyone vaccinated. Governor Abbott controls the distribution of vaccines, and has favored rural areas — such as Lubbock, where he made his announcement — over urban ones like Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, which are considered “Blue” (majority Democratic) areas. By eliminating the Statewide mask mandate, we are regressing back to the “bad old days,” when a few bad apples refused to wear masks — even in businesses that require them — and employees struggled with how to respond. At times, violence broke out and/or law enforcement had to be involved. We had — finally — all figured out how to, relatively safely, negotiate our required trips to, say, the grocery store. Now, we’re forced back to where no place can be considered “safe.” It seems like every time we make a little forward progress, our Governor finds a way to undermine it. 🙁
I live in Texas, and hate this. Apparently, our Governor hasn’t learned anything in the past year, since his premature re-opening of the State a year ago led to an incredible surge in cases and deaths. An estimated 1 in 10 Texans has now suffered a COVID-19 infection. At least 45,000 of us have died from it, and the expert consensus is that that’s a serious undercount. The new variants that have sprung up — especially the Brazilian one, which is present here — are much more transmissible and appear to be capable of re-infecting those previously affected. The reaction of most people here to the Governor’s announcement is shock and dismay. Once more, he has bowed to political considerations, reopening the so-called “culture wars” over masking and other recommended public health measures. It’s a cowardly way of washing his hands of responsibility, attempting to shift blame to the individuals and businesses that will, inevitably, suffer, under the fake mantra of “personal responsibility.” In the court of public opinion, he’s already failed in that endeavor. It will be no comfort to those who suffer, but their blood will definitely be on the Governor’s hands.
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