BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — During a press conference Wednesday morning, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said the state has “no plans” to lift the mask mandate any time soon.
This comes a day after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the state was lifting their COVID-19 mask mandate that was put in place last summer and all businesses can open at 100% capacity.
"Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed," Abbott said in a statement.
Texas has joined the following states in lifting the mask mandate: Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that there is potential for a fourth surge of the virus and that “now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards that we know could stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Massachusetts is currently in Phase 3, Step 2 of its reopening plan, which allows restaurants to operate without capacity limits as long as the tables are six feet apart.
However, Gov. Baker said he thinks “the mask mandate has been an important element in both encouraging behavior, but also sending a message about the importance of recognizing and understanding that COVID is still very much with us and people need to take precautions.”
The governor issued an order in November requiring residents to wear face masks or cloth face coverings in all public places.
(Photo: Getty Images)
Written by Edyn Jensen