Weeks After Texas Reopened, Health Experts Look for Impact

Over two weeks after Texas eased Covid-19 restrictions, the state has so far not witnessed a surge in new cases: Reported infections continue to decline statewide but have recently shown signs of leveling.

Gov. Greg Abbott lifted a statewide mask mandate and allowed businesses to operate at full capacity, with no limits, starting March 10. “It is now the time to open Texas 100%,” the Republican said March 2 as he announced the changes. “State mandates are no longer needed.”

On the day restrictions were lifted, the state’s seven-day average of confirmed Covid-19 cases was around 4,900, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The latest data shows a seven-day average of around 3,400 cases.

Last year, after a monthlong shutdown at the beginning of the pandemic, Texas businesses were allowed to reopen to varying degrees in May. By the end of June, daily confirmed cases in the state had increased by six times from numbers reported in early May. In July, Mr. Abbott instituted a mask mandate as infection rates and hospitalizations continued to increase and the state became a focal point of the summer surge.

So far, the same uptick in cases hasn’t been reported.

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Source: WSJ