Texas & Arkansas Move To Drop COVID Restrictions
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been plummeting across the United States since the first week of January. Data overwhelmingly shows that the increasing vaccination rates are helping to put this pandemic down. In fact, the evidence in California paints an incredible picture. Here's the story from Healthline:
"...the Los Angeles Fire Department reported a dramatic decrease in daily COVID-19 cases since firefighters started receiving the coronavirus vaccine in late December.
With around three-fourths of the city’s firefighter department members vaccinated, a memo from Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas reported that the department’s daily number of positive tests dropped from nearly 20 in December to less than 5 last week. The memo was originally obtained by the Los Angeles Times."
With all of this positive news surrounding the vaccine's success, states are now taking advantage of the hard work it took to get vaccines out. With the percentage of the vaccinated population growing, surges to the amount of vaccine states are receiving weekly, and shrinking demand for vaccinations, states are looking to end their pandemic restrictions.
Which is exactly what Arkansas moved to do late last week.
On Friday, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson lifted the state's COVID-19 restrictions, with the exception of the state-wide mask mandate. That means occupation restrictions have been lifted on bars, theaters, large venues, gyms, and more. The state is effectively reopened to pre-pandemic levels, with a mask mandate.
At the same time, Texas is looking to move in a similar direction. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said last week that he's looking to end the state's COVID pandemic restrictions "very soon". A move that appears to be welcomed by officials across Texas, who have indicated that they would be moving to lift their localized restrictions as soon as Governor Abbott removed them state-wide.
Now many eyes are looking to the neighbor state for both Texas and Arkansas...Louisiana. As both of those states are moving to end COVID restrictions, Louisiana hasn't moved, or eve signaled, much at all. Louisiana remains in a "modified Phase 2" right now, and Governor John Bel Edwards has not indicated when he will consider moving the state, or where he plans to move the state to when he does decide to move the COVID restrictions.