Mask Mandate Lifts

New Executive Order, The Effects On Students and Teachers

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Brianna OCallaghan, Reporter

On March 2nd, Governor Greg Abbott lifted the mask mandate in Texas, allowing Texas to open 100%.

With the release of over seven million vaccines already in Texas, Abbott issued the Executive Order, allowing businesses to open fully and not require masks for its customers. 

The mask mandate being lifted is great, but people need to be careful and respectful to other people who disagree with the mandate being lifted and still feel wearing a mask is safe,” senior Jackson Biltz said. “Personally I feel like we need to be extra cautious when not required to wear masks just because it shows respect and humbleness to the community.”

Though the mandate becomes effective tomorrow, March 10th, the CDC has warned against these actions with new COVID-19 variants being found around the country.

“It’s a terrible decision. Statistics and medical studies globally have repeatedly shown that masks are effective, and with vaccine rollout we were finally beginning to make some progress,” sophomore Justin Doud said. “However at the time of the mask mandate being removed, over 93% of Texans have not been vaccinated yet, and Houston is the only city in the US to have all variants of the coronavirus, including more contagious strands. It’s a bold move that will cost lives.”

Teachers and faculty of Montgomery County are now included in the eligible people to be vaccinated. Though this will help, it does take time. Meanwhile, Conroe ISD is continuing to require masks for all individuals on campus. 

Yes, I agree with teachers having more access to the vaccine because some teachers are more at risk of getting the virus than students,” sophomore Ricardo Villela said. “Students should be able to get the vaccine as well, but I think the teachers should have more access first.”

As of now, front-line healthcare workers (phase 1a) and people over 65 or who have chronic medical conditions (phase 1b) are given first priority to the vaccine. It is estimated that the general public, including students without pre-existing medical conditions, will have access in Spring of this year. 

“According to the legal definition and government mandates, students that are paid by the district are eligible for the vaccine under the same thing that made teachers eligible,” senior Murdo Mitchell said. “However, I don’t think anyone that young should be eligible until all at risk people in 1a and 1b get the vaccine who want it.”

Only 8.56% of the Texas population has been fully vaccinated, as stated by Our World in Data. Montgomery County is strict on who gets the vaccine but hopes to have the majority of everyone fully vaccinated by Summer of 2021.

“I believe vulnerable parties should be given access first, including first responders, teachers and the elderly,” Doud said. “Students with underlying medical conditions or weakened immune systems should rank with the vulnerable parties and have the same access, and the rest of us students can wait a bit longer to get our vaccines until we’ve taken care of those at risk.”