LUBBOCK, Texas — Governor Abbott announced in Lubbock Tuesday that statewide restrictions would be lifted March 10, including the mask mandate and capacity limits.
Following Tuesday’s announcement, many were left with mixed feelings.
“My initial reaction was excited, but as I kind of read things online, I think it was kind of 50-50. A lot of people were excited, and a lot of people thought it was a bad idea,” said Price Duddley managing partner at Hollyhock.
Starting next Wednesday, face masks would no longer be required to be worn, and all businesses, including bars and restaurants, will be allowed to reopen at 100 percent capacity.
Local restaurant, Caprock Cafe, said it struggled under capacity restrictions and was thrilled by the news.
“You can’t make any money at 50 percent. At 50 percent, all we are really doing is keeping our staff employed, which is key because we want to take care of our people,” said Co-owner of Caprock Cafe David Cea. “75 percent was a little better, but 100 percent is what we need to make money.”
At Covenant Hospital, they are not planning to lift their restrictions anytime soon.
“For the foreseeable future, we are still going to require masking at Covenant. We are still going to have a very strict visitation policy because we can’t just throw the doors open and pretend like COVID-19 never happened,” said Regional Chief Medical Officer Dr. Craig Rhyne.
While neither Hollyhock nor Caprock will require customers to wear masks, most of their employees will.
“It’s something to be really serious about, and we want to make sure our customers know we are doing everything we can to keep them safe,” said Cea.
Even with these lessened restrictions coming, COVID-19 is still very much alive.
“It’s not yet gone. We are celebrating that the numbers are down, but the numbers are not zero,” said Dr. Rhyne.
KLBK and KAMC’s parent company, Nexstar broadcasting, also informed staff Wednesday that they will be asked to continue wearing a face mask around the station, at least for a few more months. It’s also important to note that if hospitalizations were to rise above 15 percent for seven days, a county judge could reinforce some of these lifted restrictions.