Health officials still recommend masks even after mask mandate dropped

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has made the decision to lift the mask mandate and re-open Texas 100% but is it too soon?

READ MORE: Gov. Abbott ends statewide mask mandate, fully reopens all Texas businesses

Houston’s top doc, for instance, says he will still avoid crowds and wear his mask in public and is advising others to do the same.

"For me and my family and anyone who asks me we’re going to continue wearing masks," says City of Houston Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Persse.

What does he think of going back to business as usual so soon?

"I've got a lot of thoughts about it. One is, I’m disappointed. Now we're fearful of a whole bunch of consequences to that."

Houston business owners react to Gov. Abbott's order

Business owners big and small are now reacting to the major news coming from Governor Greg Abbott Tuesday to do away with the state mask mandate and move to full capacity for all businesses.

"What we don’t want to see is reversal, taking a step back of the progress we’ve made since December and January. We know there was a lot of suffering that occurred," says Baylor College of Medicine Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Jill Weatherhead.

"Some people will take a notion that 'well this is all over and I don’t need to worry about anything anymore including getting vaccinated' and that is probably the worst interpretation," adds Dr. Persse. 

Because COVID-19 spreads so easily through the air, as we see medical animations demonstrating how far infected aerosols travel and how long they linger, medical professionals suggest you continue protecting yourself.

"This concept of social distancing is really important that we remain physically apart from each other especially in a place like a restaurant where people remove their masks to eat," says Dr. Persse.

Reaction mixed following Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement to reopen Texas

On Tuesday afternoon, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that it was time to ‘reopen Texas’ to 100% starting next Wednesday. Reaction to Abbott’s announcement has been mixed. 

"We know that’s a high-risk situation. We know that whenever people are indoors with poor ventilation, without masks on in close quarters there is increased, very high risk of transmission," explains Dr. Weatherhead. 

"Regardless of what the governor may do, each of us has the ability to protect ourselves and our families by wearing masks, staying away from crowded areas, washing your hands, being smarter than the virus," adds Dr. Persse. 

"I just want to emphasize the data is really clear on the importance of masks. This isn’t something that science is debating," Dr. Weatherhead explains. 

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"For those who are upset about the governor's order, the governor’s not the enemy. The restrictions are not the enemy. The virus is the enemy," adds Dr. Persse. He says the way to defeat that enemy is to get vaccinated, ease your foot off the brake, as he describes it, and don’t go suddenly full speed ahead into life as you knew it before the pandemic.