PHOTOS: A Week After The Mask Mandate Lifted In Dallas County
It's been just over a week since Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the statewide mask mandate and capacity restrictions in Texas on March 10.
The decision has been praised by owners of restaurants and bars across the state, while they've encouraged businesses to continue taking precautions. Along with the warmer spring weather, customers and patrons have flocked to restaurants, bars and outdoor patios.
A sign at Eatzi’s Restaurant in Dallas urges customers that wearing their mask is their freedom and choice. Others in the area, like Hunky’s Burgers and Round-Up Saloon display old signs to wear masks in accordance with previous Dallas County and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
Outdoor patios at establishments like The Rustic in Uptown or Mi Cocina in West Village were completely full this past weekend — a sight we haven’t seen in months due to capacity restrictions and the cooler weather.
Saturday marked a year since the Governor first issued a disaster declaration in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Texas had 30 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the time. The number since has exceeded 2.3 million infections and more than 45,000 people have died.
On Sunday afternoon, lines formed outside two Oak Lawn bars, Mr. Misster and Havana. With the sunny, spring weather, most people were without masks and in proximity to friends and other patrons.
Most businesses are still requiring masks, but with the state mask mandate lifted and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Dallas County, we will likely see people without masks in the summer.
Keren Carrión is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Got a tip? Email Keren at Kcarrion@kera.org. You can follow Keren on Twitter @kerencarrion8.