Houston, July 22 (IANS) Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that he will not impose a new statewide mask mandate amid a resurgence of fresh Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations.Abbott said at a press conference on Wednesday that Texas is "past the time of government mandates" and "into the time for personal responsibility", reports Xinhua news agency.The Governor expressed the same idea one day earlier while being interviewed by the local TV station KPRC."There will be no mask mandate imposed, and the reasons for that are very clear," Abbott said."There are so many people who have immunities to Covid, whether it be through the vaccination, whether it be through their own exposure and their recovery from it, which would be acquired immunity."Abbott told KPRC that it would be "inappropriate to require people who already have immunity to wear a mask".Figures from the Texas Department of State Health Services showed that the Covid-19 positivity rate has crossed a 10 per cent "red zone" threshold recently in Texas.The positivity rate hasn't been this high since February, and in mid-June it was as low as 2.8 per cent.Meanwhile, statewide hospitalisations have also increased in the last three weeks.As of July 19, about 43 per cent of Texans are fully vaccinated, and a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll found nearly half of Texas voters have returned to their pre-pandemic lives.But the number of vaccine shots administered has been declining each month since April.
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