The mask mandate in Texas is expected to end March 10 making wearing a mask a “request” that does not have to be observed.
Service workers converged on the Capitol in Austin to request vaccine access and demand that the state’s mask mandate stay in place until that happens.
Monday afternoon’s rally was hosted by the Restaurant Organizing Project, Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee, Austin Mutual Aid and Texas Amplified Sound Coalition, which claim that Abbott’s insistence on ending the mask order shows that he’s willing to sacrifice the lives of restaurant workers, grocery workers and other essential service employees.
“In addition to us now facing an increased risk of COVID-19 exposure, we now face increased risk of violence and abuse from customers who will not adhere to our store policies to continue mask policies until the CDC advises us they are no longer needed,” the groups said in a statement Monday.
The advocates want 70% of essential service workers, from bartenders to delivery drivers to hotel workers, to be vaccinated before Texas fully opens and the mask mandate is dropped.