Texas reports 0 COVID-related deaths for the first time since March 2020

Jeff Ehling Image
Monday, May 17, 2021
TX reports 0 COVID deaths for the first time since March 2020
"Thanks, Texans!" Gov. Abbott said in a tweet announcing the state's fewest cases in over 13 months and lowest seven day positivity rate ever.

For the first time in about 14 months, the state of Texas reported zero deaths from COVID-19.

The great news comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new guidelines for vaccinated Americans, declaring it safe to participate in most activities without a mask.

Gov. Greg Abbott thanked Texans in a tweet Sunday, announcing the big milestone in the state's fight against COVID-19.

According to Abbott, this is the first time Texas has reported zero coronavirus-related deaths since data first began being tracked in March 2020.

On top of zero reported deaths, Texas is also reporting the fewest COVID-19 cases in over 13 months, the lowest seven day positivity rate ever, and the lowest hospitalization rate in 11 months, according to the governor.

"Thanks, Texans!" Abbott said in his tweet.

Under the new guidelines, the CDC says mask-wearing for fully vaccinated people is optional unless local laws require a mask.

READ MORE: CDC: Fully vaccinated people can ditch masks indoors - most of the time

In a striking move to send the country back toward pre-pandemic life, the CDC will ease indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people.

Starbucks is the latest business to drop mask policies for fully vaccinated customers, but some retailers are taking a more cautious approach.

It is the store-by-store policies that some fear will cause confusion. Some also fear that those not vaccinated will refuse to wear masks.

For that reason, the nation's largest nurses' union is urging the CDC to go back to recommending masks, calling the recent CDC decision, "a huge blow to confronting the virus and pandemic."

But the CDC says the data supports their decision to allow vaccinated people to drop the mask.

RELATED: Not every vaccinated person is giving up mask-wearing: Why some aren't ready despite CDC guidelines

Businesses and state officials are forced to decide whether to comply with CDC mask guidance as confusion persists across the country.

"If they're vaccinated, they are safe. If they are not vaccinated, they are not safe," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. "They should still be wearing a mask, or better yet, get vaccinated."

One place the CDC said masks and social distancing should remain is at your children's schools.

The CDC says kids will not be fully vaccinated by the end of the school year as kids under 12 are not yet approved to get the vaccine. So for now, the agency is not recommending schools change their approach to fighting COVID-19.

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Trader Joe's and Walmart are both dropping their mask mandates for fully vaccinated shoppers following new CDC guidance easing mask-wearing.