With no end in sight for the current pandemic, many Texans are wondering how long the mask and social distant mandates will continue.

In a press conference on Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott commented on when he thinks the time will come.

“We’re working right now on evaluating when we’re gonna be able to remove all statewide orders, and we will be making announcements about that pretty soon,” Abbot said. So, he didn't say much, but hopefully we'll hear about a timeline soon.

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As of now, over 5 million Texans have received at least 1 dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is only about 5.1% of the population, and it is recommended that a state reach about 70% to 80% before they consider potentially ease back into normalcy.

The winter storm that we all experienced here also delayed the timeline of vaccinations. With most Texans being forced to shelter in place during last week's storm, it simply wasn't possible to distribute many doses of the vaccine.

Speaking of the vaccine, Abbott also announced Thursday that 1,100 National Guard troops are being deployed to help with Texas' Save our Seniors Initiative.

The guardsmen will be broken into teams that will focus on identifying and registering homebound seniors who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Some guardsmen will register these seniors for the program, will others will actually administer vaccines. They'll also work with organizations like Meals on Wheels and nursing groups to identify seniors interested in being vaccinated.

It is recommended that everyone continues to practice physical distancing and wear masks, including those who have received both doses of the vaccine.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has even said that mask mandates may easily continue into 2022. He said that while he is unable to determine a specific timeline to get back to normal, he does concur with President Biden's prediction that the end of this year could mark a point where we can start easing back into pre-2020 normalcy.

So as much as we hate to wear the masks and not go out, and trust me we all do, we must continue to follow the safety protocols until vaccination numbers rise up more and COVID-19 hospitalizations go down.

Gov. Abbott also addressed the public this week to discuss his plan to address the failure of Texas' power grid during the winter storm, including a three-step process for protecting energy consumers faced with sky-high bills and investigating the agencies responsible for the grid. You can find more information about that here.

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