Gov. Abbott: State agencies, publicly funded entities cannot require COVID-19 vaccine “passports”
By LYNETTE SOWELL
On Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order that prohibits state agencies or political subdivisions in Texas, such as counties, cities, and school districts from requiring a “vaccine passport” as a condition to receive services based on an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status.
Organizations which receive public funding are also prohibited from requiring consumers to provide documentation of vaccine status to receive any service or enter any place.
This also means that private entities that receive, or will receive, public funds through any means, including grants, contracts, loans, or other disbursements of taxpayer money, can’t require customers or clients to provide documentation regarding the consumer’s COVID-19 vaccination status as a condition of receiving service.
According to the executive order, “no consumer may be denied entry to a facility financed in whole or in part by public funds for failure to provide documentation regarding the consumer’s vaccination status for any COVID-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization.”
However, state-supported nursing homes and assisted living centers, or other long-term care facilities are not limited by the executive order.
“Every day, Texans are returning to normal life as more people get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. But, as I’ve said all along, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced,” said Abbott. “Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives. That is why I have issued an Executive Order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas. We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health — and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms.”
Vaccination distribution continues statewide. Thus far in Texas, 12,981,590 doses of the COVID-19 vaccination have been administered, with 8,434,288 residents having had at least one dose, and 4,906,823 have been fully vaccinated.
Within Coryell County, 16.15 percent of those age 16 and up have received at least one dose, and 10.9 percent are fully vaccinated. The 65-plus population have had 52.48 percent receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, and 38.94 percent are fully vaccinated.
Numbers are slightly higher in neighboring Lampasas County, with 23.64 percent of those 16 and up having had at least one dose of the vaccine, and 14.18 percent are fully vaccinated.
In the over-65 demographic in Lampasas County, 47.99 percent of those seniors have received at least one vaccine dose, and 32.67 percent are fully vaccinated.
As of Monday within the city limits of Copperas Cove, there were 45 individuals with active COVID-19. That’s the lowest point since July 13, 2020, when there were a total of 56 active cases. However, at that time there were only 96 total cases within Copperas Cove. As of Monday, April 5, there were a total of 2,709 cumulative cases in the city, with 2,636 cases considered no longer active, and 30 deceased.
Within the Copperas Cove Independent School District, there were a total of 10 active confirmed cases as of Wednesday, April 7, to include one student and one staff member at Copperas Cove High School, one student and one staff member at Copperas Cove Junior High; one student at S.C. Lee Junior High; one staff member at Fairview/Jewell Elementary; one student at Halstead Elementary; two staff members at Williams/Ledger Elementary; and one non-campus staff member.
Altogether, as of March 28, CCISD has had a total of 269 student cases and 140 staff cases. That’s out of the total district enrollment of 8,029, as per the district’s weekly report it submits to the Texas Education Agency.
Statewide as of April 7, there were a total of 68,974 active cases, out of a total 2,412,115 confirmed cases.
Hospitalizations statewide for COVID-19 numbered 2,886, at their lowest point since June 16 of last year, when hospitalizations numbered 2,793. In Trauma Service Area L, there were 45 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Tuesday, making up 3.95% of local hospitalizations.
COVID-19 cases in Central Texas as of April 7
Bell County 314 active cases (21,655 total)
Burnet County 108 active cases (4,017 total)
Coryell County 84 active cases (5,036 total)
Copperas Cove (city) 43 active cases (2,709 total)
Lampasas County 35 active cases (1,794 total)
McLennan County 169 active cases (26,297 total)
Williamson County 0 active cases (37,422 total)
*Numbers from Texas DSHS, Coryell County; Bell, McLennan, and Williamson County Public Health Districts