Fort Bend County Judge KP George is encouraging residents to continue wearing masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 despite a new executive order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott that repeals the statewide mask mandate.

Abbott on March 2 announced a new executive order that allows businesses to open up to 100% capacity and repeals the statewide mask order, effective March 10. With the ongoing distribution of vaccines and lower COVID-19 case numbers throughout the state in recent weeks, the governor said it was time to "open Texas 100%."

George released a statement soon after Abbott's news was announced, stating that in Fort Bend County, "we will continue to listen to the doctors, facts, and the science."

"We are smart and will not let COVID-19 win," George said in the statement. "Our healthcare experts understand what it takes to fight this virus and they will let us know when we are past the danger period. So, we continue to highly recommend wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, implementing safety practices when going outside, and more."

The executive order allows businesses to continue to limit capacity, require customers to wear masks and follow other safety measures if they choose.