New York saw a 209% increase in COVID-19 cases over two weeks at the time of his announcement, according to The New York Times database.
Meyer was a step ahead of the game. On Tuesday, New York announced it will become the first city in the country to require proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to dine indoors at a restaurant. The program, called Key to NYC Pass, is similar to programs in France and Italy, some of which have caused demonstrations in the streets. Key to NYC Pass begins Aug. 16 and will be enforced on Sept. 13.
This came a few days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance recommending that even people who have been vaccinated return to wearing masks indoors.
The day after the CDC's announcement, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott countered with executive order GA-38 preventing local governments and state agencies from mandating masks or proof of vaccines, calling on Texans to instead rely on personal responsibility.
The Texas governor’s order went a step further mandating that “any public or private entity that is receiving or will receive public funds through any means, including grants, contracts, loans or other disbursements of taxpayer money, shall not require consumers to provide, as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place, documentation regarding the consumer’s vaccination status for any COVID-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization.”
"... shall not require consumers to provide, as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place, documentation regarding the consumer’s vaccination status ... " - Executive Order GA-38
The governor’s statement implies that if a restaurant received funds through programs like the Paycheck Protection Program or Restaurant Relief Funds, it can’t ask diners to show proof of vaccination.
We reached out to the Texas Restaurant Association for further interpretation. Kelsey Erickson Streufert, vice president of government relations and advocacy, said they do believe the intent was to restrain restaurants from instituting their own policies.
“Restaurants don’t want to be the vaccine police,” Erickson Streufert said. “However, we also see the data illustrating that vaccines are incredibly safe and effective. Therefore, we will continue to urge all Texans to consult with their doctor and become vaccinated as soon as possible so we can finally put this pandemic behind us.”
On Aug. 3, Dallas County announced a 145% increase in coronavirus cases over the same period last week. Hospitalizations have increased 375% over the last month. In Dallas County, there have been 2,115 cases of COVID-19 breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated individuals; 261 (12.3%) were hospitalized and 29 died.