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A Texas ER doctor said reopening too soon is 'devastating' to state's medical community

Added 03-03-21 12:14:04am EST - “Dr. Natasha Kathuria, an ER doctor based in Austin, Texas, said "we can't let our guards down this soon" amid the state's reopening plans.” - Businessinsider.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Businessinsider.com: “A Texas ER doctor said reopening too soon is 'devastating' to state's medical community”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday that he would lift Texas' mask mandate and reopen the state "100%" starting next Wednesday, but a Texas ER doctor says the state is "nowhere near" its goal of herd immunity in order to safely reopen.

Dr. Natasha Kathuria, an emergency medicine physician based in Austin told Insider that lifting health safety restrictions "is a very dangerous message that the governor is sending to Texans that may have dire consequences."

In January, Texas became the first state to administer one million doses of the vaccine and had administered 5.7 million vaccines by the time of the Tuesday announcement. But as the second-largest state in the country, "only 7% of Texans have been fully vaccinated as of today, with about 13% receiving one dose," Kathuria, who has expertise in public health and epidemiology, said. 

Kathuria told Insider that lifting the state's health safety guidelines was a "devastating" blow to the state's medical community — one that comes just after the devastating winter storms that slammed Texas last month.

As hospitalizations and cases improved with the vaccine rollout, the ER doctor said there was a "new sense of hope as a very palpable weight of fear was lifted off our shoulders." 

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