Jun 22, 2020 - Health

Texas governor warns coronavirus is spreading at an "unacceptable rate"

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images
Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said at a press conference on Monday that he is concerned the coronavirus is spreading at an "unacceptable rate" following the state's reopening, but that he would only support a second shutdown as a last resort.

Why it matters: Texas is well into its "phase 3" of reopening, allowing businesses to host up to 50% capacity. But the state outbreak is one of several that has seen a surge in infections in recent weeks, averaging more than 3,500 daily new cases and a positivity rate higher than 9%.

  • Abbott did not announce any new executive actions to stem the spread of the virus, but said that "wearing a mask will help us to keep Texas open because not taking action to slow the spread will cause COVID to spread even worse."
  • "Closing down Texas again will always be the last option," he added.
  • Abbott allowed the state's original stay-at-home order to expire on April 30.

By the numbers: As of Monday afternoon, Texas has reported over 113,200 coronavirus cases in total, with over 2,100 deaths.

The big picture: Texas is one of a dozen states that has seen record highs in new coronavirus cases since Friday, according to ABC News. Some increases are attributable to a growth in testing.

  • The other states are Florida, Utah, South Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Arizona, California, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

Go deeper: U.S. coronavirus cases are increasing, but deaths aren't — yet

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