Texas Governor Greg Abbott has tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced in a press release on Tuesday (Aug. 17).
“The Governor has been testing daily, and today was the first positive test result,” the statement read. “Governor Abbott is in constant communication with his staff, agency heads, and government officials to ensure that state government continues to operate smoothly and efficiently. The Governor will isolate in the Governor’s Mansion and continue to test daily. Governor Abbott is receiving Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment.”
His office also confirmed that the governor is fully vaccinated and is currently experiencing no symptoms. Cecilia Abbott, his wife, reportedly tested negative for the virus and everyone who he has been in contact with has been notfiied.
Recently, Gov. Abbott has been vocal about his opposition of mask and vaccine mandates in the state, although Coronavirus cases have tremendously increased since Texas fully opened to 100 percent back in March.
Last month, he issued an executive order forbidding local government and school districts from issuing mask and vaccine mandates. Instead, he encouraged Texas residents who lived in areas with high COVID-19 transmission rates to “follow the safe practices they have already mastered.” If any businesses fail to comply with his order, they will be hit with a $1,000 fine.
“The new executive order emphasizes that the path forward relies on personal responsibility rather than government mandates,” Abbott stated. “Texans ... have the individual right and responsibility to decide for themselves and their children whether they will wear masks, open their businesses, and engage in leisure activities.”
According to The New York Times, Texas has averaged more than 14,700 new cases of Coronavirus as of Monday (Aug. 16), which is a 53 percent increase from two weeks ago. Dozens of Texas hospitals are completely out of beds in their intensive care units due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.