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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pauses reopening as COVID cases surge

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  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has paused the state’s reopening plan as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. 
  • The Gov. announced the pause on Thursday and said that businesses already reopened can stay that way. 
  • As of Thursday, 131,310 people in Texas have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Thursday that he will “pause” the state’s reopening plan as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to surge.

Businesses already reopened can continue to operate with limited occupancy, he said.

“The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses,” Abbott said in a statement on Thursday. “This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business.”

 

Texas was one of the first states in the country to start reopening from coronavirus lockdown in early May. The state has seen a surge in cases since then.

On Tuesday alone, 5,489 new cases were reported in the state, which Abbott described as a “massive outbreak” and Dr. Peter Hotez, who is working on developing a COVID-19 vaccine, called “absolutely horrifying.”

Earlier this month, Abbott blamed the outbreak on young people and chastised those who flout social distancing guidelines and refuse to wear a mask. 

Last weekend, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission suspended the licenses of a dozen Texan bars for failing to follow restrictions that remain in place to curb the infection’s spreadKSAT reported.

On Thursday, Abbott once again urged residents to “do their part” in slowing the spread of coronavirus by wearing a mask, washing their hands regularly, and staying socially distant.

Unlike some other governors, though, Abbott didn’t issue an order mandating masks must be worn in public. 

At least 131,310 people in Texas have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus so far. 

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