AUSTIN, Texas — Texas’ surging coronavirus numbers are not slowing down the state’s reopening.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday instead prescribed a renewed emphasis on face coverings to curtail sobering trends, including hospitalization rates that have more than doubled over the past month. Monday marked the 11th consecutive day Texas set a new high for COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Abbott didn’t rule out reimposing lockdown orders but described it as a last resort. He says the virus is spreading at an “unacceptable rate” in Texas but stopped short of mandating face masks in public.
Big cities in Texas have begun mandating that businesses require customers to wear masks, including Houston, where the order went into effect Monday.