“As we experience an increase in both positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we are focused on strategies that slow the spread of this virus while also allowing Texans to continue earning a paycheck to support their families,” Abbott, a Republican, said in a statement. “The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses. This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business.”
Describing the move as a “temporary pause,” the governor said it will deal with the spread of the virus so that Texas can open again.
He said, “I ask all Texans to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, washing their hands regularly, and socially distancing from others. The more that we all follow these guidelines, the safer our state will be and the more we can open up Texas for business.”
Abbott’s comments came after U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar said he doesn’t believe that states won’t have to again shut down over the recent daily increase in CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus cases.
“You will see local community mitigation steps depending on circumstances. As I said, the hotspots are in 3 percent of American counties. About 110 counties right now are the ones that we are focused on. We can get back to work, back to school, back to worship, and more importantly, back to health care, if we act responsibly as individuals,” Azar told Fox News on Thursday.
The majority of the cases are occurring in older Americans with preexisting health issues such as obesity, lung disease, or diabetes, Azar told the broadcaster, echoing comments made by top health officials earlier this year. Most of the country, he added, can resume their normal activities while wearing face masks.
Across Texas, the number of hospitalizations increased to more than 4,739 on Thursday, officials told the Texas Tribune, adding that the state had 1,320 intensive care unit beds available.