Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that his state is pausing its reopening process amid a spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.Un
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that his state is pausing its reopening process amid a spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Under the pause, those businesses that were previously allowed to reopen can continue to remain open and continue operations that abide by set occupancy levels and the Department of State Health Services’ minimum health protocols.
CORONAVIRUS INFECTS 60 UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS STUDENTS ON SPRING BREAK TRIP TO MEXICO
“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,” said Abbott said in a statement. “The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses.”
The Republican governor said the pause will remain in effect “until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business.” He encouraged residents to wear masks, wash hands regularly, and maintain social distancing.
TEXAS GOV. ABBOTT: STATE-RUN CORONAVIRUS TESTING SITES WILL GIVE FREE MASKS TO EVERYONE TESTED AS CASES SPIKE
“The more that we all follow these guidelines, the safer our state will be and the more we can open up Texas for business,” he said.
Abbott also put a stop to elective surgeries in the state’s largest counties for the time being in order to protect hospital space in the Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio areas.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Statewide, the number of COVID-19 patients has more than doubled in two weeks. Texas has reported more than 11,000 new cases in the previous two days alone.
Texas is one of several states that have seen high case numbers in recent days. Several states set single-day case records this week, including Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma. Some of those states also broke hospitalization records, as did North Carolina and South Carolina.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.