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Texas Governor Greg Abbott tests positive for COVID-19

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott has tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced on Tuesday. Abbott is fully vaccinated and so far is experiencing no symptoms. 

"The Governor has been testing daily, and today was the first positive test result," Abbott's communications director Mark Miner said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. "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."

In a video posted to his Twitter account Tuesday evening, Abbott said he has "no symptoms such as fever or aches and pains" and "will remain engaged every day to govern the great state of Texas."

Miner also said that Abbott is being treated with Regeneron's monoclonal antibodies, which may help shorten the duration of the COVID infection.

Cecilia Abbott, his wife, has tested negative, according to Miner. 

Texas has seen a spike in cases over the past several weeks due to the Delta variant. On Tuesday the state health department reported 20,123 new COVID cases, which is among the highest number of positive daily cases in Texas since the pandemic began. 

More than 12,000 patients were hospitalized with the virus as of Monday, the most since January. Last week, Abbott announced that he had arranged for more than 2,500 medical personnel to help hospitals handle the surge in cases. Earlier this month, he also asked Texas hospitals to voluntarily postpone elective procedures. 

Abbott has resisted enacting new restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus. He recently banned local governments from putting COVID restrictions back in place and has challenged local school districts that have tried to institute mask mandates. 

The governor has appeared in public in recent days, tweeting a picture Monday night from a crowded event in the Dallas suburbs. 

On Friday, Abbott announced a plan to launch nine monoclonal antibody infusion centers across Texas equipped with Regeneron's monoclonal antibodies. Former President Trump was also treated with the drug company's monoclonal antibodies after he tested positive for COVID-19 last October.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott tests positive for COVID-19 as mask debate heats up in Texas and Florida 08:36
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