Texas Governor Greg Abbott: ‘Stiffer measures will be required’ if COVID-19 surge persists

Governor counting on voluntary participation, enhanced enforcement on bars to bend the curve

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott spoke with Steve Spriester and Myra Arthur about the spread of COVID-19 cases and the rise in hospitalizations.

SAN ANTONIO – Texas Governor Greg Abbott is urging Texans to continue following social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has surged in the past two weeks.

Abbott discussed the state’s response during KSAT’s Q and A segment on Monday.

“All of these metrics — hospitalizations, the positivity rate and the number of people testing positive — they’ve all pretty much doubled since the latter to middle part of May,” Abbott said. “People need to understand COVID-19 is spreading far faster.”

Despite the rise, Abbott has not added any restrictions to the state’s reopening efforts. During a news conference on Monday, he said closing businesses would be a last resort.

Texas governor says coronavirus is spreading at ‘unacceptable rate,’ stops short of issuing new restrictions

Instead, Abbott said he is counting on Texans to adhere to distancing guidelines and wear masks when they’re around other people. He also said the state’s increased enforcement on bars should help slow the spread.

“If the voluntary participation or the types of established rules in San Antonio don’t bend the curve, if the crackdown on the bars or other places where there’s overcrowding, if they don’t help bend the curve, then yes, stiffer measures will be required,” Abbott said.

About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.