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June 22, 2020      5:01 PM

Warning of another shutdown as a last resort, Gov. Abbott says current measures are still enough to turn back COVID-19 spike

Abbott is trying to thread the political needle easing up on allowing local officials to mandate face coverings; Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick meanwhile spoke at a Tea Party in the Houston area this weekend with no masks or facial coverings seen in photos that he promoted

Three key indicators to track COVID-19 have doubled between the end of May and the last five days, but Gov. Greg Abbott continues to double-down on safety protocols rather than backing off the state’s reopening plan.

Reopening Texas cities and businesses have brought spikes in COVID-19 cases. Twice as many people – 1,600 to 3,500 – are being diagnosed on a daily basis. The percentage of those testing positive has jumped from 4.5 percent to 9 percent. And the number of hospitalizations has jumped from 1,600 to 3,200.

COVID-19 is spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, Abbott said this afternoon. It must be stopped from further increases.

By Kimberly Reeves

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