Gov. Abbott: COVID-19 spreading at an "unacceptable rate" - FOX34 Lubbock

Gov. Abbott: COVID-19 spreading at an "unacceptable rate"

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Gov. Greg Abbott said COVID-19 is spreading at an "unacceptable rate" in Texas, but there are no immediate plans for a second shutdown.

In a press conference Monday, Abbott said if the spikes across the state continue, additional measures will be necessary. He said there has been a doubling in hospitalization trends, daily new cases and positivity rates.

"If we were to experience another doubling of those numbers, over the next month, that would mean that we are in an urgent situation, where tougher actions will be required," Abbott said.

There are no immediate plans to close businesses again.

"Closing down Texas again will always be the last option," he said.

The state has several strategies to reduce the spread without shutting back down, Abbott said. This includes "appropriate" authorities increasing enforcement.

The state has already shut down one bar in Lubbock for violating COVID-19 protocols. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission suspended Little Woodrow's license for 30 days for not maintaining social distance. Agents report letting it stay open would constitute a "continuing threat to the public welfare." The Governor has blamed the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Lubbock to people in their 20s going to bars.

Abbott is also taking a more aggressive tone on masks, pushing Texans to wear them when out in public, but he said a state-wide masking order is not necessary, because case levels vary from one region to another.

"What may be true in Austin, Texas, is different in Austin County, and we need to have latitude for that differentiation," Abbott said.

Looking ahead to Independence Day, Gov. Abbott said cities and counties have the authority to limit gathering if needed, and he said several are already doing just that.

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