HOUSTON – Texas Governor Greg Abbott extended his disaster declaration for all Texas counties Friday as coronavirus cases continue to surge in the state.
Abbott’s proclamation was originally issued on March 13 and provided the state a number of resources to help serve Texans mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
“Extending this Disaster Declaration helps ensure that Texas has the resources and flexibility needed to effectively respond to COVID-19,” Abbott said in a release. “To further mitigate the spread of the virus and overcome this challenge, Texans should continue to do their part by wearing a mask, social distancing, and staying home if possible.”
As of Friday afternoon, there have been 240,111 positive COVID-19 cases reported in Texas and more than 3,000 COVID-19 related deaths. Harris County and Houston continue to lead in state in virus cases with almost 41,000 cases, according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. There were also nearly 10,000 cases reported in the state Friday.
Abbott said that if things continue to get worse and if people or businesses continue to violate his statewide order, the next step could be another economic lockdown.
“The public needs to understand this was a very tough decision for me to make,” Abbott told KLBK of his face mask mandate. “I made clear that I made this tough decision for one reason: It was our last best effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. If we do not slow the spread of COVID-19 … the next step would have to be a lockdown.”