Abbott extends coronavirus disaster declaration

FILE - In this June 16, 2020, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott adjusts his mask after speaking in Austin, Texas. Abbott on Thursday, July 2, ordered that face coverings must be worn in public across most of the state, a dramatic ramp up of the Republican's efforts to control spiking numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File) (AP)

HOUSTON – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has extended his disaster declaration related to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, Abbott signed an extension of the order that was originally issued March 13. It declares that COVID-19 “poses an imminent threat of disaster for all counties in the State of Texas.”

Abbott said extending the order directs state resources to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“I urge Texans to take precautionary steps to protect their health by wearing a mask, social distancing, and sanitizing their hands,” Abbott said in a written statement. “Working together, we will slow the spread and keep our communities safe.”

The state’s seven-day positivity rate is at the lowest level since mid-June and the rate of newly reported cases in the Greater Houston area has slowed.

Abbott indicated last week that he would be providing an update on the state’s reopening plan sometime this week.

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