Update: Gov. Greg Abbott provides update on Texas' response to COVID-19
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday that COVID-19 was “spreading at an unacceptable rate” in the state as the number of cases and hospitalizations spike.
The governor noted that the number of COVID-positive patients in Texas hospitals has doubled, from about 1,600 patients in late May to 3,409 patients on Sunday.
While emphasizing that "closing down Texas again will always be the last option," Abbott said he may have to implement new measures if the spike continues.
On ExpressNews.com: Bexar County reports 538 new COVID cases, one new death, as surge continues
"The way that hospitalizations are spiking, the way that daily new cases are spiking — surely the public can understand that if those spikes continue, additional measures are going to be necessary to make sure that we maintain the health and safety of the people in the state of Texas," he said.
Abbott said that he knows some people believe wearing a mask is "inconvenient or an infringement on freedom," he also knows wearing a mask will "help us keep Texas open."
"Not taking action to slow the spread will cause COVID to spread even worse, risking people’s lives and ultimately leading to the closure of more businesses," the governor said.
Bexar County officials reported 538 new coronavirus cases Sunday — the largest one-day increase since the start of the pandemic — and one new death.
A total of 406 COVID-positive patients were in area hospitals Sunday evening. That was 70 more than on Saturday and more than four times as many as on June 1, when hospitals were treating just 93 coronavirus patients.
Starting Monday, Bexar County businesses must require their customers and employees to wear face masks or risk fines. Abbott did not object to the mandate issued by County Judge Nelson Wolff.
Replay the news conference above.