CORONAVIRUS

Texas Governor Tests Positive For COVID-19, In ‘Good Health’

Aug 18, 2021, 6:35 AM

FILE: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a press conference at the Texas Capitol in Austin on Mar...

FILE: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a press conference at the Texas Capitol in Austin on March 29, 2020. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News/Pool)

(Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News/Pool)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, according to his office, who said the Republican is in good health and experiencing no symptoms.

Abbott, who was vaccinated in December and has refused calls to reinstate mask mandates as the highly contagious delta variant surges in Texas, was isolating in the governor’s mansion in Austin and receiving monoclonal antibody treatment, spokesman Mark Miner said in a statement. He is at least the 11th governor to test positive for the virus since the pandemic began, according to a tally by The Associated Press.

“Governor Abbott is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in good health, and currently experiencing no symptoms. Everyone that the Governor has been in close contact with today has been notified,” Miner said.

In a video posted on social media, Abbott said the fact that he had been fully vaccinated “may be one reason I’m really not feeling any symptoms right now. I have no fever, no aches and pains, no other types of symptoms.”

The positive test comes a day after Abbott, who has seldom been seen wearing a mask in public recently, did not wear one while speaking indoors near Dallas to a crowded room of GOP supporters, most of whom were older and unmasked. Video posted by his campaign shows the 63-year-old governor — who is up for reelection in 2022 and has drawn two GOP challengers who have attacked the virus restrictions he put in place last year — mingling with attendees as they gathered around him taking pictures.

“Another standing room only event in Collin County tonight,” Abbott tweeted.

The event was held by a group called the Republican Club at Heritage Ranch. Reached by phone Tuesday after Abbott announced he had tested positive, Jack DeSimone, president of the club, said he did not like “to have conversations like this” and declined to comment further on Abbott’s appearance.

Abbott had also posted a picture of himself with the guitarist Jimmie Vaughan earlier Tuesday before news of his positive test. Vaughan and his family have tested negative, according to a statement from the musician.

Abbott has rebuffed calls to reimpose pandemic restrictions, including mask mandates, as cases in Texas are again soaring, hospitals are stretched thin, and a growing number of school districts defy his orders that prohibit face-covering requirements in classrooms. Abbott and Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton are now in court fighting what amounts to many of Texas’ largest school districts, which began classes this week.

More than 12,200 patients in Texas were hospitalized with the virus as of Tuesday, the highest levels since January, and state health officials said this week they had requested five morgue trailers from the federal government as a precaution. But as cases have sharply climbed, Abbott has stuck to a message that the path forward “relies on personal responsibility.”

By Tuesday, at least four Texas school districts had already temporarily closed because of virus outbreaks just days into students returning to class. And in a sign of tensions as schools defy Abbott’s orders, the superintendent of the Eanes school district near Austin said one parent “physically assaulted” one teacher by ripping a mask off her face.

Democrat Rafael Anchia, a state representative from Dallas, said he wished the governor a speedy recovery and was “praying this sign will cause him to rescind the order stopping schools from requiring masks.”

Miner said the governor’s address to the group was his only public event this week. He said Abbott tested negative Monday and that no one else on staff has tested positive.

Abbott’s wife, Cecilia Abbott, tested negative. The governor had been getting tested daily and Miner said “everyone that the Governor has been in close contact with today has been notified.”

__

AP writer Acacia Coronado also contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live

Coronavirus

FILE - Comirnaty, a new Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination booster for COVID-19, is displayed at a pharmac...

Jen Christensen, CNN

The FDA tells COVID-19 vaccine makers to update shot to target newest variant

The US Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it had advised the makers of the Covid-19 vaccines to formulate their new shots to be a better match for the JN.1 lineage of the coronavirus.

12 days ago

(FILE) A test dummy getting hit by an air bag during a crash test....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Thousands of cars equipped with faulty airbags on Utah roads as automakers issues ‘Do Not Drive’ warnings

Auto manufacturers have recalled over millions of Takata airbags because of their potential to explode and shoot out sharp metal fragments. And there are still thousands of those in cars across Utah.

15 days ago

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 03: Dr. Anthony Fauci, former Director of the National Institute of Allergy a...

Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

Fauci testifies publicly before House panel on COVID origins, controversies

Dr. Anthony Fauci is facing heated questioning from Republican lawmakers about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

17 days ago

A sign reminding Copper Hills High School students and staff to keep their hands clean during the c...

Lindsay Aerts

Utah school districts working to prioritize what stays when COVID relief money runs dry

Utah's school districts are working to figure out how they will continue to pay for programs propped up by COVID-19 relief funds.

1 month ago

FILE: Former Utah Jazz John Stockton reacts during a 76-70 Wichita State win over the Gonzaga Bulld...

Michael Houck

Former Utah Jazz star John Stockton sues Washington medical director about COVID misinformation policy

Former Utah Jazz superstar John Stockton has filed a federal lawsuit against Washington officials on First Amendment violations, arguing the state's policy of COVID-19 misinformation is unconstitutional.

3 months ago

Deer Creek Reservoir...

Alex Cabrero

State parks expecting another record visitation year, hiring more workers

It didn't matter how cold or snowy it was at Deer Creek State Park Friday afternoon. Nothing was going to stop Leonard Sawyer from taking his boat out to do a little fishing.

4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Texas Governor Tests Positive For COVID-19, In ‘Good Health’