Gov. Greg Abbott said the coronavirus is "spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas" and warned that "tougher actions" may be imposed if the numbers continue to spike, but he stressed that closing down the state again "will always be the last option."
"Covid-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, and it must be corralled," Abbott said at a news conference in Monday.
The governor outlined three categories that are spiking in Texas — daily positive cases, hospitalizations, and the positivity rate. Texas saw its largest daily increase of cases over the weekend, with 4,430 reported on Saturday, and the positivity rate jumped to nearly 9% this weekend from 4.5% in late May.
"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 to make sure that we do contain the spread of Covid-19," he said.
For now, Abbott did not outline any rollbacks of his phased approach to reopening the state. Instead, the state will monitor whether recently developed actions — like the cracking down by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission on businesses that don't enforce reopening restrictions — will have any effect.
Abbott also said the state is surging testing in hot spots and doing more to promote the wearing of masks, though still not making it a requirement.