Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) reaffirmed Thursday that he is not issuing a statewide shutdown as Chinese coronavirus cases climb.
“Let me tell you, there is no shutdown coming,” the governor said in an interview with FOX 26 Houston.
Abbott’s remark comes after he predicted last week that “the next step would have to be a lockdown” if the number of additional cases continued to grow.
Abbott recently issued a statewide mask mandate and ordered bars to close as part of an effort to blunt the spread of the deadly illness.
Speaking to KPRC in Wednesday, Abbott quipped that he is pressed about whether a shutdown is imminent “like a thousand times a day.”
“People are panicking, thinking I’m about to shut down Texas again,” he told the local news outlet. “The answer is no. That is not the goal. I’ve been abundantly clear.”
On Wednesday, Texas again set a new high with nearly 10,800 new cases, along with a record 110 deaths.
The rising toll includes 35 deaths that officials on the Texas-Mexico border said happened Wednesday morning alone in Hidalgo County. That was more than twice the number of new deaths reported in Harris County — which has five times the population — and where Texas’s largest school district decided that Houston public schools would not only postpone the first day of class but conduct the first six weeks of learning online.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.