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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tests positive for COVID-19

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tests positive for COVID-19
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday amid a surge of the virus within the state and a battle over his ban on mask mandates in schools. File Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement from his office Tuesday.

Abbott is fully vaccinated and has been tested for the virus daily before producing his first positive test Tuesday.

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The governor's office added that he is currently experiencing no symptoms but is receiving Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment and will isolate in the governor's mansion where he will continue to be tested daily.

People who have been in close contact with Abbott have been notified and his wife, first lady Cecilia Abbott, tested negative.

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"Governor Abbott is in constant communication with his staff, agency heads and government officials to ensure that state government continues to operate smoothly and efficiently," his office said.

Texas is one of several southern states experiencing a COVID-19 surge as the state reported 20,123 new cases and 96 new deaths on Tuesday with 12,227 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized.

On Monday night, Abbott tweeted a photo of himself speaking before a crowd of maskless guests at a Republican event in Collin County.

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Abbott has been engaged in a battle with local school districts after he issued an executive order in May barring governmental entities, including public health authorities, from requiring face coverings and so-called vaccine passports, stating that "Texans, not government, should decide their best health practices."

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The Texas Supreme Court on Sunday issued temporary injunctions blocking Dallas and Bexar counties from mandating masks at public schools.

However, on Monday, the San Antonio Independent School District issued a mask mandate for all staff and students in defiance of the order.

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Last week, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona sent letters to Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who issued a similar ban on mask mandates, to rescind their orders and allow school districts to set their own policies.

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