Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) took part in multiple interviews on Tuesday in order to warn Texas citizens to stay home unless they had good reason to leave due to a record-breaking high in coronavirus cases in the state. There have been over 5,400 new cases in the past 24 hours. 

“First, we want to make sure that everyone reinforces the best safe practices of wearing a mask, hand sanitization, maintaining safe distance, but importantly, because the spread is so rampant right now, there’s never a reason for you to have to leave your home,” Abbott told KBTX-TV. “Unless you do need to go out, the safest place for you is at your home.”

When asked about the fourth of July told KRIS-TV, “There is an executive order already in place given [to] local authorities to put restrictions on crowds gathering over 500. We did see an increase after Memorial Day. We saw an increase in the early part of June. We need to make sure we have the flexibility to reduce crowds in ways that will reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

Abbott has also expanded the power of mayors to be able to monitor outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people. He explained to KENS-TV, “I did authorize local officials to have the authority to establish regulations in gatherings of 100 or more people. This was intended to allow local authorities in particular to regulate gatherings for Fourth of July celebrations. We did not specify what restrictions or regulations they could impose. It’s possible they could require masks in such an environment. It’s going to be up to local officials in that regard.”

Abbott explained that the state’s last resort would be to institute another lock down, but there may have to be a decreased movement in the opening back up of businesses. The Texas stay at home order was one of the shortest in the country, ending on April 30.

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