Texas Gov. Greg Abbott now testing negative for COVID-19

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he has tested negative for COVID-19, just four days after testing positive.

“I'm told that my infection was brief and mild because of the vaccination that I received,” Abbott said in a video clip posted on his Twitter accounton Saturday. “So I encourage others who have not yet received the vaccination to consider getting one.”

When the Republican governor announced Tuesday that he had tested positive for the virus, his office said he was in good health and experiencing no symptoms. Abbott said Saturday that he will continue to quarantine as recommended by doctors.

Abbott, who was vaccinated in December, has refused calls to reinstate mask mandates as the highly contagious delta variant surges in Texas.

He tested positive for the virus a day after appearing indoors near Dallas without a mask while speaking to a crowded room of GOP supporters, most of whom were older and unmasked. Abbott, 63, has seldom been seen wearing a mask in public recently.

He also 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. 

Hospitalizations of people with COVID-19 have reached levels not seen since January, with almost 13,000 people hospitalized as of Friday. 

Abbott said Saturday that his wife, Cecilia Abbott, continues to test negative.

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