Texas Gov. Abbott, who banned mask mandates, tests positive for Covid

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who's fought local officials throughout the state on mask mandates, has tested positive for Covid-19, his office announced Tuesday.

Abbott is fully vaccinated, "is in good health, and currently experiencing no symptoms," his office said in a statement.

"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. Abbott is receiving Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment and plans to isolate in the Governor's Mansion. His wife Cecilia Abbott tested negative.

The announcement of Abbott's illness comes just days after the governor called for 2,500 out-of-state medical personnel to combat the coronavirus. He also requested that state hospitals postpone all elective procedures to clear room to treat more Covid patients as the delta variant floods the state's health-care infrastructure.

Abbott unveiled a plan Friday to launch nine monoclonal antibody infusion centers across the state as Covid patients clog up hospitals across the state. Almost 45% of Texas' 6,959 reported intensive care beds are currently occupied by coronavirus patients, compared with 26% nationwide, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Texas reported a seven-day average of more than 15,000 new Covid cases as of Tuesday, an increase of over 6% from a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Abbott, a staunch opponent of mask mandates, issued an executive order banning local governments and school districts from requiring facial coverings in July. All who fail to comply are subject to a $1,000 fine, though school districts in San Antonio and Dallas successfully challenged the order, allowing local officials to require that students and faculty wear masks.

Abbott was left paralyzed below the waist after an oak tree fell on him while jogging in 1984, leaving him in a wheelchair.

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