Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Tests Positive for COVID, Is Isolating and Receiving Antibodies

The governor, who had banned mask mandates in government spaces, attended a crowded indoor event one day before his positive test result

Greg Abbott. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has tested positive for COVID-19.

A spokesman, Mark Miner, announced the governor's test result in a statement on Tuesday.

Miner said it was a breakthrough infection as Abbott was "fully vaccinated" and that he remains in "good health" and was "currently experiencing no symptoms."

"The Governor has been testing daily, and today was the first positive test result," Miner said. "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."

Miner added that Abbott was receiving Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment, was isolating in the governor's mansion and would continue to take daily COVID-19 tests.

"Everyone that the Governor has been in close contact with today has been notified," Miner said.

Abbott's wife, Cecilia, tested negative for COVID-19, he said.

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Breakthrough cases — COVID-19 infections that occur in people who have been fully vaccinated against the virus — are rare, but possible and expected, as the vaccines are not 100 percent effective in preventing infections.

Still, vaccinated people who test positive will likely be asymptomatic or experience a far milder illness than if they were not vaccinated. The majority of deaths from COVID-19 — around 98 to 99 percent — are in unvaccinated people.

Abbott has been a controversial leader during the pandemic for challenging public health guide on preventing infections.

In July, he issued an executive order that banned the government, including public school districts, from setting forth requirements for wearing masks. Two Texas counties responded by seeking restraining orders against enforcement of the rule, but the state Supreme Court upheld the order.

The governor's positive test result comes just one day after he attended a crowded GOP event in Collin County. A photo shared by Abbott on Twitter Monday evening showed a crowded room with virtually no social distancing in place and not a mask to be seen.

The Houston Chronicle reported that there were about 600 people at the event.

Texas has been experiencing one of the biggest surges of the virus in the country, as the more contagious delta variant leads to new infections. On Tuesday the state reportedly requested five mortuary trucks from the federal government to aid with an influx of dead bodies.

Texas hospitals are also running out of space: Five regions have no remaining hospital ICU beds, and seven others have less than 10, according to state data.

On Tuesday, the state also reported more than 20,000 new cases of COVID-19 and 96 fatalities related to the virus, according to data from the Department of State Health Services.

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