Abbott tests positive for COVID-19 breakthrough infection

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, his office announced.

The governor's office said it got the positive result after Abbott, who is fully vaccinated, underwent his routine daily testing. He is currently asymptomatic, but is receiving Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment, which is the same regimen former President Trump was given when he tested positive COVID-19 in October.

“Governor Greg Abbott today tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The Governor has been testing daily, and today was the first positive test result,” the governor’s office said in a statement.

“Governor Abbott is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in good health, and currently experiencing no symptoms. Everyone that the Governor has been in close contact with today has been notified,” his office added.

Abbott will now isolate in the governor’s mansion. His office said his wife, Cecilia Abbott, has tested negative.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) refers to breakthrough cases as fully vaccinated people who test positive for COVID-19. The agency says on its website that a “small percentage” of people who are fully vaccinated ultimately test positive for the virus.

Health experts have emphasized that breakthrough infections are rare and usually cause milder symptoms or asymptomatic cases.

Additionally, officials have reported in the past month that the vast majority of recent COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are among individuals who are not vaccinated.

The news comes as Texas is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, driven largely by the highly infectious delta variant.

Abbott has consistently stood against mandating coronavirus precautions in Texas.

He signed an executive order prohibiting mask mandates in May, which threatened to fine individuals up to $1,000 if they try to violate the order by requiring face coverings to be worn.

He issued another executive order last month that said individuals in Texas have “have mastered the safe practices that help to prevent and avoid the spread of COVID-19."

“They have the individual right and responsibility to decide for themselves and their children whether they will wear masks, open their businesses, and engage in leisure activities,” he added.

The executive order, according to Abbott's office, was meant to provide "clarity and uniformity" for the state's COVID-19 response.

A number of school districts have since defied Abbott’s ban on mask mandates, requiring staff, students and visitors to wear face coverings on district properties.

Abbott, however, announced last week that the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) would be bringing in out-of-state personnel to help with operations as COVID-19 causes continued to surge.

He also sent a letter to the Texas Hospital Association asking that they voluntarily delay elective medical procedures that can be put off without negatively affecting patients in an effort to conserve hospital space.

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