Gov. Abbott warns more shutdowns could be coming if mask mandate isn't followed

AUSTIN, TX - MAY 18: Texas Governor Greg Abbott announces the reopening of more Texas businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic at a press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Monday, May 18, 2020. Abbott said that childcare facilities, y (Photo by Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images)

Texas has surpassed 10,000 current hospitalizations for the first time while reporting more than 9,000 new cases for the third time in the past week.

Governor Greg Abbott is again warning if the mandatory mask order does not help significantly slow the spread of COVID-19, some other restrictions are possible.

Dr. John Carlo with the Texas Medical Association says the numbers we’re seeing now are likely from at least three weeks ago.

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“These indicators are indicating what’s happened several weeks ago,” he said. “In other words, if we take into account the incubation period or the amount of time it takes from the time you're exposed to the virus to the time you’re showing signs and symptoms — to then looking at getting the test, the test results and getting that all reported — we’re several weeks behind.”

TEA is concerned for those who may have not safely celebrated July Fourth.

“That would mean that in the very near future we could just continue to see this arc of new cases happening and new hospitalizations happening,” Dr. Carlo said.

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Officials say wearing masks might be the one thing that prevents another economic shutdown. Texas now has more than 3,000 reported COVID-19 deaths.

The governor has already identified bars as a scene of high COVID-19 spread and closed them down. He says they’re now working to strategically identify any other hot spots.

“And if it’s the case, it may be necessary to shut down operations like that,” he said.

Gov. Abbott acknowledged that face coverings are not convenient but that they are the best bridge until more therapeutic medicines are available.

This story was reported from Dallas, Texas.