Texas governor tests positive for COVID-19, in 'good health'

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FILE - In this June 8, 2021, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas. Texas Democrats are starting a second week of holing up in Washington to block new voting laws back home. A reality is fast creeping in: the difficulty of sustaining attention and pressure on Congress with 17 days still left to run out the clock on a sweeping elections bill in Texas, which Abbott says he will keep reviving for as long as it takes. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, according to his office, who said the Republican is in good health and experiencing no symptoms.

Abbott, who was vaccinated in 2020, was isolating in the governor's mansion in Austin and receiving monoclonal antibody treatment, spokesman Mark Miner said in a statement.

The governor's positive test came as cases of the virus soar with the highly contagious delta variant and hospitals around the state are stretched thin. More than 11,500 patients were hospitalized with the virus as of Monday, the highest levels since January.

The positive test comes a day after Abbott tweeted a picture of himself not wearing a mask while speaking indoors near Dallas to a group of GOP supporters, most of whom were unmasked.

Jack DeSimone, president of the Republican Club at Heritage Ranch, said he did not like “to have conversations like this” and declined to comment further on Abbott's appearance with the group.

Miner said the governor’s address to the group was his only public event this week. He said Abbott tested negative Monday and that no one else on staff has tested positive.

Abbott has staunchly opposed mask mandates for public schools and this week saw defiant districts in some of the state's largest cities — which are run by Democrats — require face coverings anyway. Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton, a fellow Republican, are fighting the school districts in court.

Abbott's wife, Cecilia Abbott, tested negative. The governor had been getting tested daily and Miner said “everyone that the Governor has been in close contact with today has been notified.”

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AP writer Acacia Coronado also contributed to this report.

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