coronavirus

Abbott Calls on Texans Who Have Recovered From COVID-19 to Donate Plasma

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Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called on Texans who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma during a Tuesday press conference Beaumont.

Abbott, at the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, also urged residents to continue the social distancing measures that have been in place for months, like wearing a mask, maintaining 6 feet of distance and minimizing large gatherings.

He added that the state would provide PPE like masks, gloves and hand sanitizer to school districts around the state as many of them prepare to open for in-person instruction before the end of the month.

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Abbott said Monday that coronavirus testing in Texas could increase as schools reopen amid a sharp drop-off in the number of tests in recent weeks.

Abbott then headed to Victoria to visit the Victoria Emerging Technology Center Tuesday afternoon.

Texas has averaged more than 34,000 tests a day over the past week, down from a daily average of more than 60,000 in late July. At the same time, Texas' rolling positivity rate has rapidly increased to nearly 20%, nearly double its rate of just over a week ago.

New cases and hospitalizations have stabilized and decreased, and coronavirus deaths in Texas have reached nearly 8,500. Asked about the decrease in testing, Abbott pointed to "surge teams" previously deployed to hot spots that he said drove testing numbers up.

He also said colleges should continue trying to find ways to have a college football season that would protect player health in the coronavirus pandemic. President Donald Trump has joined a number of coaches in for the college football season to be saved from a pandemic-forced shutdown.

Copyright NBC 5 News and The Associated Press
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