Coronavirus: Swift and risky turn in Texas cases, says governor

Pence event featured choir of over 100 people performing without masks

"If your neighborhood officials in session with the state are directing you to don a mask, we persuade every person to don a mask in the affected parts and where you won't be able to preserve social distancing, donning a mask is just a superior concept and it will, we know, from working experience, will sluggish the unfold of the coronavirus", Pence said at a briefing at the College of Texas Southwestern Professional medical Middle in Dallas on Sunday. The task force is represented by Dr. Deborah Birx and Secretary Ben Carson.

Pence said the government will make sure the Texas healthcare system have appropriate amount of resources, supplies, and personnel.

Addressing spikes in reported coronavirus cases in some states, Mr Azar said people "have to take ownership" of their own behaviours by social distancing and wearing masks if possible.

Health minister Zwelini Mkhize said the current rise in infections has come from people who "moved back into the workplace". The rate, which is presented as a seven-day average, reached 13.23 percent on Friday, nearly as high as its highest record in mid-April of 13.86 percent.

But now Governor Abbott has ordered bars across the state to close and required restaurants to limit indoor seating, acknowledging that in hindsight he had opened bars too soon. When asked if Abbott would require a statewide mask mandate, he noted that a majority of Texans are already required to do so in businesses under recent local orders. "Texas took that plan and implemented it here in a safe and responsible way". Wearing a mask can protect people 75 percent more than without a mask. As Pence touted efforts to accelerate testing and counteract the virus, he praised the state by saying "you flattened the curve here in Texas".

The state has seen regular averages of over 30,000 tests in a day, a threshold that Abbott set when he announced the reopening of the state at the end of April.

A Trump spokesperson informed Saturday Vice President, Mike Pence has postponed his campaign events in Florida and Arizona "out of an abundance of caution".

"President Trump wanted us to be here today with the developments over the last two weeks with the rising positivity and the rising number of cases with a very simple message and that is to use people of Texas: We're with you".

New York State has made facemasks mandatory since April in places where maintaining social distancing is hard.

According to NBC News, Pence wore a mask earlier in the day but did not wear one when speaking at the news conference. This drew criticism towards his actions.

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