source: Greg Abbott Facebook

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to spike across the state, Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday encouraged Texans to stay home as much as possible to slow the spread of the virus.

In an interview with KBTX in Bryan, the governor stressed the importance of everyone doing their part to help flatten the curve by staying inside their homes whenever possible and wearing a mask when out in public.

“First, we want to make sure that everyone reinforces the best safe practices of wearing a mask, hand sanitization, maintaining safe distance, but importantly, because the spread is so rampant right now, there’s never a reason for you to have to leave your home. Unless you do need to go out, the safest place for you is at your home,” Abbott said.

Shortly after his interview, Abbott also announced some modifications regarding the state’s reopening process. The governor gave local officials the power to restrict outdoor gatherings of over 100 people; the previous threshold was originally set at 500 people. Abbott also said the state would be enacting mandatory health standards for child care centers while previous rules were voluntary.

These measures came just a day after Gov. Abbott held a press conference regarding the “unacceptable rate” the coronavirus was spreading across the state. At the press conference, he pleaded with Texans to wear masks when social distancing isn’t possible.

“Wearing a mask will help us to keep Texas open. Not wearing a mask will ultimately lead to the closure of more businesses,” the governor said. “I know some people think wearing a mask is inconvenient or an infringement on freedom, but I also know it will keep Texas open.”