Abbott says he won't issue another mask mandate in Texas, despite COVID-19 rise

Greg Abbott
Photo credit Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

AUSTIN ( -- Despite a rise in COVID-19 cases across much of the state, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told a Houston television station Tuesday that he will not impose another mask mandate.

Abbott spoke Tuesday with Houston's KPRC-TV, saying it would be "inappropriate" to force those who have "immunity to COVID through the vaccination or through their own exposure and recovery from it."

Despite the availability of vaccines, only 43% of all Texans are fully vaccinated. The 7-day average of new cases, as well as the number of statewide hospitalizations have both been on a steady rise since the July 4 holiday weekend.

"The medical component, as we all know, is that one of the things that dramatically reduces, if not eliminates, the possibility of getting COVID or even getting the Delta variant of COVID is getting a vaccine,” said Abbott.

Abbott lifted the state's mask mandate in March, and then blocked government entities across the state from mandating masks themselves in May.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, more than 80% of senior citizens in Texas have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and at least 70% are fully vaccinated.