By Paul J. Weber
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.”
AP writer Acacia Coronado also contributed to this report.
Updated on August 17, 2021, at 5:59 p.m. ET with the latest details.