WATCH: Gov. Abbott speaks with Blake Holland regarding schools, bars, nursing homes reopening

Abbott: "This is not a hoax"

WATCH: Gov. Greg Abbot discusses reopening issues for schools, bars in KLTV interview

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott joined East Texas News’ Blake Holland Thursday afternoon to discuss the latest on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With some East Texas student returning to the classroom as early as next week, Abbott was asked about his confidence in the safety of students and teachers.

“There will be some areas where it would be safe to students to go into classrooms at the beginning of the school year based on the strategies adopted by that school district,” Abbott said. “In other districts, it would be safer to begin the school year online doing virtual, distance learning.”

Wearing a face mask will slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep the state’s economy open, the governor reasserted.

“This is not a hoax. This is a disease, and it’s very real. Everybody needs to take it very seriously. Avoid going into public whenever possible, and keep your distance if you do go into public,” Abbott said. “A study out of the Health Science Center at the University of North Texas showed that a face mask will slow the spread of COVID-19.”

On the topic of nursing homes, Abbott said there had been an increase in infections across the state at those facilities.

“We now have the capability of getting same-day results,” Abbott said. “Once we are able to stabilize the spread of COVID_19 in those nursing homes, those same-day testing results will provide the opportunity for visitors to come and visit a loved one after being tested for COVID-19 to make sure they do not have it.”

Abbott said he hopes to reopen bars as soon as possible, but said it’s a challenging setting for a virus like COVID-19.

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