Texas on Saturday reported its largest daily rise in confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic -- 8,258 -- following a facial mask mandate from Gov. Greg Abbott in an effort to slow the uptick in cases.
Texas health officials said the state’s total number of confirmed cases is now up to 191,790, The Associated Press reported.
In addition, there were reportedly 33 additional deaths linked to COVID-19, which brings the statewide death toll up to 2,608, officials said. Hospitalizations remained somewhat steady at 7,890.
“COVID-19 is not going away, in fact, it’s getting worse. Now more than ever, action by everyone is needed until treatments are available for COVID-19,” Abbott said in a video released by his office. “We must do more to slow the spread without locking Texas back down.”
Anyone found to be non-compliant with Abbott's face mask order could be subject to a $250 fine, Fox 4 reported.
First-time violators can expect a verbal or written warning from authorities. If someone violates the mandate a second time, they can be fined, but no one will be arrested or jailed for not wearing a mask.
The governor's order also gives local officials the power to restrict certain outdoor gatherings that exceed 10 people.
Despite criticism over rising case numbers, President Trump has argued that as testing expands, so, too, will the number of positive results -- with most patients recovering or remaining asymptomatic.