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Governor Abbott addresses COVID-19 and the return to school during interview with 25 News

Posted at 10:57 PM, Aug 03, 2020

We are on month six of the coronavirus pandemic and questions continue surrounding schools reopening and cases surging throughout the state.

25 News interviewed Governor Greg Abbott about these topics.

Abbott says although cases are on the rise, recent data shows a decline in positive cases.

"About three or four weeks ago, we were at 17% positivity rate, and we went as low as 12%. We need to go two percent lower and then sustain that," said the governor.

Another major topic, schools. For weeks, we have seen the Texas Education Agency and school districts work diligently to come up with plans for virtual and in person classes. Abbott says parents need to make the best choice based on the situation of their county.

"The schools have in place two key standards. One is to ensure the health and safety of students and faculty, but second the flexibility needed to go to remote learning whenever possible," said Abbott.

One local mother, Heather Murphy, had a big decision to make.

"I am a single mother, and it's just me and my daughter, but with her and her syndrome she has, she is very hyper at home but when she gets to school I always get good reports," said Murphy.

Her five-year-old, Addison, is a special needs student and will be attending in-person classes. Murphy says Addison needs the structure and support provided by her school. However, she is still concerned about COVID-19.

"She loves being there. She loves learning, and I cannot provide the same sort of atmosphere at home. I have full faith that they will keep our kids safe," said Murphy.

Another discussed topic was the digital divide for those who don't have reliable access to a laptop or the Internet. Governor Abbott says the state us working hard to find a solution.

"The State of Texas is working collaboratively with local school districts. They put together almost a half a billion dollars in funding and worked with a private sector to deliver a million laptops," said Abbott.

Contact tracing has become more difficult with the amount of positive COVID-19 cases across the state. Abbott says they will jump back to that method when numbers have decreased.

"All of those metrics are going in the right direction, we just need Texans to remain vigilant and maintain the process of reducing the spread of COVID across Texas," he said.