Anyone who knows me will tell you I never share my political views or post articles about the Democrat/Republican thing. So this isn’t about that.
But when I see an article that mentions Fairview, Heritage Ranch, Greg Abbott, Covid 19, and one of my favorites (Stevie Ray Vaughn), it’s too content rich not to be shared. I saw this in the Dallas Morning News this evening …
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has COVID-19. Could he have infected anyone else?
AUSTIN — In the 24 hours before testing positive for COVID-19, Gov. Greg Abbott rubbed elbows with maskless political supporters at a Collin County dinner and smiled for photos with a famous musician. The Republican governor shared pictures from both events on social media, offering a glimpse into his contact with people who should now take precautions like masking and getting tested, public health experts said.
“Every person who has had an exposure, whether or not they’re vaccinated, should act responsibly and consciously, being aware that they could have been infected with the virus and could pass it on to others,” said Rebecca Fischer, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Texas A&M University’s School of Public Health. Abbott, 63, is vaccinated, has no symptoms and has been taking daily coronavirus tests, according to his office. The first positive came Tuesday. It’s not clear when he may have become infectious.
Over the last two days, Abbott had at least two in-person events. His entire schedule was not immediately available. On Monday night, Abbott attended a sold-out dinner hosted by the Heritage Ranch Republican Club in Fairview that attracted upward of 300 people, said Neal Katz, executive director of the Collin County Republican Party. Videos posted of the event show Abbott, who was not wearing a mask, in the middle of a sea of people, where he posed for pictures. The club’s president could not be reached for comment.
On Tuesday afternoon, Abbott met with Jimmie Vaughan, the brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan, and posed for photos he posted on Twitter. Neither wore a mask. It’s not clear where the meeting took place. In a statement, a spokesperson said “Jimmie and family have tested negative and are doing fine.”
The latest federal guidelines say people should take precautions if they’ve been in close contact with someone in the two days before they test positive for COVID-19. Vaccinated people should wear masks, while the unvaccinated should quarantine themselves. Both should get tested within 3-5 days.
Abbott’s office said everyone he was in close contact with Tuesday “has been notified.” He is isolating in the governor’s mansion. Collin County and the Texas Department of State Health Services did not respond to questions about whether they are performing contact tracing.
Given that Abbott is tested every day and he’s not symptomatic, he may not have been infectious before his first positive test, public health experts said. “If he had a negative test yesterday, I think that’s pretty good evidence that he wasn’t infectious at least before that point,” said Dr. Mark McClellan, who is director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University and previously advised Abbott on pandemic response.
For safe measure, he recommended notifying people who came into close contact with Abbott after his last negative test so they can take appropriate measures. Close contact is considered being within 6 feet of him for at least 15 minutes.
“Given we’re dealing with delta now, it’s more contagious,” McClellan said, referring to the coronavirus variant. “If it was me, and I was in the room for a long period of time, I would probably take precautions.”
In This Story
Gov. Greg Abbott speaks to the local media before receiving a dose of a Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at the Ascension Seton Medical Center on Tuesday, December 22, 2020. (Ricardo Brazziell / Ricardo B. Brazziell /American-S)By Allie Morris
8:50 PM on Aug 17, 2021