Abbott announcement

Gov. Greg Abbott lays out the initial steps for restarting the state economy during a news conference April 17 as House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, looks on in the background.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a nearly statewide mask mandate Thursday as Texas scrambles to get its coronavirus surge under control.

The order requires "all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions," according to Abbott's office.

Abbott's order is effective 12:01 p.m. Friday.

This is Abbott's latest set of moves aimed at trying to get the virus surge under control in Texas. Six days ago, he ordered bars closed and reduced the permitted restaurant capacity to 50%, among other things.

This developing story will be updated.

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