AUSTIN, Texas -- With a record 10,002 coronavirus patients in Texas hospitals Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott again warned that he expects hospitalizations and deaths to continue to rise.
In a series of television interviews Friday, Abbott urged Texans to follow his statewide mask order and said more restrictions will be needed if it's ignored.
"We will not have to lock down if people follow the simple requirement of wearing a face mask," Abbott said in an interview with KSAT.
Abbott extended his coronavirus-related disaster declaration for all Texas counties Friday, hours before state health officials reported 95 new COVID-19 deaths and a hospitalization record for the 12th consecutive day.
The Texas Department of State Health Services also reported 9,765 new cases of the coronavirus.
Texas is in the midst of its deadliest week of the pandemic, with three straight days of roughly 100 new fatalities. The statewide death toll reached 3,013 fatalities Friday.
One day earlier, state health officials reported a record 105 new fatalities, the first time the daily death toll for the coronavirus reached triple digits in Texas.
In an interview with KLBK, Abbott said he expects the death toll to worsen as new cases rise. Deaths are a lagging indicator because they come weeks after a person initially tests positive.
"Things will get worse," Abbott warned. "The deaths that we're seeing announced today and yesterday -- which are now over 100 -- those are people who likely contracted COVID-19 in late May."
Abbott has extended his COVID-19 disaster declaration five times, which aims to secure more resources for the state to fight the pandemic.