Gov. Abbott says he tested negative for COVID-19, 4 days after his diagnosis

Coronavirus

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas. Abbott, who faces a contested reelection primary next year, is pushing looser gun laws than he ever previously embraced and proposing unprecedented state actions, including promises to build more walls on the Mexican border. Similar scenes are playing out in campaigns in other red states including Arkansas and Idaho, where ultra right-wing challengers are tapping into anger among Republicans over Trump’s election loss and coronavirus-related lockdowns. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Four days after testing positive for COVID-19, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he tested negative for the virus on Saturday.

“I am now testing negative for Covid. I am told that my infection was brief & mild because of the vaccination I received,” Abbott wrote on Twitter.

Abbott first announced his diagnosis on Tuesday, saying he had previously been vaccinated and was not feeling many symptoms. Abbott was being tested for COVID-19 daily.

Abbott also underwent Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody therapy treatment at the direction of his doctor, his office said.

The governor posted a video to Twitter along with his written message, urging people to consider getting vaccinated if they haven’t already. He also said he will continue to quarantine per doctors’ recommendations.

“During that time, however, I will continue to work on issues that are important to the state of Texas, including opening infusion centers for antibody therapy treatment across the entire state of Texas,” Abbott said in the video.

How contagious are you if you’re vaccinated?

In a COVID-19 town hall earlier this week, experts with UT Austin’s Dell Medical School talked about viral loads and how long people were contagious with the delta variant versus previous strains.

Using data from Singapore, which saw the delta variant early on, Parker Hudson, M.D., an assistant professor of internal medicine and infectious diseases at Dell Medical School, showed in the first few days people got the delta variant, viral loads for vaccinated and unvaccinated people were similar. But as the virus progressed, vaccinated people had much lower viral loads and were less contagious.

“What we see in the first few days is viral loads that are almost indistinguishable for vaccinated and unvaccinated, and then as expected your immune system really kicks in, and you have faster viral decay with the vaccine,” Hudson said.

Hudson said more research needed to be done to determine whether or not 10 days of quarantine for unvaccinated people was enough time.

Graph showing viral loads for vaccinated vs. unvaccinated individuals over time (Courtesy Dell Medical School)
Graph showing viral loads for vaccinated vs. unvaccinated individuals over time (Courtesy Dell Medical School)

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