Texas has not yet "conquered" the corona virus and it will "take a while" to get rid of it, although the state has made some progress, Governor Greg Abbott told CNBC on Friday.
"We're changing the state of Texas. It'll only take a while, but we'll be fine," he said on CNBC's Squawk Box.
Abbott said that one of the challenges that Texas faced when it reopened was that people thought the coronavirus had been "completely defeated" and that the state had the widespread infections, first in New York earlier this year was reported, would not experience.
"The first real challenge I faced was to help my Texans understand that the corona virus was real. It's here, it doesn't go away. We need to step up and understand how to fully respond to it . " Abbott said.
Texas was one of the first states to largely reopen its economy in early May, allowing retail stores, restaurants, cinemas, malls, museums, and libraries to return with limited capacity. The state's bars and gyms were later allowed to reopen with limited capacity.
Abbott, however, reversed some of the reopening on June 26 after Coronavirus cases in Texas rose to record highs for weeks. The governor of Lone Star issued a nationwide mask mandate on July 2, stating that residents of the entire state must wear a face mask in public areas in counties with 20 or more positive cases at the request of several Texas mayors.
Abbott said on Friday that the mask mandate was "overwhelmingly voting" and that 85% of Texans believed that face masks could prevent companies from closing shutters.
According to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Texas reached a record average daily coronavirus deaths on Thursday and reported nearly 138 additional deaths based on an average of seven days. However, the cases showed signs of flattening, with the state's seven-day average falling more than 3% compared to a week ago, according to Hopkins data.
"I feel we have reached a plateau on which we have contained Covid's exponential growth at that point, but we have a lot to do in the coming weeks," said Abbott. "We haven't conquered Covid at the moment."