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Gov. Abbott urges Texans to get flu shot ASAP this year due to COVID-19 pandemic

Abbott said it's critical to prepare for the upcoming flu season amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

TEXAS, USA — In a visit to Dallas Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott urged Texans to "get a flu vaccine" as early as possible.

Abbott said it's critical to prepare for the upcoming flu season amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that though new coronavirus cases have been dropping since record highs in July, the spread of the disease hasn't been entirely stopped. 

The governor said Texans should continue wearing masks and practicing physical distancing. He also said people should continue to avoid gatherings, including with family, to stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

"There may be this sense that if you're gathering with family, you're not really transmitting COVID-19, but that has been disproven," Abbott said. "Anybody anywhere has both the ability to spread or contract COVID-19." 

Abbott met with medical experts Thursday at UT Southwestern Medical Center to discuss how the upcoming flu season could impact the coronavirus outbreak in the state. 

The governor said that "with a flu season that could be prolific," he and other state leaders are concerned that hospitals could become "completely overrun." 

LATEST ON CORONAVIRUS

As of Wednesday, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services reported 8,706 new coronavirus cases and 235 newly reported deaths statewide.

RELATED: August 5 COVID-19 case count: Houston, Harris County surpass 800 total deaths, 80,000 new cases

Through the first five days in August – Texas is averaging almost 7,895 new cases a day. In July, the worst month of the pandemic so far, the state averaged more than 8,100 cases per day. 

Texas' seven-day average positivity rate jumped from 13.88 percent on Aug. 3 to 15.58 percent on Aug. 4, which means for every seven people tested, more than one is positive for coronavirus.

The number of people getting tested statewide is showing a downward trend. Last week (July 27 to August 2), the state averaged roughly 61,528 viral tests per day. On Aug. 3, the state reported roughly 58,300 tests and another roughly 52,700 on Tuesday.