Texas governor Greg Abbott has warned that the coronavirus has taken a “very swift and dangerous turn” as the southern state suffered a serious spike in infections.
Speaking yesterday, Abbott said that the number of confirmed cases per day had risen from around 2,000 to closer to 5,000.
Read more: Global coronavirus death toll tops 500,000
The surge in infections in the Lone Star state came after lockdown restrictions started being lifted across the south of the US.
Officials have now once again tightened restrictions in Texas, as they have done also in Florida, which also saw a record number of new cases on Saturday.
In response to the surge, Abbott ordered bars across the state to close and for restaurants to limit their indoor seating capacity.
“This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business,” the two-term Republican said in a statement.
Florida’s governor Ron DeSanctis followed suit, ordering bars to stop selling alcohol on their premises.
The US now has more than 2.5m confirmed cases of the disease, with over 125,000 deaths recorded thus far.
Vice president Mike Pence said that the federal government would continue to support testing programmes in Texas for as long as necessary.
Elsewhere, California also reimposed a number of lockdown measures, such as shutting bars, as the state recorded 3,861 cases on Saturday.
The sudden spike in cases in the southern and western states stands in contrast to the north-east seaboard, where states such as New York were initially hit hardest by the pandemic.
Unlike in the south, new infection numbers are continuing to fall and states are pressing on with reopening plans.