AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is halting elective surgeries in its biggest counties and says the state would “pause” its aggressive re-opening as it deals with a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

The move Thursday comes as the number of patients admitted with COVID-19 has more than doubled in just two weeks.

Texas has emerged as one of the nation’s biggest coronavirus hotspots, reporting more than 11,000 new cases in the past two days alone.

The Republican governor this week has taken a newly urgent tone about the worsening trends and is now telling the public they should stay home.

The surgery ban applies to Dallas, Harris, Travis and Bexar counties.

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