Abbott postpones May 26 primary runoffs until July 14

March 21, 2020 GMT

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that he has postponed the May 26 primary runoff elections until July 14 because of the coronavirus threat.

In a statement, the governor’s office cited “the state’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19” as the reason for the delay. COVID-19 is the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

State health officials have identified about 200 COVID-19 cases in Texas as of Friday, with five patients dying of the disease.

The statement said May 26 runoffs “would cause the congregation of large gatherings of people in confined spaces and cause numerous election workers to come into close proximity with others. This would threaten the health and safety of many Texans.”

Early voting for the runoffs will begin July 6.