AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Governor Greg Abbott will receive the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 22, the Governor’s Office announced Monday.

Elected leaders have been video-recorded and photographed while receiving the vaccine in recent days, in an effort to show the public it is safe and an important thing to do, once the vaccine becomes widely available to the general public.

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Vice President Mike Pence got vaccinated on Friday, Dec. 28.

President-Elect Joe Biden was vaccinated on Monday, Dec. 21.

Texas had more than 9,800 hospitalized coronavirus patients as of Sunday, the most since a deadly summer outbreak.

The state is approaching the Christmas holiday with fewer than 800 intensive care unit beds and last Thursday smashed a single-day record for new cases with with more than 16,000, which state officials partly attributed to holiday gatherings.

Spread of the virus is also getting worse around the Capitol.

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On Monday, public health officials in Austin said that new cases were up 86% since the beginning of December.

Officials recommended that Austin residents avoid travel and avoid gatherings, and also warned that a curfew could be installed if hospitalizations continue to rise.

“The best gift we can give this Christmas is masking and distancing and staying home if we can,” said Dr. Mark Escott, the city’s interim health authority.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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