AMARILLO, Texas (AP) – Republican Gov. Greg Abbott says the Texas Panhandle has “turned a corner” after the coronavirus outbreak erupted around meatpacking plants.

Abbott made the statement in Amarillo on Wednesday, the same day new cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, returned to four-digit levels after several days in three digits.

Abbott wore a mask while visiting with local officials.

The number of Panhandle cases have sharply dropped since more than 700 cases were reported one day less than two weeks ago.

That's why Abbott exempted the region from reopening as quickly as the rest of Texas.