Gov. Greg Abbott will give an update on Texas’ fight against COVID-19 at 2 p.m. today. The news conference from the Capitol will be live online.
Although there will have to be limited participants, Abbott will be joined by Dr. John Hellerstedt, Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services. Also attending the news conference is Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd, KXAN reported.
Abbott is now allowing hospitals that have pending licenses and that have been shut down for less than three years to be run by hospitals with existing licenses to make more hospital beds available during the coronavirus pandemic. This was announced Wednesday.
Abbott also has waived certain regulations from the Texas Board of Nursing to provide a grace period of six months regarding licensing renewal and subsequent fees for nurses in Texas.
“Nurses are essential to protecting the public health and safety of our communities as we combat the COVID-19 virus,” Abbott said in a press release.
This afternoon during a live online news conference on how Texas is fighting the coronavirus epidemic, Gov. Greg Abbott stressed that less than 10 percent of Texans who are tested test positive.
There were five deaths from the coronavirus last week in Texas, and as of now, there are 18 deaths connected to COVID-19, Abbott said.
In Texas last Friday, 39 counties were affected by COVID-19, Abbott said, and today 90 counties are affected by COVID-19.
There are 1,124 people who have been tested positive in Texas. More testing means more positive results, so an increase is expected, the governor said.
“Our goal in this whole testing process is to test as much as possible and see these numbers grow and see a leveling off,” Abbott said.
“In typical Texas fashion, Texans are always prepared with a sense of resiliency and a sense of compassion,” the governor said.
Abbott announced that he is very proud of county and local officials who have been working to set up drive-thru testing locations across Texas.
He also said he’s grateful for private medical centers and proud of how people across the state are stepping up to help out.
“We are grateful to our medical personnel on the front lines of this war against this disease,” he said. “Our response is focused on slowing the spread within the next few weeks.”
Abbott said it is essential to continue social distancing.
If anyone wants to sell medical supplies or offer supplies or offer to volunteer, go to www.texas.gov/covid19, the governor said.
On Wednesday, Abbott reported President Trump had granted Texas’ request for a major disaster declaration, which would allow the state to tap into federal resources and allows local jurisdictions’ needs to be responded to “more robustly and quickly.”
Abbott also issued an executive order today, directed to people traveling from the New York tri-state area.
“New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut travelers will be subject to a 14-day quarantine,” Abbott said.
This order also applies to the city of New Orleans.
In quintessential Texas fashion, Abbott said, “all of us have a collective responsibility to reduce the spread.”
“With each day we get closer and closer to eventually putting this behind us.”