Today, Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state disaster for all counties in the state of Texas in response to the coronavirus. Texas now joins the list of over 20 states declaring an emergency over the virus.
Gov. Abbott announced Texas has 39 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 220 Texans have been tested by Texas public health labs or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Abbott said 77 people are currently being tested and Texas public health labs have the capacity to test 273 per day, with that ability to increase with private labs.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has reported 10 public health labs are equipped to begin testing for coronavirus.
Beginning in San Antonio, there will be drive-through testing for coronavirus available. Dallas, Austin and Houston will have those options available as early as next week.
Abbott directed state agencies to take any action necessary to facilitate telemedicine and also to provide flexible work and telework policies for their employees.
“We made it through SARS, we made it through Ebola, we will make it through this as well,” Gov. Abbott said.
There will be directives including authorizing all state resources for counties to prepare for coronavirus. Gov. Abbott says people should not be worried about supplies being replenished. He says, “hoarding is neither necessary nor productive.”
Gov. Abbott has announced limited visitation to nursing homes, state sponsored living centers, hospitals, and daycares.
To address increasing demand on internet bandwidth, Gov. Abbott says the private sector is stepping up. AT&T is waiving internet data usage fees for those who do not have unlimited data access at home.
“We’ll make it through this” Abbot said.