Texas and the coronavirus: Here’s what Gov. Greg Abbott just announced
Updated: Mar 25, 2020
By Sara Vanden Berge
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gave an update on the spread of the coronavirus during a press conference on Sunday, announcing that 334 people have now tested positive for Covid 19 across 43 counties in Texas. The number of presumed cases stands at 566.
Here are 9 other takeaways from the governor’s address.
1. There have been six deaths related to the coronavirus in the state of Texas.
2. More testing is taking place in Texas – and quickly. On March 20, there had been 2,335 people tested. Today, that number is up to 8,700 tests.
3. Less than 10 percent of those tested have been positive for coronavirus, but that number is expected to increase.
4. Health care and hospital capacity remain vitally important to the state. Abbott has waived regulations for healthcare professionals, giving retired nurses a fast track to reinstating their license, and allowing student-nurses in their final year of nursing school to join the workforce on a limited basis before completing their final exam.
5. An executive order has been issued to postpone all non-life-threatening surgeries and procedures, as well as a second order to free up additional beds at Texas hospitals.
6. A strike force has been ordered to gather supplies necessary to fight coronavirus. Texas is asking the federal government to expedite necessary supplies to Texas.
7. The state can levy fines up to $1,000 or jail time up to 180 days for those who fail to comply with executive orders to not gather in groups larger than 10.
8. Stricter regulations regarding social distancing and other regulations will largely be left up to individual municipalities.
9. There is no timeline on when schools will reopen or when businesses can return to normal operating hours.