Governor Abbott Issues Disaster Declaration for State of Texas
In a press conference held at noon today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a Disaster Declaration for the state in response to the escalating spread of COVID-19. According to Abbott, this statewide public health disaster statement should not be taken as an action to incite panic or fear, but rather be viewed as a proactive measure to make sure that all state resources are available for whatever lies ahead.
Governor Abbott said that the rapid availability of testing individuals for the new coronavirus is one of the top priorities that goes along with this declaration. Today, San Antonio is instituting a drive through testing site. Next week, Abbott expects Dallas, Houston, and Austin to have these type of testing sites available. More should be expected statewide through the next several weeks.
Abbott reiterated that persons should use common sense when it comes to ebbing the spread of the virus. Washing hands often, avoiding hand shakes, staying away from large gatherings, and avoiding work or school when exhibiting symptoms of this virus. The State of Texas is also implementing tight restrictions when it comes to visiting nursing homes, assisted living centers, hospitals, and day cares.
Governor Abbott made it a point to mention that there is no need for citizens to stockpile items such as soap, hand sanitizer, or toilet paper. This situation is not like preparing for a hurricane when the supply chain may be cut off. Supplies off the necessities mentioned will be plenty.
Abbott wanted to make sure that the overall tone of the conference was one of optimism. He used the example that a few weeks ago 90 persons from the epicenter of the outbreak in China were brought to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio for repatriation and for medical care. All 90 have been cleared and have rejoined their families. Although contracting COVID-19 is a serious matter, Abbott said that this is not some sort of death sentence.