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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Texas Governor declares State Health Disaster

Texas+Governor+Greg+Abbott+declared+a+state+of+disaster+for+all+254+counties%2C+Friday%2C+March+13%2C+2020%2C+in+Texas.+The+announcement+came+on+the+same+day+President+Donald+Trump+declared+a+national+emergency.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for all 254 counties, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Texas. The announcement came on the same day President Donald Trump declared a national emergency.

Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state disaster for all counties on Friday as the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has been confirmed in every Texas metropolitan city.
Abbott said the state has proactively responded, asking health insurers and health maintenance organizations to waive costs associated with COVID-19 visits and testing.
The governor also announced two options for individuals who are uninsured. Those who do not have insurance will be able to access public health testing or private lab testing.
The public health labs have the capacity to test approximately 273 people per day. Individuals who hope to get free public health testing must meet public health criteria.
Individuals must have been in “close-contact” with someone with a confirmed case of the virus, have traveled to a location with ongoing COVID-19, or they must be displaying symptoms of the virus. Individuals who become hospitalized with symptoms suspicious of COVID-19 will be tested without meeting the above criteria.
“If people need to find a local provider, they can call 211, which can direct them to low or no cost providers in their area,” said Gov. Abbott.
Private testing can also occur, but it could be at a cost to the individual.
San Antonio is now the first metropolitan area to have a drive-through testing facility. Gov. Abbott is currently working with Houston, Dallas and Austin to open more drive-through facilities in the coming weeks.
220 Texans have been tested either at health labs or by the CDC, and as of March 13th, there has been 39 confirmed cases in Colin, Dallas, Fort Bend, Greg, Harris, Montgomery, Smith, Bell and Travis counties.
These numbers do not include the 90 individuals that were quarantined in Lackland Air Force Base. Only 1 person was confirmed to have the virus, and now all 90 have returned home.
Gov. Abbott appointed the commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, Dr. John William Hellerstedt, to lead efforts to “flatten the virus curve.”
Dr. Hellerstedt stated school and leisure activities are being canceled to ensure a healthy and safe community.
“People need to understand that in order to protect themselves from COVID-19, they have to make sure that their neighbors, friends and coworkers, can protect themselves as well,” said Dr. Hellerstedt. “We’re really all in this together… If folks do what we are asking them to do, we will flatten the curve.”
Gov. Abbott said that, unlike in a natural disaster, there is no reason to stockpile or hoard goods and necessary resources.
“Texas is in the best position to handle a situation like this. We’ve been working with grocers and retailers, and Texans must remain calm and understand that hoarding is neither necessary nor productive. We are prepared with the goods and supplies we need,” said Gov. Abbott. “I want to share with the people of Texas that we’re going to make it through this. We’ve been through situations like this before, we’ve been the SARS, we’ve been through Ebola, we made it through H1N1, and we are going to make it through this together as well.”
Texans can go to https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/, for more information.

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