Gov. Abbott issues new executive orders

Texas+Gov.+Greg+Abbott+announces+the+activation+of+the+Texas+National+Guard+in+response+to+the+COVID-19+pandemic.+The+announcement+was+made+in+the+Governor%E2%80%99s+conference+room+in+the+Texas+Department+of+Emergency+Management+Command+Center.+Abbot+was+joined+by+Chief+Nim+Kidd%2C+head+of+the+Texas+Division+of+Emergency+Management.+%0A

POOL via The Texas Tribune, Jordan Vonderhaar

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces the activation of the Texas National Guard in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement was made in the Governor’s conference room in the Texas Department of Emergency Management Command Center. Abbot was joined by Chief Nim Kidd, head of the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

Sandra Sadek, Senior News Reporter

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference March 24, updating the public on the COVID-19 situation in the state and issuing two new executive orders.

The Texas State Department of Health reported 715 Texans have tested positive for the virus, with a total of 11 deaths. Only 65 of the 254 counties have confirmed cases.

Abbott reiterated the high demand for personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves. The governor said 10,000 masks came in March 23 from various donors, which are currently being distributed. Donations are still being accepted at www.texas.gov.

“We’re so pleased and proud and grateful to everyone who is offering donations,” Abbott said and encouraged people to continue to donate supplies or volunteer their time.

Abbott issued two new executive orders, requiring hospitals to submit daily reports on the number of beds available and the number of testing done per day. This comes after the governor previously issued an order postponing all non-medically necessary surgeries to open up more beds.

The state of Texas is also competing with other states as well as the federal government for supplies, Abbott said, but the federal government is “racing to increase the supplies.”

A statewide stay-at-home order has yet to be declared, as local governments are issuing their own stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the virus. However, Abbott said he is flexible in potentially issuing a stay-at-home for Texas, based on advice from physicians.

“On my travel to this location today, I was surprised at how many vehicles I saw on the road,” Abbott said. “It’s clear to me that we may not be achieving the level of compliance that is needed. That’s why I’ve said before, I remain flexible in my statewide standard… and will continue to evaluate based on all the data whether or not there needs to be heightened standards and stricter enforcement.”

Individuals concerned about possible exposure to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider or the Hays County Local Health Department at 512.393.5520. For additional information about COVID-19, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services or the Centers for Disease Control website.

Updates to Gov. Abbott’s announcements and enactments can be found here.

The University Star’s COVID-19 coverage can be found here

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