Gov. Abbott provides update on state’s efforts to combat COVID-19

Gov.+Abbott

POOL, Miguel Gutierrez, Texas Tribune

Gov. Abbott announces COVID-19 updates for the state.

Sierra Martin, Senior News Reporter

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference April 21 where he provided updates on the state’s COVID-19 efforts, addressed unemployment and the oil price drop.

Abbott announced he will issue an executive order April 27 that may override local jurisdictions’ stay-at-home orders. Additional details about the order are yet to be released.

Abbott said there will continue to be an increase in the state’s testing availability. According to Abbott, 205,000 people have been tested and 19,945 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19. Out of the individuals who tested positive, 6,486 have recovered.

Around 10% of the total number of people in Texas who have been tested have tested positive. According to Abbott, as of this morning, the total number of COVID-19 deaths is 511.

Although 1,491 people in Texas have been hospitalized, the state has not come close to reaching maximum use of hospital beds or ventilators. Abbott said the state seems to have reached the peak amount of COVID-19 cases on April 9.

In Texas, 1,579,000 unemployment claims have been filled so far. More than 1.4 billion dollars have been paid to unemployed individuals. Abbott said more than half a million job openings are available in the state.

The number of drive-thru testing sites increased, with more than 60 in total. Some of these testing sites are located in Harris County, Fort Worth, Allen, San Antonio and East Travis County.

Abbott addressed the extreme drop in profit by the oil and gas markets. On Monday, April 20, oil prices dropped to -$37.63 a barrel due to an increase in supply and decrease in demand for oil.

“The fact of the matter is we have a flood of supply (of oil) and a dry-up of demand,” Abbott said. “Even though what happened price-wise overnight was truly unprecedented … I have no doubt that we will rebound from this.”

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.

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


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