Gov. Abbott updates from May 21

Gov. Abbott

POOl Coverage, Governor's office.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a press conference, Monday, March 23, 2020, to address the state's response to COVID-19.

Daniel Weeks, News Editor

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced new COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites, a limited reopening of driver license offices, an executive order terminating air travel restrictions and an expansion of COVID-19 testing to all state hospitals.

Abbott announced 44 new drive-thru testing sites located in Austin, Beaumont, Carrollton, Castle Hills, Crowley, Cypress, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Frisco, Garland, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Helotes, Houston, Keller, League City, Mansfield, Mesquite, McKinney, Nederland, Plano, Richardson, Round Rock, Saginaw, San Antonio, Seabrook, Schertz and Spring.

These new CVS Pharmacy sites will utilize self-swab tests and will require registration in advance beginning May 22. CVS Health plans to have over 80 drive-thru testing sites in Texas by the end of May. More information about CVS Health and their testing sites can be found at their COVID-19 resource center.

Abbott also announced the Texas Department of Public Safety will begin a phased reopening of driver license offices starting May 26, with services restricted to appointment-only. The DPS will also launch a new appointment system that allows customers to book appointments up to six months in advance.

Additionally, Abbott issued an executive order terminating travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order terminates restrictions mandating temporary quarantine for air travelers returning from California; Connecticut; New York; New Jersey; Washington; Atlanta, Georgia, Chicago, Illinois, Detroit, Michigan or Miami, Florida.

Finally, Abbott directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to expand COVID-19 testing to all patients, residents and staff at the 23 state-operated inpatient psychiatric hospitals and living centers in Texas.

Previously, residents and patients were tested if they displayed symptoms or had possible exposure to the virus, but the new round of testing will cover those with no signs of COVID-19.

The University Star will continue to provide COVID-19 updates as any additional information is released.

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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