At a press conference Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state disaster for all counties in Texas, and he announced the state’s first drive-through COVID-19 testing facility in San Antonio.
Gov. Abbott signed the declaration of state disaster during the press conference, and he said it authorizes “the use of all available and necessary state and government resources to help respond to COVID-19.”
There are 39 confirmed cases in Texas, not counting the cases from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Gov. Abbott said. 220 Texans have been tested for COVID-19 by either the state or U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and 75 are being tested, as he put it, “as we speak.”
The drive-through testing facility in San Antonio opened as he was talking, Gov. Abbott said. Initially, it’ll be used for first responders, health care workers, operators of critical infrastructure and key resources and “high-level patients.”
There are plans for more drive-through testing facilities in Dallas and Austin, Gov. Abbott said.
Gov. Abbott directed state agencies to restrict visitation at nursing homes, state-sponsored living centers, hospitals and daycare centers. It allows limited exceptions for things like end-of-life visitations and requires all individuals to go through the proper screenings, he said.
“We want to make sure we do all we can to prevent this vulnerable senior population, or others in hospitals, from contracting COVID-19,” Gov. Abbott said.
This is a breaking news update. Our original story is below.
AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Governor Greg Abbott, Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd, and Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, are holding a joint press conference at the Capitol on Friday at noon.
They will be giving an update to the state’s continued efforts to combat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
This comes a day after Abbott held conference calls with state lawmakers, city mayors and county judges throughout the state on Thursday to provide them with updates and preventative efforts.
Austin Public Health announced its first two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 on Friday. San Antonio and Tyler leaders also announced cases in their respective cities. Click here for a summary of the Texas cases.