Abbott updates Texans on state's COVID-19 response, PPE supplies

Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference Monday to update Texans on the state's COVID-19 response.

“I feel more confident now than I ever have with regard to [Texas’] PPE supplies,” said Abbott. Staged in front of boxes of gloves, gowns, and masks, he told reporters he feels good about the state's supply of personal protective equipment. 

“Knowing the information of what I have and the visibility of what is coming in, Texas looks to be very well supplied,” he said. 

Abbott says the state has distributed more than 1.6 million masks this week and is set to receive more than five and a half million additional masks by Saturday, a success that the governor attributes to a new state-run supply chain strike force.

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Abbott says there are more than 20,000 available hospital beds in the state. More than 2,000 of them are in ICU units. Meanwhile, the state’s supply of ventilators has dropped from nearly 9,000 last week to approximately 6,000 Monday. 

“That is not including 7,350 anesthesia machines with vents that could be used if needed,” Abbott explained. 

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When asked if Texas is prepared to share resources, Abbott said right now he is anticipating the state will need them. 

“Where Texas is on the rise in the number of people who are being hospitalized, as well as the number of people who are being tested positive, we are a week or two behind states like California or New York, they had a more significant onset earlier, than the state of Texas.” 

Monday afternoon more than 85,000 Texans had been tested for COVID-19. That means testing in the state has increased an average of ten percent each day, over the past week. Less than ten percent of Texans tested, have tested positive for the virus. 

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In an effort to keep that number down, travel restrictions between Louisiana, and Texas have been updated. Instead of pulling over cars, coming into Texas from Louisiana, DPS will now stop cars at checkpoints and tell travelers they must self-quarantine for 14-days.

“This is a temporary situation where we will be working more aggressively to reduce the number of people who are traveling from Louisiana into the State of Texas,” the governor explained. 

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Abbott says “about 30” COVID-19 positive residents from The Resort at Texas City, a senior living facility, are being treated with hydroxychloroquine. They are “for the most part” in their second day of a "several day testing regimen." The state is monitoring their results, as they look at the effectiveness of the drug. 


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