AUSTIN, Texas - Governor Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that more supplies are coming to Texas hospitals.
The governor detailed the state's efforts to make sure the medical community has the gear it needs to treat patients with the COVID-19 coronavirus. But he still stopped short of enacting any further statewide restrictions.
Abbott showed off thousands of masks, gloves and personal protective equipment donated by a number of Texas medical and physician groups. Some of that gear is already being distributed across the state. Abbott also announced more has been purchased by the coronavirus strikeforce he created.
“Yesterday that strikeforce placed an order for more than $80 million worth of supplies by the end of this week,” Abbott said. “The Texas Department of Emergency Management Services will be receiving approximately 100,000 masks per day. Altogether, as of next week, Texas should be getting more than a million masks per week.”
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The equipment coming as the number of tests increase statewide and the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The state has administered more than 11,000 tests and the state health department says 715 Texans are sick with the virus. There are confirmed cases in 65 counties. So far, 11 people have died in Texas.
Abbott also sent out the clarion call for doctors and nurses to help treat the many expected to get sick.
“The doctors and nurses and other medical personnel we have in this state -- they are soldiers on the front lines in the war against COVID-19. We need more soldiers on the front line,” Abbott said. “As a result, we are enlisting every doctor, every nurse, every medical personnel that we can find. There may be some who are retired. There may be some who are in nursing school who qualify under my executive order expanding the nurses who can be involved in responding to COVID-19. There may be some who are from out of state, you can come to the state of Texas and provide your services here.”
The governor is directing all non-emergency surgeries and procedures to stop and authorizing hospitals to put two patients to a room where possible to allow more capacity if needed for COVID-19 patients.
While some governors have implemented shelter-in-place and some county judges and mayors in Texas have done so, Abbott has held back.
Some are wanting Abbott to go further in statewide restrictions. On Tuesday, Abbott said he is continuing to gather information and assess.
Abbott also said the number of vehicles he saw on the road to his press conference in the Austin area indicated officials might not be getting the level of compliance he had hoped.