P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Since early February, I have participated in daily updates on Texas' response to COVID-19, including a conference call yesterday with the Governor, Health Commissioner, Emergency Management Director, and Education Commissioner -- and want you to know we are all working together -- city, county, state, and federal officials -- to confront this pandemic.
Today Governor Abbott issued a disaster declaration and announced an increase in testing capabilities. The Department of State Health Service is providing real-time updates and answers to frequently asked questions on its website at www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/. The Centers for Disease Control has provided guidance on what to do if you get sick at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html. If you believe you have been exposed, call your physician or reach out to your local health authority -- the Denton County Public Health Department at dentoncounty.gov/Departments/Health-Services/Denton-County-Public-Health.aspx and the Tarrant County Public Health Department at www.tarrantcounty.com/en/public-health.html.
DSHS and the Texas Education Agency are consulting with local school districts as they make decisions on the local level about the remainder of the school year. Check your local school district websites for announcements. Similarly, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is working with Texas colleges and universities as they make decisions about cancellations and online courses.
Texas has one of the most highly developed and battle tested emergency response systems in the nation. As a premier research corridor, Texas-based researchers are joining the effort to develop treatments and vaccines. And I am heartened by the warm gestures I hear about daily — offerings to shop for elderly individuals who don't want to leave their homes, supporting our nurses and other medical professionals who need help with their own children, donating overstocked supplies to nursing homes in need.
We are Texans. We will get through this together!
Senator Jane Nelson
Chairwoman, Senate Finance Committee