P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Safely and responsibly, the Texas economy is re-opening.
Congratulations to all the businesses that are able to welcome their employees and customers back this week, while taking precautions against the virus. We have more work to do, but I know we are up to the challenge.
Additional steps were announced this week to expand testing, protect vulnerable Texans and provide aid to local governments. All residents and staff in nursing homes will be tested in the days ahead, and Facility Disinfection Teams will be deployed to protect our seniors. Tens of thousands of tests have been deployed to Texas' correctional facilities. And, with signs of domestic violence on the rise amid this pandemic, shelters around the state will receive an infusion of funding for temporary shelter, counseling, telehealth, rental assistance and relocation assistance.
As Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, I joined other state leaders in announcing $5.06 billion to reimburse cities and counties across Texas for expenses related to COVID-19. Another $635 million was sent to rural Texas healthcare providers. And, recognizing the stress and challenges that many in our state are facing as a result of the pandemic, resources have been identified to support food and nutrition programs, counseling, housing and other forms of assistance.
An update on the numbers: roughly 24,490 patients recovered; 623,280 tested; 43,850 cases (1,016 in Denton and 4,076 in Tarrant County); 1,648 hospitalized and 1,216 fatalities. Additionally, the Texas Workforce Commission has paid out $5.3 billion in federal and $1.6 billion in state unemployment benefits.
This week, we also thanked our law enforcement as part of National Police Week. Looking ahead, on Monday, we will see more businesses coming back online, including gyms and office buildings, at limited capacity with social distancing policies in place. Governor Abbott continues to consult with medical experts on next steps.
Stay safe, healthy... and Texas strong!
Senator Jane Nelson