FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2020
Rep. Herrero – (512) 463-0462
Rep. Hunter – (512) 463-0672
AUSTIN, TX – Our offices continue to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We are in constant communication with local, state, and federal officials to get the latest information about our response and preparedness.
Today, Texas Legislators had a conference call with Governor Greg Abbott, Dr. John Hellerstedt, Commissioner of the Department of State Health Services, Chief Nim Kidd, Chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, and Mike Morath, Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency. Governor Abbott assured us that Texas is prepared and we have the capacity to deal with this virus. Our current supply of specimen collection kits as well as lab capacity currently exceeds demand. A state designated testing lab is expected to open in Corpus Christi within the week.
As of this afternoon, Texas has 23 confirmed cases and 104 individuals who are awaiting results from testing. Our state agencies are collaborating with each other and working closely with local officials to quickly respond to current and future outbreaks. This includes Commissioner Morath communicating daily with superintendents across the state to provide guidance for schools that opt to cancel in-classroom instruction.
To successfully combat this outbreak requires teamwork — from all levels of government and the community. We continue to encourage everyone to take precautionary steps to protect themselves and to help prevent the spread of the virus. These actions include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using household cleaning sprays or wipes.
- Encourage to avoid attending unessential large public gatherings.
As more information becomes available, we will provide additional updates. In the meantime, let's be proactive and work together to follow the precautionary steps listed above. Also, it is important to listen to local health officials and comply with their directives to help contain the spread of this virus. For more information on COVID-19 in Texas visit www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/