There is no doubt that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is disrupting our lives. It is changing our daily routines and has led federal, state, and local officials to take actions that we have not seen in our lifetimes. There is a reason – this is a virus that needs to be taken seriously. One of the ways to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to strongly encourage social distancing. For this reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a guideline on March 16th which states, “During the next 15 days, all U.S. events of 10+ people should be cancelled or held virtually.” This is a recommendation that needs to be followed and not taken lightly.
In just the past week, we have seen an increase in the number of individuals in Texas testing positive for COVID-19 and two confirmed deaths. The state, Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Office of the Attorney General, are all working tirelessly to provide responses, guidance, and relief to Texans as quickly as possible. The same is true for our local public officials, first responders, and health care professionals.
To date, there is no vaccine to cure COVID-19. We have also seen how quickly it can spread and the impact it has on vulnerable populations: those over the age of 65 and those with medical issues. We also know that to prevent the spreading we can do very simple and common-sense things like regularly washing our hands, avoiding handshakes, covering our sneezing and coughing, and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces. However, based on responses from other impacted areas, the approach that has worked best to limit human to human transmission is to avoid large gatherings.
As difficult as following these guidelines and recommendations may be, none of these decisions are being made lightly. There is nothing more important right now than to do what is best in the interest of public health. I am confident that working together we will get through the challenges of dealing with COVID-19.
While the Capitol office remains closed to the public, I am working from my district office. I remain in constant communication with state leaders, agency officials and staff through conference calls, monitoring press conferences, and emails. I also have calls with the Coastal Bend legislative delegation and the RGV legislative delegation. If you have any questions or need assistance, please email me at Juan.Hinojosa@senate.texas.gov.
Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa
State Senator, District 20
Below is a list of state and federal agencies with the latest on COVID-19
Waivers issued by the Governor, click here.
Updates from the Texas Education Agency, click here.
Information from the Texas Workforce Commission for Employers and Job Seekers, click here.
Information about price gouging and consumer protection from the Attorney General, click here.
For the latest updates from the Texas Department of State Health Services, click here.
For the latest updates from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), click here.
For the latest updates from the World Health Organization (WHO), click here.
For the latest updates from the U.S. State Department, click here.
For the latest list of travel restrictions by the Department of Homeland Security, please click here.