At a press conference in San Antonio on Monday, Gov. Abbott updated the public on efforts being taken in Texas to stop the spread of the coronavirus and to expand testing capabilities.
“One of our top priorities in response to COVID-19 is to expand testing capabilities throughout the state,” Abbott said.
Last week, San Antonio became the first Texas city to establish a drive-through testing site that makes testing for COVID-19 more readily available.
Just this week, two drive-through testing facilities have also opened in the Austin-area with plans to establish additional drive-through sites in Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas-Fort Worth.
At yesterday’s press conference, Gov. Abbott also reminded Texans that testing is currently being conducted through local and private health providers and encouraged individuals with private insurance to utilize those services.
Last week, Gov. Abbott said that 220 individuals had been tested in public health labs or by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the capacity to test 273 in Texas public health labs.
Yesterday, Gov. Abbott said testing for the virus is expected to reach approximately 10,000 tests per week.
Officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said that medical professionals are being tested on a daily basis.
Here are some of the other key actions Gov. Abbott has undertaken since declaring a State of Disaster for all Texas counties last Friday:
- Fast-tracking temporary licensing for physicians and medical professionals not from Texas to assist with both in-person and telemedicine services;
- Distributing medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile;
- Waiving trucking regulations to more readily allow the restocking of supplies to grocery stores and other retailers;
- Waiving regulations so that students in work-study programs continue to receive necessary funding;
- Waiving STAAR testing requirements for the school year.
Additional information about the latest coronavirus news and statistics in Texas can be found at dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus.
Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.