Texas governor Greg Abbott says there are strategies in place as the state continues to see a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Abbott was in Benbrook on Wednesday for a House District 97 campaign event, where he addressed topics ranging from voter turnout to the coronavirus response.
“We monitor every single county, every single day. I’m monitoring what’s going on in Tarrant County,” Abbott told reporters.
This week, health officials in Tarrant County described the rise in COVID-19 cases as a surge. Tarrant County Public Health director Vinny Taneja pointed to ‘accelerating’ hospitalization rates comparable to what the county experienced in late June and early July.
“Everybody’s getting tired. COVID fatigue is a real thing. I mean, public policy people, policymakers, general public. Everybody’s tired,” Taneja said. “But the reality is, COVID is still here. COVID is still surging in our community. Again, it’s just a reminder that we all need to work together and do the right thing.”
Texas state health officials reported 4,991 new cases on Wednesday with 114 additional deaths. Abbott said Wednesday, there are strategies in place.
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“We are now testing about 60,000 viral lab-based tests per day. Then in addition to those tests, we now 100,000 additional tests per day that we are surging to our schools are beginning to open up,” he said. “We are going to be able to more quickly identify whether anybody does have COVID so they would be able to get the healthcare treatment they need.”
Last week, the state announced the creation of a COVID-19 rapid testing pilot program for Texas school systems. So far, the launch includes eight participating school systems: Bob Hope School (Port Arthur), Fabens ISD, Grace Community School (Tyler), Granger ISD, Lampasas ISD, Longview ISD, Harlingen Consolidated ISD, and Ysleta ISD.
NBC 5 reached out to districts in North Texas on Wednesday inquiring whether there were plans to participate in the pilot program. A spokesperson for Frisco ISD confirmed via email, “Frisco ISD is considering an application and has until Oct. 28 to apply”.
Regarding other strategies in place, Abbott said “there’s some very promising things coming down the pipe maybe as early as later this month. Definitely next month. The drug Generon as well as some others, they have antibody therapies that are coming to states like Texas.”
However, he and local health officials, continue to stress the importance of personal responsibility.
“Maintaining distance alone can make sure you do slow the spread. Everybody has within their own ability the ability to make sure they prevent getting COVID and they prevent giving it to somebody else,” he said.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.