coronavirus

11,000 Texans Tested for COVID-19, Virus Present in 64 Counties: Gov. Abbott

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In an update Tuesday afternoon from Austin, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) shared the latest in the state's efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Abbott said, to date, more than 11,000 COVID-19 tests have been given in Texas and that 715 people have been confirmed positive for the virus.

The governor added the virus is now present in 65 of Texas' 254 counties.

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Currently in Texas, and around the country, there is growing concern that health care workers will not have enough personal protective equipment to care for COVID-19 patients. Abbott said Tuesday that by next week the state will be getting a million masks per week for those on the front lines.

He said he is having to compete with other states to secure the masks, but that the federal government is "racing to increase supplies."

Abbott added that he's issued another executive order, in addition to the one signed previously postponing elective surgeries and increasing the number of available hospital beds, that will require hospitals to submit daily reports on bed capacity and the number of COVID-19 tests given.

Abbott, on Sunday, declined to implement a state-wide shelter-in-place order because, at that time, COVID-19 had not been found in more than 200 of Texas' 254 counties. Abbott said the decision to shelter-in-place would be left up to local government.

He was questioned about that decision Tuesday with regard to 65 House Democrats who are pushing for him to issue a state-wide shelter-in-place order.

"The order that I issued last week was in line with what was requested by the stats by the CDC and the presidential commission," Abbott said. "So the orders that I will be issuing in the future will be based upon what the CDC says, what Dr. Brix and Dr. Fauci says, as well as what Dr. Hellerstedt says."

On Sunday, Dallas CountyJudge Clay Jenkins issued a shelter-in-place order that will remain in effect until April 3. Similar orders were implemented in Tarrant, Denton and Collin counties on Tuesday.

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