AUSTIN, Texas — During a press conference April 6, Gov. Greg Abbott gave an update on what Texas is doing in response to coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
Abbott said direct deposits to eligible Texans should begin within the next week of the April 6 press conference. To see how much you could be eligible to receive, click here.
States should be receiving funds around April 24 from the federal government to help with the COVID-19 response.
According to Abbott, COVID-19 mitigation efforts are working but social distancing efforts should continue to be practiced.
Regarding travel restrictions, Abbott said the restrictions of people flying in from "hot spot zones," including New Orleans, Miami, Atlanta, Detroit, New York tri-state area, and Chicago would remain in place. Additionally, Abbott said checkpoints had been established along the border of Texas and Louisiana where travelers coming into Texas would need to self-quarantine for 14 days.
As of April 6, nearly 30 COVID-19 positive patients at a nursing home called The Resort at Texas City are being tested with hydroxychloroquine to determine whether or not it will be a viable treatment for COVID-19 patients. Abbott said most are in the second day of that testing and he would be updating the public with the results of those tests.
Abbott said there have been 85,357 Texans tested for COVID-19 as of April 6. 7,319 people in Texas have tested positive for coronavirus, 1,153 people have been hospitalized and 140 people have died, according to Abbott.
As of April 6, Abbott said there were 21,033 hospital beds and 2,223 ICU unit beds available for COVID-19 patients. The governor added there were 6,080 ventilators available and 7,350 anesthesia machines with vents which could also be used, if needed.
In Texas, 1,676,510 masks, 209,856 face shields, 2,721,350 gloves, 169,231 gowns and 7,594 coveralls were distributed since March 30, Abbott said. The governor also announced that Texas received 2.5 million masks from April 4 to April 6 and will receive an additional 3 million masks by April 11.
Abbott provided a region-by-region breakdown of supplies that have been distributed over the past week — including masks, face shields, gloves, gowns, and coveralls. The governor also discussed the distribution process for PPE in Texas.
To view a region-by-region breakdown, see the governor's presentation here:
"It is vital that our health care workers and first responders on the front lines have the personal protective equipment they need to stay safe as they respond to COVID-19," said Gov. Abbott. "The Supply Chain Strike Force is working closely with the Texas Division of Emergency Management to exhaust all avenues for the purchasing and delivery of these critical supplies. We continue to make tremendous progress to distribute these resources throughout the state, and with more supplies on the way, we are strengthening our state’s ability to protect our health care workers and the patients they serve. I thank all of our health care workers and first responders as well as the supply chain workers who are working tirelessly to deliver this essential equipment to Texas."
Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said distribution of personal protection equipment would be prioritized for hospitals or health care professionals in contact with or treating COVID-19 patients. Healthcare facilities, including long-term care facilities, with an emerging or active outbreak of coronavirus would also be prioritized, Hellerstedt said.
This comes days after Austin-Travis County recommended on April 4 that residents use a fabric face covering when they leave their houses for essential services to slow the spread of COVID-19. This follows the CDC's new guidelines.
You can make a face mask at home without even having to sew. Here's how you can make one in seconds.
Medical experts are also looking at Texas as one of the next COVID-19 hot spots.
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"I think Texas is going to be the next hot spot. We can already see the cases starting to increase, it is the start of an exponential rise," Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, told ABC News. "Any intervention we do now will take weeks to see the impact."
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