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Walgreens to start 15-minute drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Texas, Gov. Abbott says

The governor gave an update on how the state is responding to the pandemic on April 8.

AUSTIN, Texas — Walgreens will soon offer drive-thru testing at some locations for COVID-19, using tests that give a result in 15 minutes, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced at an April 8 news conference on the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Abbott said the tests were developed by Abbott Labs and take approximately 15 minutes to get a result. Each testing site may be able to test up to 3,000 people per day, according to  Abbott.

Additionally, Abbott said as of April 8, 96,258 Texans have been tested for COVID-19. Of those that have been tested, Abbott said 9,107 people, just under 10%, have tested positive.

According to Abbott, 1,491 Texans have been hospitalized for COVID-19 and there have been 175 fatalities in the state.

As far as the State's capacity to treat COVID-19 patients, Abbott said that as of April 7, there are 21,066 hospital beds and 2,225 intensive care unit beds available for COVID-19 patients. He also said there are 7,686 ventilators available as of April 7.

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Regarding personal protection equipment (PPE), the governor said he was proud to announce two Texas companies have stepped up to manufacture more PPE for the state. 

Presitge Ameritech is using its facility near Fort Worth to produce 2 million face masks per week with the help of members of the Texas National Guard. The plant will now operate 24 hours a day.

The CEO and Founder of Prestige Ameritech, Dan Reese, shared this video detailing the partnership between his company and the Texas Military Department with the State. 

Abbott also said Toyota supplier Reyes Automotive in San Antonio will start producing face shields for health care workers.

"One thing that we always see whenever Texas faces challenges, we see heroes surface to help respond to those challenges," Abbott said about the companies. 

Former Texas State Representative Dr. John Zerwas, who is part of the governor's team responding to COVID-19, said data suggests it is now taking twice as long for the number of positive cases of COVID-19 to double than it did two weeks ago. 

Still, the governor issued a stern warning for the people of Harris County, which includes the City of Houston. He said Tuesday was the "high water mark" so far for the number of people tested and the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus. He added they are seeing the biggest increase of cases in Harris County. 

But he stressed the need for people all across the state to stay home through the month of April if they're not carrying out essential activities like going to the grocery store.

"Simply, stay at home," Abbott said. "It will be frustrating I realize, I know this is something that no one really cherishes to do, except if you step back and think about it. And that is, by you staying home, you are ensuring that you are doing your part to make sure you are not contracting COVID-19."

Last week, Abbott gave Texans an update on when they will likely see their direct deposits from the federal government.

WATCH: Coronavirus in Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott gives update on COVID-19


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