An Update on the CoronavirusMarch 13, 2020
My Fellow Texans,
Today I joined a conference call with Governor Abbott, state health and emergency management officials, the education commissioner, members of the legislature and locally elected officials regarding Coronavirus. I’d first like to commend Governor Abbott and our state officials for their prepared and swift response, and for their ongoing coordination with local health officials across the state. The State of Texas takes any potential threat to public health seriously and will remain ready for all possibilities.
As of now, there have been 23 confirmed cases in Texas, several of which are in the North Texas region. There are 104 additional cases being tested as of this afternoon. At least one confirmed case appears to be community-spread, meaning it was contracted here at home. That case is in Montgomery County. Our elderly population and those with suppressed immune systems are the most vulnerable.
The most important thing we can do collectively is to contain the spread of this virus. Because of this, we’ve all noticed the cancellation of many public events, meetings, and even classes at our universities. This has been done out of an abundance of caution. Limiting the spread of the virus is the best way for our healthcare providers to maintain their ability to test for and treat the virus. Currently, state resources and tests outnumber demand for those resources. It’s vital that local governments and healthcare professionals maintain active communication with the state during this time.
If you demonstrate symptoms of Coronavirus, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, please first contact your primary care physician.
Just as important, it’s critical for Texans to remain calm, yet cautious during this situation. Be aware of those who may be posting information on social media and please consider the source. The best information available will be released by local health, state and federal officials.
As for our children and their schools, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is and will remain in constant communication with the superintendents of our local school districts, who have the discretion to close schools should the need arise. TEA will provide ongoing information and guidance to superintendents through daily calls, beginning immediately.
My confidence in state leaders and in Texans throughout our state to remain calm, cautious, and to endure this public health threat is even stronger now than it was before. For more information, please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services at their website: https://dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/.