AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – Gov. Gregg Abbott declared a state of disaster for Texas early Friday afternoon during a press conference in Austin.
Gov. Abbott signed the declaration of state disaster during the press conference, and he said it authorizes “the use of all available and necessary state and government resources to help respond to COVID-19.”
Abbott also announced on Friday the first coronavirus drive-thru testing facility in Texas. The site opened Friday afternoon in San Antonio and is largely for first responders, medical professionals, and various high-risk patients.
The announcement came from the state capitol in Austin as more and more cases are confirmed with each passing day.
Abbott also said that the Texas Education Agency is asking for federal waivers of fees to school district for lunch programs if they shut down for an extended period of time.
There are at least 39 confirmed cases in Texas, not counting the cases from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Gov. Abbott said. 220 Texans have been tested for COVID-19 by either the state or U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and 75 are being tested, as he put it, “as we speak.”
In Tyler on Friday, three people were confirmed to have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the East Texas total to four. They are all believed to be travel-based.
All three of the Tyler patients recently returned from trips outside the United States.
Gov. Abbott has asked that all insurance costs for testing of the coronavirus be waived.
Austin also announced that the city had two positive cases that were confirmed early Friday morning.
“Texas is in the best position to handle a situation like this,” Gov. Abbott said. “We’ve been working with grocers and retailers, and Texans must remain calm. We are prepared with the goods and supplies we need.”