AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – Governor Greg Abbott has announced that additional federal resources have been activated and are being sent to the Houston area to combat COVID-19.
Houston is one of the areas in the state hardest hit by the coronavirus. The Texas Department of State Health Services currently reports Harris County as having 40,919 cases and has suffered 439 deaths.
The Houston Chroncle puts the number of deaths in the Houston area at 603 and says area hospitals are straining.
The situation in Houston mirrors that across the state, which continues to set grim records. On Friday, for the first time since the pandemic hit, Texas surpassed 10,000 hospitalized patients. On Tuesday, the state exceeded 10,000 new cases in a day for the first time. The state suffered 95 more deaths Friday, one more deadly day in a deadly week.
Facing those numbers, Abbott has warned Texans that worse is still to come and has repeatedly and forcefully urged them to wear face masks in public to bring down the numbers and help avert a second statewide shutdown.
He also has been working with Vice President Mike Pence and members of the Trump Administration to ensure the medical needs of Texans will be met as the State responds to COVID-19.
The additional resources intended for Houston include an Urban Area Medical Task Force from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) that will arrive in the region on Monday and a Disaster Medical Assistance Team from U.S. Health and Human Services that has just been deployed.
These resources add to a DOD Urban Area Medical Task Force that just began operating in Bexar County as well as seven federal assessment teams operating in Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, McAllen, Laredo and El Paso this past week.
“Texas is grateful to the federal government as well as the President and Vice President for working swiftly to provide additional resources to the state as we work to mitigate COVID-19 and care for our fellow Texans,” said Governor Abbott. “We will continue to work with our local and federal partners to ensure all resources and needs are met throughout the state.”