Hospitals must submit daily reports on bed capacity and COVID-19 tests to the state health department, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday. The department will in turn submit reports to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We have a goal in this state and that is to ensure that everyone is doing everything possible to mitigate and reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said during a news conference Tuesday announcing the order.
He did not issue a statewide shelter-in-place order as some cities and counties, such as Travis, have done in the last few days. He said his order last week limiting gatherings and ordering bars and restaurant dining rooms to close follows CDC guidelines to slow the spread of the disease.
The state health department has found 715 positive cases in Texas, and 11 Texans have died, Abbott said. There have been more than 11,000 tests administered. Sixty-five counties are known to be affected by the disease.
The governor has been focused on expanding hospital capacity and getting more medical supplies. On Sunday, he issued orders directing health care professionals to postpone elective surgeries and allow more than one patient to be treated in the same room. He said Tuesday a task force he assembled has placed an order for $80 million worth of supplies.
Abbott said the state is enlisting every medical professional they can find to help, and mentioned people who want to donate medical supplies, like personal protection equipment, or volunteer can find out how to do so at www.texas.gov.
“Just remember this: We are Texans,” Abbott said. “Texans are always resilient and we will once again as we always do show the world how Texans respond when we come together. When we come together nothing can defeat us.”