Texas 'fully prepared' for coronavirus, does not see NY situation: governor

Gabriel C. Pérez  KUT
A business on Austin's normally busy South Congress Avenue is closed during the coronavirus pandemic

The updated order directs Texans to "minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household".

Greg Abbott and top officials announce new state policies to combat the coronavirus at the governor's office press conference room on Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Austin, Texas.

The order does not prohibit people from accessing essential services or engaging in essential daily activities, such as going to the grocery store or gas station, or engaging in physical activity like jogging or bicycling, so long as social distancing is maintained.

"Essential services" shall consist of everything listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Version 2.0, plus religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship. Requests for additions should be directed to TDEM at EssentialServices@tdem.texas.gov or by visiting www.tdem.texas.gov/essentialservices. He said 10,000 tests are on their way now, and then 20,000 tests will be provided each week. One sick resident at the Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in San Antonio has died.

Texans should continue to work from home if possible.

According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (DSHS), there are now 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases outside of Randall and Potter Counties in Amarillo, which according to the City of Amarillo Friday, each reported 24 confirmed cases of the virus.

Abbott had announced a new executive order establishing what he dubbed "essential services and activities protocols", but went out of his way to make clear that it was not a "stay-at-home strategy".

Because COVID-19 attacks the lungs, those with severe cases often require ventilators to help them breathe. The war is not over.

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