Abbott Adds Two New Executive Orders; Expects Full Compliance

Matt Briscoe

(Southside Light News)—Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued two new executive orders on Sunday at a press conference from the State Capitol in Austin. 

The first executive order directs all hospital and medical facilities to stop all non-medically necessary medical procedures. Governor Abbott said that the order would help hospitals free up bed space to treat COVID-19 patients throughout Texas. 

Governor Abbott’s second executive order called for hospitals to be allowed to relax certain restrictions such as allowing them to turn private rooms into semi-private rooms for patient care. 

Abbott also announced a new strike force that would help secure medical equipment and supplies for patient care and first line defenders. 

As of Sunday, Texas has tested some 8,700 citizens throughout the state. Of those tests, Governor Abbott said that there have been 334 positive tests across 43 counties. Texas now has 6 deaths due to COVID-19. 

Governor Abbott spoke strongly in regards to a statewide lockdown. Abbott said that as of now, he is leaving that decision in the hands of local officials. Abbott did say that he “expects full compliance” with his first executive order that encouraged Texans to stay at home. 

Department of State Health Commissioner John Hellerstedt said that we must understand that we are in the early stages of the community spread aspect of this virus pandemic. 

Nim Kidd, Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief urged Texans to stop panic buying and stay calm as this situation plays out. 

Governor Abbott did note on Sunday that businesses that do not comply with his executive order could face fines, jail time and even forced quarantine. 

At current time the Governor says that Texans should be mindful of the order and says that many Texans are complying with his orders. However, Abbott said that his mind could change on a statewide lockdown at any moment.