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Gov. Abbott has activated the Texas National Guard in response to COVID-19

Gov. Greg Abbott pardons Central Texan
Posted at 12:12 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 13:34:12-04

Governor Greg Abbott today activated the Texas National Guard to be prepared to assist with response efforts for COVID-19.

"This preparative measure will ensure that the Texas National Guard can assist in various forms throughout the state when needed," the Governor said.

"However, 'no National Guard need to be deployed at this time," Abbott said.

Healthcare workers and first responders who are members of the Texas National Guard are excluded from this activation so that they can continue serving the people of Texas in their respective fields.

"By activating the Texas National Guard, we are ensuring Texas is prepared as we continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," said Governor Abbott. "I am grateful to the men and women of the National Guard for their dedication to serving their fellow Texans, and want to assure the public that this is a precautionary measure to make sure the Texas National Guard has the capability to serve at a moment's notice where they are needed most."

In other updates, Abbott said as of today, Texas is up to 64 confirmed cases of coronavirus across 19 counties.

He also mentioned the state's first coronavirus-related death, involving a man in his 90s in Matagorda County.

"As of this moment,' Abbott said, 1,264 Texans have been tested. 'That number will continue to increase dramatically," he added.

Abbott reiterated that he's confident Texas will be able to test 10,000 people per week by the end of this week.