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Gov. Abbott says state is prepared in case coronavirus spreads in Texas

Posted at 2:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 23:30:43-05

Governor Greg Abbott spoke out about plans to protect Texans from the deadly coronavirus.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick joined Gov. Abbott at the State Operations Center in Austin for a briefing on the coronavirus. He also provided a press briefing on precautionary steps the state is taking.

The Department of State Health Services is taking the lead on the state’s response.

“DSHS has held response plans to be prepared for the possible transmission of COVID-19 in Texas. I’m not saying that’s happening. I just want you to know that we’re just preparing for any possibility,” said Gov. Abbott.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the infectious disease will inevitably spread in the United States.

With so much uncertainty surrounding the deadly coronavirus, state leaders are not taking chances. Governor Abbott is directing local health agencies to push education and prevention strategies.

“DSHS activated the state medical operation center on January 31st. This serves as a touchpoint for any requests from local entities and also ensures consistent collection, tracking, and reporting of public health activities and data,” said Gov. Abbott.

There are currently ten confirmed cases of coronavirus here in Texas. All patients have been quarantined at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. Five of those patients were passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Japan.

The state has response plans for emergency situations like this one. The agencies are not starting from scratch, instead using historical knowledge from other health emergencies including H1N1.