Gov. Abbott urges Texans to get vaccinated, announces immediate actions to mitigate rise of COVID-19

Posted at 6:04 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 18:45:29-04

Governor Abbott announced today actions that Texas will be taking to mitigate rising COVID-19 cases.

"The State of Texas is taking action to ensure that our hospitals are properly staffed and supported in the fight against COVID-19," said Governor Abbott. "Texans can help bolster the state's efforts to combat the virus by getting vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, and it is our best defense against the virus."

According to the release, The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will be using staffing agencies to bring in medical personnel from outside of the state, to assist health care facilities in Texas with COVID-19 operations.

Abbott also issued a letter to the Texas Hospital Association, asking hospitals to voluntarily postpone elective medical procedures that are not urgent when pertaining to a patient's life or condition. This will allow hospitals to increase capacity for COVID-19 patients.

"While 53.5 percent of eligible Texans are fully vaccinated, there is more that must be done," said Abbott in a letter to healthcare leaders. "As you know, the COVID-19 Delta Variant is spreading quickly among unvaccinated individuals. Each of your organizations represent a network of healthcare professionals across our state, and I am urging you to do all you can to raise awareness regarding the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccinations."

Abbott additionally directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and DSHS to open more COVID-19 antibody infusion centers, which will treat patients that do not require hospitalizations with therapeutic drugs, to prevent worsening conditions or hospitalization.

An infusion center in Lubbock will be expanding capacity this week, DSHS will also launch a facility in San Antonio Tuesday, August 10, in an effort to employ five new centers throughout Texas.

"The Governor is also directing TDEM and DSHS to increase vaccination availability across the state and encourages all Texans to get the COVID-19 vaccine," said the release from Gov. Abbott's office.