As the worldwide threat of novel coronavirus increased, state agencies already were working together to ensure the health and safety of all Texans, Gov. Greg Abbott said on Thursday, Feb. 27.
After a briefing from state and federal health officials on coronavirus (COVID-19), Abbott provided an update on steps the state is taking.
He said the Department of State Health Services has activated the State Medical Operations Center to serve as a touchpoint for any requests from local entities. The center also ensures consistent collection, tracking and reporting of public health activities and data.
Also, DSHS is preparing state laboratories with testing capabilities for the novel coronavirus and is updating public health response plans in the event of the spread of the virus.
Abbott said multi-level and multi-agency coordination and communication efforts are practiced daily to ensure up-to-date information is flowing between federal, state and local partners.
Furthermore, DSHS is coordinating with the Texas Department of Emergency Management, Texas Hospital Association, Texas Medical Association and state university systems to provide educational materials and the latest developments in research and treatment methods for the virus.
And, relevant agencies will implement disinfecting measures at places such as driver license offices and schools and ensure that highrisk populations such as those in day-care centers, nursing homes, assisted living associations and health-care facilities are prepared and cared for, Abbott said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed multiple cases of COVID-19 in people under federal quarantine at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
The first was a traveler who returned on a U.S. State Department-chartered flight from Wuhan City, China. The others returned on a State Department flight for passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama, Japan.
The individuals will remain isolated at medical facilities until they test negative for the virus and are no longer at risk of spreading it.
The CDC has the latest information on the number of people under quarantine who are infected and is updating its national numbers each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.