Editor’s note: This story is part of The Daily Texan’s coverage of how coronavirus concerns are affecting UT-Austin. Read the rest of our coverage here.
Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Tuesday for health care providers to submit daily reports of COVID-19 tests and hospitals to report the number of beds.
Abbott announced the order at a press conference, alongside John Hellerstedt, Texas Department of State Health Services commissioner, and Nim Kidd, Texas Division of Emergency Management chief.
Across 65 counties, 715 Texans have tested positive for COVID-19 and 11 have died, Abbott said. 11,000 people have been tested for the disease in Texas, Abbott said.
To address the high demand for personal protective equipment, such as masks, gloves and gowns, Abbott created a supply chain strike force that receives supply donations and distributes those supplies to areas in need. Abbott said the strike force received donations of thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment from the Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons.
“One thing that we're very proud of is that there are so many people and so many organizations across the state of Texas who see the need for the masks, for the personal protection equipment, for the gloves, for all the different types of supplies that are so desperately needed,” Abbott said.
Abbott said by next week, Texas should be receiving more than a million masks per week.
“The state of Texas is competing with other states for supplies and competing with the federal government for supplies, and there is more demand than there are available supplies,” Abbott said. “The good news is the federal government is racing to increase the supplies.”
Citizens are able to donate medical supplies and materials through a form on texas.gov, and medical professionals are able to volunteer their time through the website, Abbott said.
“We’re so pleased and proud and grateful for everyone who is offering donations,” Abbott said.
Hellerstedt said social distancing and cleanliness through personal hygiene are the steps that need to be taken for prevention of COVID-19.
“The things we need to do are simple, but they are things we all need to do together to be successful,” Hellerstedt said.