Governor Abbott Activates National Guard In Response To COVID-19

Published 2:51 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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Special to the Leader

Texas 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. 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 public and private labs, 1,264 Texans have been tested for COVID-19 so far, Abbott said. That’s a significant jump from the state’s Monday report that roughly 400 people had been tested in public labs. By the end of the week, he expects the state to be able to test 10,000 people weekly.

“This week, Texas will be receiving 15,000 test kits from FEMA [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] alone. Testing will be conducted in part by FEMA, in part by hospitals, in part by public health authorities, in part by these private” operators, Abbott said.