COVID-19 takes center stage in Austin as state focuses on slowing down community wide spread

Prepared, not panicked is the mentality Texas health officials are taking as concern over the COVID-19 epidemic grows.

As of Tuesday, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed some 30 cases in the state.

While public health departments work to identify who those patients came in contact with the Texas Division of Emergency Management and other agencies are working to prepare and limit the spread.

Fears over COVID-19 have people stocking up on face masks making it difficult for health professionals to care for sick patients.

Texas Department of Emergency Management Chief Operating Officer Chuck Phinney says if you are healthy do not wear a mask.

It won’t prevent you from contracting the virus.

“It’s not healthy,” he said. “It creates a false sense of security and in some cases, I think it adds to the panic when you see somebody wearing the masks.”

TIMELINE: How the Coronavirus COVID-19 unfolded in the greater Houston area

In Tuesday's Texas House Public Health committee meeting legislators expressed concerns over state resources.

The availability to test for COVID-19.

With several labs opening up the Department of State Health Services says there are enough tests available for people who have symptoms and meet CDC criteria.

“It’s not something that’s in every doctor's office and we don’t anticipate that it will be available for a good while,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health. “We have to be conservative we have to be smart about how we use that testing capability.”