Number of coronavirus cases in Houston “increasing very rapidly”

In a press conference Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott discussed the latest efforts to combat COVID-19 in Texas, including the details of his call with Vice President Pence regarding specific concerns about Harris County.

Governor Abbott said today the Harris County area is one of the areas in Texas hit hardest by coronavirus, that is why he and Vice President Pence discussed the Houston area during a private phone call Tuesday.

“The number of people testing positive in the Harris County area is increasing very rapidly,” said Abbott. “[Vice President Pence] raised the issue with me because he wanted to make sure that Harris County was receiving everything that it needs to respond to COVID-19.”

Some of those needs include more testing and more masks. The governor said he overnighted 125-thousand masks to Harris County on Tuesday.

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As for testing, he says Walgreens in Texas will be making an announcement soon about its plan to provide drive-through testing with a goal of building up to as many as three-thousand tests per day.

The governor said when it comes to the number of Texans who’ve been tested for the virus so far, Texas will be passing the 100-thousand mark in the next day. Of those 100-thousand people, he says just nine-thousand have tested positive for the virus.

With that being said, he reiterated that testing is not the solution.

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Following the stay-at-home orders is the solution, he said.

The governor said as of Wednesday just under 15-hundred Texans have been hospitalized due to coronavirus. And 175 people have died from the virus in the state.

In the press conference with the governor, Dr. John Zerwas noted those are low numbers compared to elsewhere.

“We’ve been fortunate in Texas that we’re not seeing quite the ramp up that other places are, and I think a great deal of that is because of the governor’s executive orders,” said Zerwas. “In terms of available beds, available ventilators, available ICU beds, we continue to have a very very comfortable capacity in that regard.”

The governor urged people to continue following the stay at home orders in order to continue averting a surge in cases, especially in Texas’ most populous area—Houston.