Gov. Greg Abbott orders air travelers from New Orleans and around New York to self-quarantine

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gestures to boxes of personal protective equipment during a press conference about the state's response to the coronavirus on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Austin, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

HOUSTON – Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Thursday mandating all travelers from states and one city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak to self-quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine advisory is for travelers flying into Texas from the Tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. It also includes the city of New Orleans.

The order aligns Texas with federal guidance announced Wednesday that aims to contain the spread of the virus outside of New York, which has become the epicenter of the outbreak.

“This is intended simply to achieve the goals that have been articulated by the CDC and the White House organization focused on reducing the spread of the coronavirus in the United States,” Abbott said during a news conference at the Texas Capitol in Austin. Incoming travelers will be required to fill out a form once they land at a Texas airport. The Texas Department of Public Safety will enforce the advisory. Troopers will conduct visits. “Failure to comply could lead to a $1000 fine, 180 days in jail or both,” Gov. Abbott said. The quarantine advisory does not apply to military service members or emergency responders nor does it impact people driving into Texas from Louisiana. “This is using every strategy possible to reduce the spread. I am proud of Texans. I know it’s difficult but I also know that each day we get closer to putting this behind us,” Gov. Abbott said.

Coronavirus in Texas by numbers:

  • Texas is conducting between 2,000 and 5,000 coronavirus testing on a weekly basis
  • 1,425 positive coronavirus cases were confirmed as of March 26
  • 21,424 tests have been conducted so far
  • 18 deaths due to coronavirus complications
  • Approximately 90 counties in Texas have identified coronavirus cases.
  • 100 patients currently in the hospital due to coronavirus.
  • More than 3,000 beds available to coronavirus patients if needed

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump granted a Major Disaster Declaration for the state, which will expand the resources available to Texas & speed our ability to robustly respond to the coronavirus.

Texas Tribune also contributed to this story

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