BEAUMONT, Texas – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott discussed the status of the coronavirus pandemic in the state during a news conference Tuesday morning.
Abbott applauded residents in Jefferson County for their response to COVID-19. He said the area has been proactive in following guidelines and working to bring down case numbers.
The governor said he is particularly impressed by the use of blood plasma in the area and urged everyone who has tested positive and recovered to consider giving blood plasma that can help others recover.
While the numbers look better, Abbott said hospital occupancy in Jefferson County is still high and there needs to be an effort to get those to come down.
“COVID-19 has not left ... the state of Texas,” Abbott said. “COVID-19 still spreads across this region and across the country just as fast as is did in July.”
Abbott said the only way to reduce the spread is for people to continue to follow best practices such as wearing a mask, social distancing, staying home and washing their hands.
Schools are opening over the coming weeks, and Abbott said the best decision they could have made was to leave the decision of when and how to open up to the schools because each district is facing different circumstances.
“Whatever is the best-determined strategy by a school district, is exactly the pathway that district should follow,” Abbott said. “That said I want everybody to know that the state of Texas ...is doing everything possible to make sure that schools have all the tools they need to be able to open up safely.”
Abbott said this includes distributing PPEs and other items the schools need, and the state will continue to provide whatever PPE is needed to keep students, teachers and staff safe.
The Texas Education Agency has also provided strategies that should help mitigate situations like overcrowded hallways, Abbott said.
According to Abbott, these strategies include wearing masks, staggered openings and more spacing in classrooms and cafeterias. It is important for schools to adopt these best protocols in order to contain the spread of coronavirus, Abbott said.
Watch the full news conference below:
🔴 WATCH LIVE: Abbott discusses coronavirus pandemic in TexasPosted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Tuesday, August 11, 2020