Governor Prepares For Possible Surge

Austin, Texas — Governor Greg Abbott provided the latest coronavirus numbers in Friday’s press conference, and shared details about increasing hospital bed capacity across the state. He also answered questions about how Texas would manage a surge in COVID-19 cases, while speaking from the Texas State Capitol auditorium. 

Gov. Abbott said during past six days, the Supply Chain Strike Force has found, with the assistance of Abbott Laboratories, 1.4 million face masks as well as more than 190 thousand face shields, over two million gloves, and more than 160 thousand gowns for medical workers on the front lines of battling the pandemic.

The state has 8,741 ventilators as well as 19,695 hospital beds available, which is up from Sunday when he said there were about 16,000 on hand. The nearly 20,000 beds represents about 41 percent of Texas’ overall capacity of 47,585.  In intensive care units, 2,107 beds are currently available statewide.  Abbott said that due to his recent executive orders, there has been a 142 percent increase in beds.

More than 55 thousand people have been tested for COVID-19 in Texas and 5,478 have came back positive, with 91 deaths from the virus. Of those cases, 827 Texans have been hospitalized.

Among the moves Abbott has made to increase hospital bed capacity has included an executive order postponing surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary, an incentive to increase medical staffing, and suspending certain regulations to allow for more patients to be housed in the same room. Prior to the order, just 8,000 beds had been available statewide.

The Governor also reminded Texans what it takes beyond medical equipment to respond to this emergency.  “We see COVID-19 continue to spread in our state.  If you are not involved in providing essential services it is in your best interest, for your own health and your own safety, to stay at home.”  An order allowing only “essential” businesses to stay open remains in effect through April 30 statewide.

Abbot concluded, “We started ahead of the curve, but we are having to sprint to stay ahead of the curve!”


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