UPDATED 2:30 PM PT — Friday, July 24, 2020
The governor of Texas recently acknowledged the coronavirus is showing no signs of slowing down in his state. On Friday, Greg Abbott stated the virus has not yet been conquered and added it will take time to eliminate its presence.
Abbott went on to say residents mistakenly believed the virus was already “defeated” after seeing the state’s lower case numbers.
He urged residents to continue practicing health safety measures to avoid reclosures in the state.
“We need to step up and understand the way we need to fully respond to it. That said, I have imposed a mask requirement in the state of Texas, and it polls overwhelmingly. 85% of Texans agree that face masks is a way that we can go about keeping businesses open without having to shut down. Let me be very clear: we do not want to shut down again. The only way we can go about the process of not shutting down is for people to embrace this process of wearing a face mask.” – Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas
In the meantime, the state’s daily infection rate has started to decrease after weeks of rising infections.
Governor Abbott’s remarks come as the region is bracing for a tropical storm this weekend. FEMA has announced it is struggling to provide resources for both coronavirus relief and emergency supplies for hurricane season.
On Friday, FEMA administrator Peter Gaynor emphasized the emergencies have made it difficult to manage supplies, as the agency is also dealing with a shortage of necessary equipment.
“Operating in overlapping disaster environments will create new challenges. Evacuating people within the COVID-19 environment will require the widespread availability of non-congregate sheltering, so that social distancing can be observed wherever possible. Critical supplies like ventilators, PPE and other key pharmaceuticals located in the path of hurricanes will have to be secured to ensure they remain available for use.” – Peter Gaynor, FEMA administrator
He has urged local government to prepare for hurricane season and keep the pandemic in mind during evacuation efforts.