Texas is now under public health disaster declaration for the first time in a century.
Governor Greg Abbott made an announcement regarding new statewide restrictions for people and businesses on Thursday, March 19, 2020 to help slow the expansion of the Wuhan virus.
Abbott said the order came about after receiving advice from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the federal government.
Before Abbott issued the order on Thursday, local governments were mostly in charge of imposing restrictions on Texans’ activities during the crisis.
Abbott’s executive order shuts down all dine-in restaurants, bars, and gyms across the Lone Star State.
Takeout/delivery will still be allowed. All schools in the state will also closed. The order went into effect on midnight Friday and goes into effect on April 3, however, it could still be extended.
All schools are closed through April 3 and must go online to continue their classes.
Social gatherings within Texas were also limited to 10 people, and visits to nursing homes are only allowed for critical care.
“It’s necessary because we can clearly see the trajectory that COVID-19 will follow if not effectively combated,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt with Texas Health and Human Services. “COVID-19 is the greatest public health challenge in living memory. We are seeing the true original meaning of the term viral being lived out around the world. COVID-19 is and will be lived out in Texas.”
Texas Senator John Cornyn said the federal government is doing all it can to aid Texas business and Texans that are no longer working due to the virus.
“We’ve passed two different bills so far that are designed to address the natural anxiety both about their health and also their economic circumstances,” Cornyn states. “We’re working on another installment as well. We have not had anything happen like this before.”
“The most prolific thing the state of Texas can do is to make sure all unemployed people can get back to work as soon as possible is for us to lead the way to bend the curve with regard to the expansion of COVID-19 in Texas,” Abbott remarked.
The governor indicated that the restrictions could become more stringent.
“The state now has quarantine authority. We don’t want to exercise that authority right off because we want to depend on the responsibility that all Texans will show,” he said. “If Texans are irresponsible in their behavior though, there are more tools where we can be more aggressive, only if needed.”
What Abbott issued is not a shelter-in-place order and does not place restrictions on domestic travel. People can still go out in public, go grocery shopping, and go to work. However, Abbott urged companies to let people work from home if possible.
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Humanitarian Organization Deploys Field Hospital to New York City
Samaritan’s Purse, a humanitarian aid organization based in North Carolina, announced on March 27, 2020 that they are sending a convoy of trucks carrying one of their Emergency Field Hospitals to New York City.
New York City is the epicenter of the Wuhan virus pandemic in America. Samaritan’s Purse staff is already on the field making preparations and a team of medical personnel, made up of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare specialists, are currently heading to the city.
Right now, New York City hospital are being strained with patients and are running out of beds and ventilators. One hospital is already placing two patients on a single ventilator machine. So far, north of 23,000 people in New York City have the Wuhan virus with the number of new cases nearly doubling every three days.
Samaritan’s Purse plans on adding 68 beds, which includes an ICU and a respiratory care unit.
The organization is also responding to the Wuhan virus crisis in Cremona, Italy, which is the worst affected area outside of United States.
Samaritan’s Purse donated 55,000 masks this week to hospitals and health facilities across North Carolina.
Franklin Graham, the President of the Samaritan’s Purse, declared:
God has called Samaritan’s Purse to rush into crisis areas to save lives and to share the Good News that Jesus Christ paid for our sins on the Cross and rose from the grave to save all who put their faith in Him. No matter where we go, our goal is the same—to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and to share His love with those in need.
Samaritan’s Purse action shows how America’s vigorous civil society is tacking this crisis.
Despite what state worshippers say, America’s civil society is ready to help out.
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