LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Governor Abbott held a news conference to provide an update on the coronavirus impact in Texas as of Friday, April 10.
“We are seeing a low number of deaths and a low number of hospitalizations compared to other states,” Abbott said. “People should take that as a good sign that COVID-19, while dangerous, while still growing in the State of Texas, is not as severe as it is in some other states.”
Abbott clarifies rules for golf courses
When asked about why golf courses were allowed to remain open, Gov. Abbott said golf courses are not essential, but the previous order said that people should feel free to take a walk in the park to advance their own personal health.
Abbott said while areas of a golf course that could provide a gathering place like clubhouses or other enclosed spaces must be closed, people should be free to walk along with a golf club and a golf ball at a public or private golf course, “as long as they are all maintaining safe distancing practices and following the CDC standards to make sure they are not transmitting the coronavirus.”
Thanking health care workers on the front line
Abbott began by expressing gratitude to health care workers and first responders, particularly those “on the front line” contracting COVID-19. They will be lighting up the Governor’s Mansion in blue as tribute on Saturday night.
Working to protect Texas energy
Abbott praised White House plans to protect and build up the Texas energy economy. Abbott spoke with Vice President Pence about strategic use of federal resources, but said the majority of testing equipment is now coming from the private sector.
Flattening curves in Texas counties
Abbott expressed confidence in our hospital capacity and Texas leadership in number of recovered cases.
The governor provided details of “flattening curves” in various Texas counties and said the top line numbers of people testing positive in Lubbock County are staying flat.
Abbott urged Texans to observe social distancing and avoid large gatherings over the Easter weekend.
The Texas National Guard is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to set up medical and testing sites across Texas, for example, in Jefferson County. Abbott told the county that Texas has plenty of ventilators and “their every need will be met.”
Abbott provided details about the Texas launch of an online childcare portal to help essential workers find care for their children.
Record unemployment claims
The Texas Workforce Commission is adding hundreds of employees to file an all time record number of unemployment claims. 363,335 claims paid, quarter of a billion dollars already paid. The extra money provided by congress will allow more benefits over a longer period of time.
The governor is changing the laws to allow Texans to appear before a notary public by way of video conferencing.
Gov. Abbott closed with a plea for unity in the state: “By continuing to work together by remaining apart, we will save even more lives.”
The governor said he plans to discuss the roll out of testing and details of getting Texas back to work next week.