Governor Abbott addresses testing in meatpacking plants, nursing homes

Governor Abbott addresses testing in meatpacking plants, nursing homes
Governor Greg Abbott talked about three hot spots contributing to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas which are meatpacking plants, nursing homes, and correctional facilities. (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Governor Greg Abbott talked about three hot spots contributing to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas which are meatpacking plants, nursing homes, and correctional facilities.

“Because we are meeting with success in the Panhandle area in confronting and containing COVID-19 coming from meat processing facilities, and because we are addressing nursing homes in the Panhandle region, we think that the spread of the coronavirus will largely be contained,” said Governor Greg Abbott.

There are plans in the works to make changes to meatpacking plant operations.

“Basically quarantine or isolate those who test positive to make sure they stop spreading it to others. Then implement other measures in the community such as the transportation of these workers on these buses to the meat processing facilities, and to try to prevent them from going into places like Walmart and exposing others to the exposure of COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott.

As the Texas National Guard wraps up testing at Tyson, Governor Abbott plans to test all nursing home residents within the next few weeks.

“If we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes, it will go a long way in achieving two goals. One is to reduce the total number of people who test positive but also reduce the fatality rate. Which, by the way, Texas has one of the lowest fatality rates in the country,” said Governor Abbott.

Many nursing home residents have already been tested for COVID-19, but to make sure we are containing the spread in a vulnerable population, many will be re-tested.

“It just depends on how long ago it was that someone was tested in a nursing home. The goal is to test 100 percent of the people there, but if someone got a test that same day, they probably would not test them again,” said Governor Abbott.

The Texas National Guard will play a role in testing at nursing homes.

“There will be a raid across the state assisting both local and state health authorities in doing two things. One is to make sure all the testing is undertaken, but in addition to the testing, they are also going through the process at all of the nursing homes trying to eliminate all of the germs in the nursing homes that could be a cause of the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott.

Testing materials have already been shipped to Texas, and Governor Abbott hopes to finish testing nursing home residents within the next few weeks.

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