TEXAS — Gov. Greg Abbott has expanded travel restrictions into Texas as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the country.
The governor said Sunday during a press conference at the State Capitol that he was expanding his previous executive order that requires a 14-day self-quarantine for anyone flying into Texas from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or New Orleans. The order now mandates a 14-day self-quarantine for anyone driving to Texas from anywhere in Louisiana and for people flying in from Miami, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta and anywhere in California and Washington state.
“Understand that executive orders that I issue about travel are keenly focused on one main goal and that is to reduce importing COVID-19 into the state of Texas,” Gov. Abbott said. “The best way to do that is to do all that we can to restrict travel into Texas from areas that have a high rate of COVID-19.”
Gov. Abbott said the order will continue to be enforced by the Department of Public Safety.
The governor also announced the state's first “pop-up” hospital to deal with the crisis. The facility will be the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, which has been a hotspot for the outbreak in the state. Abbott said the convention center has the capacity for 250 beds with room for more if necessary. The governor also noted there was plenty of hospital capacity to deal with the outbreak across the state and that existing hospitals remain the primary location for treatment.
According to numbers from the Texas Department of State Health Services, as of Sunday there are at least 2,552 coronavirus cases in Texas, including 34 deaths with almost half of Texas' 254 counties reporting cases.
There have been 25,483 tests done in the state, according to DSHS.
Gov. Abbott also announced an executive order Sunday that halts "dangerous felons" from being released into Texas streets, after the governor says there have been reports of local communities considering doing so to combat the spread of COVID-19 within jails and prisons.
“Releasing dangerous criminals makes the state even less safe, and complicates our ability to respond to the disaster caused by COVID-19," Abbott said.