Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) today announced that the federal government has extended seven community-based testing sites in Texas through June 30, 2020. These federally-supported, state-managed, and locally-executed sites include El Paso (1), Dallas (2), Houston (2), and Harris County (2).
"Our federal partners play a crucial role in rapidly expanding COVID-19 testing in Texas," said Governor Abbott. "I thank our federal partners for extending the operations of these community-based testing sites and remain committed to our ongoing collaboration as we mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our communities."
Governor Abbott, Texas National Guard Launch Disinfection Mission For Nursing Facilities
Governor Greg Abbott also today announced that the Texas National Guard has activated Facilities Disinfection Teams to support Texans in nursing homes and to help limit the spread of COVID-19. These Facilities Disinfection Teams, formed in coordination with Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), provide a major boost to protecting Texans and limiting the spread of COVID-19. Six teams have already been mobilized to facilities across the state with more coming online.
"The Texas National Guard plays a crucial role in our ongoing response to COVID-19, and I am grateful for their work to address the unique challenges our nursing homes face during this pandemic," said Governor Abbott. "The training these Guardsmen have received will equip them with the knowledge and tools they need to provide this crucial assistance to these facilities."
"The Texas National Guard readily accepts this newest mission assignment," said Major General Tracy Norris. "We take our charge of protecting all Texans, especially our most vulnerable populations, extremely seriously. Our service members have proactively trained for this mission alongside the Health and Human Services Commission and other partner agencies. We stand ready to continue to serve both here at home and abroad in the war fight."
These Facilities Disinfection Teams consist of Guardsmen from Joint Task Force 176, and each team is equipped with unique supplies such as advanced personal protective equipment, ionized sprayers, and vital oxide. The teams received training from the Texas Military Department 6th Civil Support Team, who specialize in man-made and natural disaster assessment and rapid response in hazardous environments.
The Texas National Guard is currently supporting the fight against COVID-19 in Texas by providing personal protective equipment manufacturing support, food bank support, mobile COVID-19 testing, and points of distribution for essential items.