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Abbott appeals for out-of-state help against Covid in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas -- Gov. Greg Abbott is appealing for out-of-state help to fight the third wave of Covid-19 in Texas.

The Monday appeal comes as a county-owned hospital in Houston raises tents to accommodate their Covid-19 overflow. Private hospitals in the county already were requiring their staff to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Meantime, the Dallas school district, the state's second-largest, announced it'll require students and staff to wear face masks starting Tuesday. The Houston school district already announced a mask mandate for its students and staff later this week if its board approves.

The highly contagious delta variant is fueling the wave.

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Abbott has directed the Texas Department of State Health Services to use staffing agencies to find additional medical staff from beyond the state’s borders as the delta wave began to overwhelm its present staffing resources. He also has sent a letter to the Texas Hospital Association to request that hospitals postpone all elective medical procedures voluntarily.

Hospital officials in Houston said last week that area hospitals with beds had insufficient numbers of nurses to serve them.

Abbott also directed the state health department and the Texas Division of Emergency Management to open additional Covid-19 antibody infusion centers to treat patients not needing hospital care and expand Covid-19 vaccine availability to the state’s underserved communities. He also announced that about $267 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food benefits. That was on top of the $3.9 billion in benefits previously allocated since April 2020.

The governor is taking action short of lifting his emergency order banning county and local government entities from requiring the wearing of masks and social distancing to lower the Covid-19 risk. The Republican has said repeatedly that Texans have the information and intelligence to make their own decisions on what steps to take to protect their health and the health of those around them.

Meantime, one of Houston’s two county-owned hospitals was pitching tents to accommodate its Covid-19 overflow. Harris Health System and Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in northeastern Houston added nearly 2,000 square feet of medical tents in the hope of taking control of the anticipated increase in patient volume and keep staff and non-Covi-19 patients safe.

Last week, Houston area officials said the wave of delta variant infections so strained the area’s hospitals that some patients had to be transferred out of the city, with one being sent to North Dakota.

In Dallas, the superintendent of the state’s second-largest public school system announced Monday that the district would require masks and social distancing from Tuesday, Abbott’s ban notwithstanding.

At a news conference, Dallas schools Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said the school district’s legal advisors assured that Abbott’s order does not limit the district’s rights as an employer and educational institution to establish reasonable and necessary safety rules for its staff and students.

The superintendent of the Houston school district, the state’s largest, announced last week that the district would require masks and social distancing in the district’s schools effective upon district board approval Thursday. A group of parents sued the Houston Independent School District over the weekend, challenging the requirements.

The rolling two-week daily average of new Covid-19 cases has increased by 165% to 8,533, according to Johns Hopkins University research data. About 45% of the state’s population has been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Associated Press

Comments

16 Comments

    1. The so called spike is because the vaccines are not working nitwit. I bet you have not done an antibodies test. Most Texans are a lot smarter than you Alberto.

    1. This is Bidens pandemic now. He said on July 4 that we have the upper hand on it. He had it beat but found a way to mess it up. Just like he’s doing to all of America.

  1. Abotts logic is that people have a right to get sick with Delta and infect others…but…he wants medical help for those who choose to be sick. WTF!

  2. Common sense will win over politics, though. And corporations, school districts and the medical field will demand that everyone be vaccinated and masked. What’s so hard about covering your pie hole and getting a shot. It’s not rocket science, folks. Just common sense!

    1. The reason why you need a mask to cover your piehole is the vaccines are not working. How about the over 150 breakthrough cases in El Paso. BTW – No one is preventing you from wearing a mask.

  3. Read a scientific journal. Any journal, and you will understand how the vaccine works to stop 99.9 of fatalities. And 90 percent of hospitalizations. Stop listening to Right-Wing covid deniers, they are turning your brain to mush with so much disinformation. EGAD!!!!

  4. FYI the reason vaccinated people wear masks is to protect OTHERS. Not because the vaccine does not work. Stop listening to Marjorie “Cabbage Patch” Taylor Green. She just likes to run her mouth off so dummies like you can send her money.

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