Governor Abbott Activates National Guard In Response To COVID-19

Governor Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday he will be activating the National Guard for readiness and preparation in handling the coronavirus pandemic.

“The National Guard has been involved in this process from the beginning. It’s just at this particular point in time, I want to fully activate the National Guard. But no National Guard need to be deployed at this time,” Abbott said

Currently, Denton County Public Health (DCPH) has confirmed the second case testing positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within Denton County. The patient, a female in her 50s, resides in Prosper, Texas and recently traveled. The patient is currently in home isolation to reduce the likelihood of the illness spreading. DCPH epidemiologists are identifying and contacting individuals who may been exposed. Any individuals identified as having been exposed will be contacted directly by DCPH. No further personal information will be released to protect patient confidentiality.

This preparative measure will ensure that the Texas National Guard can assist in various forms throughout the state when needed. Healthcare workers and first responders who are members of the Texas National Guard are excluded from this activation so that they can continue serving the people of Texas in their respective fields. 

“This week, Texas will be receiving 15,000 test kits from FEMA alone. Testing will be conducted in part by FEMA, in part by hospitals, in part by public health authorities, in part by these private operators”, Abbott said.

“As the State of Texas responds to COVID-19, we continue to work to maintain regular health care services and operations throughout the state, and telemedicine is one of the most valuable tools we have to ensure Texans continue to receive the health services they need,” Abbott said in a statement.

Additionally, Governor Greg Abbott announced today that he has directed the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to temporarily waive expiration dates for Driver Licenses, Commercial Driver Licenses, and other identification forms. This action falls within the Governor’s State of Disaster Declaration and is part of the ongoing effort to reduce to spread of COVID-19.

“Our top priority remains public health and safety, and we will continue to take action to ensure that Texans can avoid large public gatherings,” said Governor Abbott. “Texas is at a pivotal moment in the response to COVID-19, and by temporarily delaying Driver License renewals we will help limit non-essential trips into public settings and slow the spread of this virus.”

This suspension will be in effect until 60 days after the DPS provides further public notice that normal Driver License operations have resumed.