Governor Greg Abbott traveled to Beaumont to hold a briefing with local officials and state representatives on the ongoing COVID-19 response in Jefferson County. The Governor also held a press conference where he provided an update on the state's continued efforts to mitigate the virus.
In the briefing, the Governor and local and state leaders discussed strategies to continue reducing the number of positive cases and hospitalizations in Jefferson County, including blood and plasma donations from recovered patients to help treat those currently diagnosed with COVID-19. The leaders noted that any outstanding needs of the community have been met by the State, and discussed how Jefferson County has reduced the number of hospitalizations, positive cases, and new fatalities following a spike several weeks ago. The leaders also discussed the upcoming school year and strategies to reduce transmission of COVID-19 among students, teachers, and staff, and the Governor reaffirmed the state's commitment to ensuring that schools have the tools they need to safely resume in-person instruction for the upcoming school year.
During the press conference, the Governor commended the people of Jefferson County for their collective response to COVID-19, and thanked Texans in the community for embracing best practices to reduce the spread of the virus — including wearing a mask, social distancing, and staying home as much as possible. The Governor urged Texans in Jefferson County to continue practicing these strategies, and encouraged those who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate blood and plasma to help with mitigation and recovery efforts.
"I commend the people of Jefferson County for their collective resolve against this virus, and urge Texans to continue following proven strategies that will reduce the spread of COVID-19," said Governor Abbott. "The State of Texas is working with local officials here in Jefferson County and throughout the state to meet the needs of our communities and protect public health."
The Governor has surged a variety of resources to Jefferson County to help combat COVID-19. Governor Abbott facilitated robust testing initiatives in the community, leading to 17 established testing locations and the testing of staff and residents at seven nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities within the county. Additionally, the State of Texas has provided two disinfection missions to nursing home facilities in Beaumont, and has helped meet health care staffing needs in Port Arthur and Beaumont. The Texas Department of State Health Services has distributed several cases of Remdesivir to hospitals in Jefferson County.
The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) has distributed over 1.1 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Jefferson County, including nearly 756,000 masks, over 118,000 pairs of gloves, and 10,880 face shields. This distribution also includes over 153,200 pieces of PPE for independent school districts in Jefferson County.