AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday extended a statewide disaster declaration he first issued in March to allow the state to better respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Renewing this Disaster Declaration will provide communities with the resources they need to respond to COVID-19,” Abbott said in a statement. “I urge Texans to remain vigilant in our fight against this virus. Everyone must do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands frequently and thoroughly."
State health officials on Friday reported 481,483 people with the virus that has left at least 8,343 dead. The true number of cases in Texas is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.
Health officials also reported 7,872 people hospitalized.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.