Governor Abbott Surveys Amarillo COVID-19 Hot Spot

Chris Fox
May 28, 2020 - 6:00 am

At a Wednesday press conference in Amarillo, Governor Greg Abbott discussed the state's ongoing collaboration with local and federal leaders to address COVID-19 hot spots within the Amarillo area, and outlined the data on hospitalizations, testing, fatalities, and positivity rates that demonstrate the success of the surge response teams in containing and mitigating further spread of this virus.

Abbott cited the decline in positive tests since State and Federal Surge Response teams arrived. “It was 182 on the 13th (May). It spiked up to 734 on May the 16th, and then you could see a slow trickle down until you got to May 25th where you had zero people test positive.”

The Governor noted that there is ongoing testing in meat processing plants in the Amarillo area that could result in a spike in cases, and that the surge response teams will respond with the same proven strategies.

Governor Abbott announced the formation of surge response teams on May 5th. These teams serve nursing homes, packing plants, and other facilities that experience flare ups of COVID-19 by providing personal protective equipment, testing supplies, onsite staffing, and assessment assistance.

"Here in Texas, we have implemented a strategy that enables Texans to get back to work while mitigating further spread of COVID-19," said Governor Abbott. "Amarillo is an example of this strategy in action, and our surge response teams have done a tremendous job in containing the hot spots within the Amarillo community and protecting health and safety. As we continue in our efforts, we are committed to prioritizing public health while safely and strategically opening the state."

Statewide, Abbott says two important metrics continue to trend down. Both the number of hospitalizations and the rate of positive tests are in decline. “With a positivity rate of only about 5%, as the White House Coronavirus Strike Force has said that is an acceptable positivity rate to show that the state has adequately contained the spread of cover 19.”

The Governor was joined by Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson, Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd, Amarillo Public Health Director Casie Stoughton, as well as State Senator Kel Seliger and State Representatives Four Price, John Smithee, and Ken King.