Watch Live: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott provides coronavirus update

2 years 11 months 19 hours ago Tuesday, April 21 2020 Apr 21, 2020 April 21, 2020 1:34 PM April 21, 2020 in News - Coronavirus Pandemic
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and top of officials announced new state policies to combat the coronavirus at the governor's office press conference room on Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Austin, Texas. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that nearly 20,000 Texans had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Abbott said that — as of Tuesday — more than 205,000 people had been tested for the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

Nearly 1,500 people who tested positive had been hospitalized, Abbott said, and 511 had died. Nearly 5,000 people have recovered.

Abbott said the numbers provided a reason for cautious optimism: Texas still has plenty of hospitals and ventilators available.

"Bottom line is that we are very well equipped in the state of Texas to address the health care needs of anybody who may test positive for COVID-19," Abbott said.

As a result of the coronavirus, Abbott said Texas had suffered mass unemployment.

The state has filled nearly 1.6 million unemployment claims and paid out more than $1.4 billion, Abbott said.

Abbott said Texas hadn't experienced a shortage of health care workers, but he encouraged all health care workers to register at Texas.gov — allowing the state to contact them if needed.

Health care workers may be asked to volunteer, Abbott said, but wouldn't be forced to accept any assignment they didn't want.

Health care facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes, could request volunteers through the same system, Abbott said.

The Texas National Guard is mobilizing more than 1,200 personnel to assist with COVID-19 testing statewide, Abbott said. When fully deployed throughout the day, they will be able to test about 3,500 people per day.

Abbott also said that more than 60 drive-thru testing locations had opened across the state, including a location in Weslaco.

By The Numbers

Tested: at least 205,000
Positive: 19,945
Hospitalized: 1,491
Deaths: 511
Recovered: at least 6,486

Unemployment claims filled: 1,579,000
Dollars paid out: more than $1.4 billion

Source: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who said he received the numbers before 2 p.m. Tuesday.

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