Governor issues order quarantining NY, New Orleans visitors

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    Texas Governor seal
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March 26, Governor Greg Abbott announced he will issue an executive order that will force those flying into the state of Texas from the New York tri-state area, including New Jersey and Connecticut, or New Orleans to quarantine for a 14-day period. There will be no quarantine required for those traveling by roadway, said Abbott.

Department of Public Safety troopers will be responsible for enforcing the order by visiting the quarantine location, whether it's a hotel or other. Those found violating the ordered will be subject to a $1,000 fine, 180 days in jail or both, according to the governor.

"We need to take appropriate measures and those measures are part of this executive order," reiterated Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the state's Department of State Health Services. 

Along with announcing the new measure, Gov. Abbott said COVID-19 testing has drastically increased throughout the state, exceeding expectation. When he announced the increase in testing capabilities last Friday, March 20, 2,335 individuals had been tested for the virus. As of Thursday, March 26, more than 21,000 had been testing. 

"We're on a very good trajectory for the increase on the number of people getting tested," he said.

The number of individuals in Texas who tested positive has increased by more than 1,300 since last Friday. The latest information presented showed 1,424 individuals have been diagnosed. Of those 100 have been hospitalized.

"Less than 10% of people who test positive need to be in a hospital as of this time," said Abbott. "Our goal in this whole testing process is to test as many people as possible to see those numbers go up and then see a leveling off in the increase in those numbers in Texas."