Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Sunday during a press conference that those who travel by car into Texas from Louisiana will face a two-week quarantine.
The explosion of cases in New Orleans, Louisiana, has caught the attention of Covid watchers and doomsayers across the country. Less than two weeks ago, the Crescent City recorded less than 100 cases. By March 29 the number of infections in Orleans Parish reached 1,350, with 73 deaths. The fatalities per capita rivals that of New York City.
Abbott said the move will help reduce coronavirus spread from a state that’s seeing a large number of cases.
The executive order does not apply to commercial, military, health or other critical infrastructure.
Abbott said he was dramatically expanding a previous executive order that requires a 14-day self-quarantine for anyone flying into Texas from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or New Orleans. Now, the state is also mandating a 14-day self-quarantine for those flying in from Miami, Atlanta, Detroit and Chicago, as well as anywhere in California and Washington.
Abbott said March 16 that he expected the state to be able to test 10,000 people weekly.
Seth Christensen, a spokesman for the Texas Division of Emergency Management, said on March 26 the state had received 15,000 test kits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and it is expecting another shipment of 15,000 test kits by March 28. Each kit can test one person, he said.
The Trump administration also said that almost 2 million tests would be available to some 2,000 commercial labs across the U.S. by March 21. According to the American Clinical Laboratory Association, its commercial lab members — which include ARUP, BioReference Laboratories, LabCorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Quest Diagnostics, and Sonic Healthcare — reported having conducted a total 405,000 tests as of March 25, including 67,000 completed tests for March 25.
It’s unclear if commercial labs in Texas have received any of the 2 million tests Trump promised for the nation.