Abbott’s new orders mandate quarantine for travelers

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is seen with top state officials at the governor's office press conference room March 19 in Austin. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Gov. Greg Abbott held a news conference at the capitol Sunday regarding new information of the state’s healthcare capacity, issuing several additional executive orders.

Hospital beds have doubled over the past week for COVID-19 patients. Through a joint effort between the state, the Texas military and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, additional locations will serve as healthcare facilities if hospitals are overcapacity.

Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas will be the first of these sites.

“While hospitals will remain the primary location to treat and care for those in need, we are ensuring that Texas is prepared for any possible scenario in which current hospital capacity is exhausted,” Abbott said. “This joint initiative with the Texas Military Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will expand the care capacity in communities across Texas.”

Abbott also issues two new executive orders to further protect public safety: GA-12 and GA-13.

In GA-12, Abbott mandated a 14-day quarantine for road travelers arriving to Texas from any location in Louisiana. Commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response, or critical infrastructure functions are exempt from the mandated quarantine.

The governor also prohibited (in GA-13) the release of individuals in custody for or with a history of offenses involving physical or the threat of physical violence.

A proclamation regarding his previous executive order, which mandated a self-quarantine for those arriving from the New York Tri-State area and New Orleans, was also issued.

In addition, air travelers arriving from the states of California, Louisiana, Washington, and the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Miami are also mandated a 14-day quarantine.