LIVE: Gov. Abbott provides latest COVID-19 update from Texas Capitol


Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a town hall event in Tyler, TX on Aug. 15, 2019. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)

February 07 2021 06:00 pm

Gov. Greg Abbott is answering questions and providing an update on the efforts Texas officials have made in response to COVID-19.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. from the Texas Capitol on Tuesday. Abbott’s office confirmed the other participants in the briefing will include Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt, Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd and Commissioner Mike Morath of the Texas Education Agency. House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced Tuesday morning he would be in attendance as well.

While Hellerstedt and Kidd are regulars for Abbott’s coronavirus briefings, Morath’s presence at the press conference indicates some sort of education-related announcement could be expected.

“I do have the authority to ensure that schools remain close for the remainder of the school year,” Abbott said Sunday, explaining that he would meet with Morath this week to discuss “his assessment of what needs to be done with regard to school closures.”

“Then, I will make a decision based upon consultation with Dr. Hellerstedt,” Abbott said Sunday.

Abbott’s press conference comes a day after he announced public safety employees would be reimbursed for certain medical expenses related to treatment of COVID-19, should they get infected.

“These brave men and women are on the front lines and risking potential exposure to keep our communities safe,” Abbott said in a Monday statement. “By waiving these statutory provisions, Texas will ensure that those who may contract COVID-19 will have the support they need to pay for medical expenses.”

The federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare approved on Monday a request from Abbott and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to authorize flexibility for services through Medicaid.

On Monday, Abbott hosted a conference call with state lawmakers that highlighted the state’s coronavirus testing capabilities and expansion of hospital bed capacity, according to posts on social media by legislators.

Abbott has also issued recent executive orders mandating self-quarantine for air travelers from certain cities and states as well as all road travelers entering Texas from Louisiana.

A live feed of the press conference will appear in this article and on the KXAN Facebook page.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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