TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:
WHEREAS, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been recognized globally as a contagious respiratory virus; and
WHEREAS, as of March 13, 2020, there are more than 30 confirmed cases of COVID-l 9 located in multiple Texas counties; and
WHEREAS, there are more than 50 Texans with pending tests for COVID-19 in Texas; and
WHEREAS, some schools, universities, and other governmental entities are beginning to alter their schedules, and some venues are beginning to temporarily close, as precautionary responses to the increasing presence of COVID- 19 in Texas; and
WHEREAS, costs incurred to prepare for and respond to COVID-19 are beginning to mount at the state and local levels; and
WHEREAS, the State of Texas has already taken numerous steps to prepare for COVID 19, such as increasing laboratory testing capacity, coordinating preparedness efforts across state agencies, and working with local partners to promote appropriate mitigation efforts; and
WHEREAS, it is critical to take additional steps to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to protect the health and welfare of Texans; and
WHEREAS, declaring a state of disaster will facilitate and expedite the use and deployment of resources to enhance preparedness and response.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GREG ABBOTT, Governor of the State of Texas, do hereby certify that COVID- 19 poses an imminent threat of disaster. In accordance with the authority vested in me by Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code, I hereby declare a state of disaster for all counties in Texas.
Pursuant to Section 418.017 of the code, I authorize the use of all available resources of state government and of political subdivisions that are reasonably necessary to cope with this disaster.
Pursuant to Section 418.0 16 of the code, any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or any order or rule of a state agency that would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with this disaster shall be suspended upon written approval of the Office of the Governor. However, to the extent that the enforcement of any state statute or administrative rule regarding contracting or procurement would impede any state agency’s emergency response that is necessary to cope with this declared disaster, I hereby suspend such statutes and rules for the duration of this declared disaster for that limited purpose.
In accordance with the statutory requirements, copies of this proclamation shall be filed with the applicable authorities.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto signed my name and have officially caused the Seal of State to be affixed at my office in the City of Austin, Texas, this the 13th day of March, 2020.
Governor Greg Abbott