Governor Abbott, DSHS Commissioner Hellerstedt Urge Texans To Take Preventative Measures Against Coronavirus

March 11, 2020 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, today urged Texans to continue taking preventative measures against Coronavirus (COVID-19) to contain the spread of the disease. The Governor and Commissioner urged Texans to heed the direction of health providers and public health entities, and asked that Texans take common sense, everyday action to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.

"As the State of Texas continues to implement proactive strategies to combat COVID-19, we encourage all Texans to take precautionary steps to protect themselves and those around them," read the statement. "Actions like washing your hands with soap and water, staying home when you are sick, avoiding shaking hands, and covering a cough or sneeze may seem like simple tasks, but they can have a tremendous impact to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health. We urge all Texans to adopt these preventative measures into their daily routines and to follow the guidance of their health care providers as well as state, federal, and local public health entities."

Additionally, DSHS has released an informational video featuring Dr. Hellerstedt that details effective precautionary measures Texans can take to protect themselves.

DSHS always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

For more information on what Texans can do at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website

For up-to-date information on the status COVID-19 in Texas, visit the DSHS website