Texas healthcare professionals urge Governor Abbott to issue a statewide quarantine order.
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Dear Governor Abbott,
We, the healthcare professionals of Texas, on the frontlines of this pandemic are now being faced with the challenges of an exponential increase in numbers of COVID-19 patients. Once again, we are petitioning you to urgently implement and enforce a 14-day, strict and complete quarantine for our State of Texas. We are risking our lives and the health of our families every day to save patients with COVID -19 from dying, but the fact is that prevention is better than cure. Our priority during these times should be to do all that is possible to decrease further spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and limit loss of lives, while protecting healthcare professionals and all frontline workers. With no vaccine or treatment, our only defense is still strict social distancing and we must halt the transmission through person-to-person contact with a much more aggressive statewide response. We urge you to implement a consistent and effective plan, that will contain this virus. The only way to achieve this now is by mandating a complete quarantine for 14 days for all businesses with the only exceptions for those providing healthcare and essentials for daily living. A short, complete shutdown will be more effective than a partial, prolonged closure. Reopening after the quarantine should be according to the White House guidelines of 14-day downward trend has been achieved. Following New York's example, only the localities that meet the criteria should be allowed to reopen with safety measures in place.
Majority of Texas now has widespread and ongoing community transmission of the novel Corona virus. Hospitals are reaching capacity. Healthcare professionals are getting overwhelmed. Increasing demand for testing kits is resulting in shortage of tests and delays in reporting, while the infection continues to rapidly propagate through our communities. The most effective way to control this devastating disease and limit socio-economic impact, is a complete and strict statewide 14-day quarantine. We, the healthcare professionals of Texas strongly urge you to immediately implement and enforce the following actions to contain further spread and prevent more people from dying of COVID-19.
1. Mandate and enforce a strict and complete, state-wide, 14-day quarantine.
2. Enforce immediate closure of all businesses that have indoor, person-to-person contact, including restaurants, salons, gyms, amusement parks, call centers, as well as retail stores like mattress and furniture shops, shoes and clothes shops, car dealerships, car washes, liquor stores, bicycle shops, realtors, moving companies, law offices, arts and crafts suppliers, sports and outdoor activity shops and call centers.
3. Limit public contact at essential shops that provide food, and household supplies such as HEB, Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club etc by requiring them to only provide online orders with delivery and curbside services (except for the elderly, who should have specific times reserved for them to shop).
4. Prohibit person to person contact with the public at Financial Institutions such as banks, credit unions and title companies. They may choose to provide services remotely.
5. Mandate and enforce the use of only cloth masks/face-covering for all persons greater than 5 years old when required to be out in public, including when using public transportation, taxis, rideshares and pumping gas.
6. Enforce closures of USPS, FedEx, UPS stores and only allow non-contact drop-off and delivery services. This will protect the cashiers from being exposed to the public as well as limit the number of people gathering in the post offices.
7. Halt all construction of public works, housing, and commercial projects, including landscape and lawncare services and closure of all hardware stores like Lowes and Home Depot to the public. They may continue to provide online, delivery and no-contact curbside services while maintaining social distancing guidelines.
8. Enforce gatherings to be limited to household members in public parks, including walking, jogging, and biking trails as well as golf courses.
9. Continue to provide PPE to all personnel working in Government services that are essential for the health, safety, and welfare of the public, including first responders, water, gas, electric and sewer, internet, and telecommunication services.
10. Urge President Trump to keep testing sites open continue their funding.
It is critical that these measures be taken to stop the steep rise in the number of cases in Texas and limit the peak for COVID-19. This is a matter of extreme urgency and we, the healthcare professionals, are petitioning you to implement and enforce these recommendations to prevent further loss of lives and limit the socio-economic impact.
The healthcare professionals of Texas.
Dear Governor Greg Abbott,
We, the healthcare professionals of Texas appreciate your executive order today to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary. However, these are unprecedented times as we live through a pandemic and we are petitioning you to issue an order to shelter-in-place effective immediately to prevent further spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the potentially deadly disease COVID-19.
As of today, 3/22/2020, there have been 566 presumptive positive or confirmed cases and 7 deaths in Texas. This number significantly underestimates the actual disease burden because of limited testing. Community spread via undocumented cases and asymptomatic carriers will only result in an exponential and unmanageable spread which will overwhelm the healthcare system. Although there may not be any documented cases in some counties, they are bound to get affected if spread is not prevented at this time. Experience from China and Italy have shown that appropriate social distancing prevents this exponential spread and will save lives. This can only be achieved effectively with a strict shelter-in-place order for at least 14 days beginning immediately. Every day we wait means more infections and deaths in Texas.
This is a matter of extreme urgency and we do not have time to waste. We, the healthcare professionals, at the front lines of this pandemic, ask that a policy of strict shelter-in-place for ALL residents, be implemented immediately, including the following actions.
1. Closure of all public facilities, non-essential businesses, private and public gathering places.
2. Making available resources to support the vulnerable individuals in our society.
3. Restrictions on all non-urgent doctor’s office visits by patients.
4. Ensure availability of appropriate personal protective equipment for all health care professionals.
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