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'All of the numbers are looking good': Gov. Abbott updates on efforts to contain COVID-19 in Amarillo

The Panhandle is home to the highest rates of infection in the state.
Credit: AP
Gov. Greg Abbott announced plans for a 250-bed field hospital at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas on March 29, 2020.

Gov. Greg Abbott spoke about Texas fight against COVID-19 while in Amarillo Wednesday -- a region that fought against the virus at three different hotspots: a jail, a meatpacking plant and nursing homes.

The state's "surge response teams" arrived in Amarillo after it experienced a spike of new COVID-19 cases, our partners The Texas Tribune reported. The team includes health officials, emergency response workers and the National Guard.

"Amarillo was going through a challenge of all three of those hotspots overlapping," Abbott said. 

Mayor Ginger Nelson said she wrote a letter to Abbott, which led to Abbott speaking to Vice President Mike Pence about the situation. Amarillo received a team from the Center for Disease Control, more testing supplies and other supplies to respond to the spike in COVID-19 cases. 

The fatality rate and rate of tests resulting in positive have both decreased in recent days across the state, Abbott said. The hospitalization rate is low and the positivity rate is at 5.25%, he said.

"All of the numbers are looking good," Abbott said.

He expects a rise in positive cases in Amarillo this week as test results continue to be released this week.

Statewide, the surge response team will continue monitoring any hotspots, Abbott said.

"As we go about this opening process, we realize there could be spikes as we saw in Amarillo," Abbott said. "We will send in surge response teams to tamp down any hot spots."

Part of Texas' strategy is to continue monitoring hospital bed and ICU capacity.

The state is also focusing on testing all residents and staff members at nursing homes.

More on WFAA:

MAP: These are the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Dallas-Fort Worth area

Test positive for coronavirus? CDC updates quarantine guidance

American virus deaths at 100,000: What does this number mean?