Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he is activating the Texas National Guard in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak in the state, which had at least 69 positive cases as of Tuesday morning.

Abbott’s announcement follows recently discovered instances of possible community spread in Webb, Tarrant, Matagorda and Brazoria counties, in addition to community spread identified earlier Montgomery and Dallas counties. On Sunday, Texas saw it’s first coronavirus-related death when a resident in his late 90s died in Matagorda County with a pending test result, which later came back positive.

In recent days, public schools and universities have shuttered classrooms and transitioned to online learning, some for the remainder of the semester, and Dallas and Harris County have closed bars and ended seated restaurant dining in the interest of social distancing.

The Texas National Guard was last activated during Hurricane Harvey, the 2017 disaster that devastated the Houston area.

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

“Texas coronavirus cases prompt Gov. Greg Abbott to activate National Guard” was first published at https://www.texastribune.org/2020/03/17/texas-coronavirus-cases-prompt-greg-abbott-activate-national-guard/ by The Texas Tribune.

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