Update from Pat Fallon -Our Texas Senator

Pat Fallon - March 23, 2020 - Community - Leave a comment

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We had an extensive update from the Governor Abbott on a conference call and so want to share with you everything we know right now:

WILL WE GO TO A ‘SHELTER IN PLACE’ model?

The Gov said he has no current plans for a shelter in place for all folks other than essential industries. His reasoning is he’d like to lessen the impact on the economy as much as possible and wants to allow as many people (practicing social distancing and other responsible measures) as possible to continue to work. That’s noble and I understand his thought process. A very good case could be made for ‘Shelter in Place’ in so much as the quicker we can get this damn thing behind us the quicker we can all get back to work and rev the economy back up to a healthy lather. While most of us are taking this seriously and practicing very cautious and extremely careful social distancing and other measures, a percentage of folks are not…and their irresponsibility is prolonging this challenge. It’s a challenge right now. If this bizarre limbo lasts another few months, the impact on the economy could be devastating-regardless of the ultimate medical impact/outcome of the virus has.

Here’s the truth, unvarnished and frank. If we all did what the President and Governor are asking us to do-we’d be on the other side of this in less than a month. Period. But some folks aren’t and by doing so they’re putting lives at risk and contributing to a potential economic Armageddon.  This must stop right now! Nobody wants to be in this situation but here we are. We MUST UNITE, act responsibly & with care and make this a memory as soon as we possibly can!

BANNING ELECTIVE SURGERIES

I asked the Gov to issue an executive order halting all elective surgeries. Florida just did this yesterday. Many Medical professionals in our district have contacted our office and are adamant that we end elective surgeries immediately as they put an unacceptable strain on valuable medical supplies/resources and especially vital PPE (personal protection equipment).

BUSINESS SALES TAX

Many businesses have contacted our office asking for either more time in filing their sales tax report or even providing relief from paying sales tax altogether. That decision is up to the Comptroller, Glenn Hegar. Restaurants, in particular, have made numerous requests to our office to ask Austin to delay their monthly sales tax payments…which were collected in Feb. These requests have been denied. The position of the Comptroller’s office is that those collections are not meant for businesses to use to pay ongoing expenses and further, local governments need these payments to fund local hospitals and have them ready for the predicted surge in hospitalizations due to the virus. The comptroller’s office is, however, willing to work with businesses in creating payment plans and possibly waiving late penalties and such. For Sales tax questions and payments plans or abatement queries please feel free to call the comptroller’s office at 800-252-8880

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

We are on the front lines and we must be aggressive and disciplined on the containment of this virus. This is not the flu. It spreads quicker, lasts longer on surfaces and is more deadly per capita.

We are front line soldiers. We are all front line soldiers during this struggle. This will end quicker if you do your job! This is truly and literally a matter of life and death. Not to mention the enormous economic implications.

Please practice these simple precautions:

—wash your hands for 20 sec with soap and warm water frequently during the day and especially after touching commonly used surfaces or going outside your home and ALWAYS after going to the market or any other store!

—disinfect surfaces touched often

—avoid those that are sick

—If you are ill (flu, covid) STAY at home and self isolate…unless you’re in bad shape…and in that case seek immediate medical care

—eliminate close contacts. Stay 6 feet from all people other than ones you’re living with at home and self-isolating with

—no social gatherings. Do NOT attend any social gatherings. This is the best way to spread the virus. Please remember most people who have the virus won’t even know it and will unknowingly spread it-sometimes for 2 weeks! There was an instance in South Korea where one positive case had 1,160 contacts with other people! Not everyone this person made contact with got the virus or spread it but scores did!

To get the most recent updates on coronavirus in Texas feel free to visit:

Www.dhs.texas.gov/coronavirus

OUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

Our medical professionals are on the front lines. There is indeed a worldwide shortage of PPE and testing kits. The State of Texas and the Governor’s office is doing everything possible to get more PPE.

Our medical professionals are doing a heroic job and deserve to be protected and it’s the State’s job to protect them in an extraordinary circumstance like this. We are on it and will continue to do everything possible to get them the protective equipment they need and deserve!

SMALL BUSINESS LOANS

The federal government has approved and had the process ready for the SBA to approve disaster loans for small businesses. To get that process started please feel free to visit their website at

https://www.sba.gov/taxonomy/term/99

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN TEXAS

By the numbers:

DATE CONFIRMED CASES
Mar 4 1
Mar 11 21
Mar 13 39
Mar 19 158
Mar 21 201

(Not including Lackland AFB folks brought in from outside of TX)

Please don’t be alarmed by the explosive growth in confirmed cases. This is what to be expected all along. And as more testing becomes available and tests are given these numbers will grow exponentially. We don’t know how many people are positive right now for the virus but I can guarantee you it’s WAY more than 200! Some experts estimate whatever the confirmed cases are, at this stage, multiply that x50. There indeed maybe 10,000 cases in Texas. Maybe more, maybe a lot more, but also maybe less. The reason why such drastic actions have been taken is to reduce the explosive growth that occurs with this virus if left unchecked.

The bottom line is If you’ve been exposed PLEASE please self-isolate. And of course, if you are positive for the virus you MUST isolate!!!

Thus far the death Texas death rate has been now. On Mar 18 we’d suffered 3 deaths. By Mar 20 it was 5 deaths. Five too many to be sure!

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN SENATE DISTRICT 30

By the numbers:

SD 30 Counties-
Archer – 0
Clay – 0
Collin – 13
Cooke – 0
Denton – 9
Erath – 0
Grayson – 0
Jack – 0
Montague – 0
Palo Pinto – 0
Parker – 0
Wichita – 1
Wise – 0
Young – 0

THE TESTING SITUATION

Mar 13 220 tested virus in 10 counties

Mar 19 2,335 tested virus in 31 counties

Mar 20 5,300 tested virus in 34 counties

There are really two separate phases of testing. There is Collection and then Testing. First, the specimen must be collected and then sent to a lab to be tested. There is a specimen collection kit and then a lab testing kit. Both are in severely short supply but they are being rapidly produced and distributed. We are testing in state labs across Texas and private labs have stepped up and are doing a magnificent job in augmenting the state’s effort. If you live in or near a home rule city the local health department can aid in testing. If you live in a rural area the State health authorities can assist.

Pres Trump has promised that over the coming weeks, collection and testing kits will increase by the tens of millions…exponentially!

Please realize this as well. If you get tested and are positive, unless you’re in bad shape they are going to ask you to self isolate at home. If you’re feeling sick but don’t require hospitalization, testing isn’t a must. Just self isolate and take care of yourself. Because that’s pretty much what the medical professional will tell you to do if you test positive. Self-isolation is the best strategy to contain the spread of this damn thing.

OVERALL MEDICAL CAPACITY

Hospitals are currently (and fortunately) NOT at full capacity. If this ever becomes the case in any given area our plan is:

—To have Medical tents set up nearby he hospitals

Or

Use locations of former hospitals or healthcare (ER) facilities. Setting these places up is where the National Guard could help and play a critical role.

Anyone that tests positive tests and would have a hard time self-isolating in their homes might be able to self isolate in hotels as they have a large capacity right now have private bathrooms/TV and I believe the cost would be picked up by insurance or the state…not the person!

This is what we know at present. As soon as our office knows more we will let you know. My staff has put in countless hours and is doing a spectacular job. Senate District 30 Office is open during this crisis and we are all committed to making ourselves available day and night to answer any questions, hear any ideas, thoughts or concerns you’d like to share.

God bless you and God bless Texas!

 
Patrick Fallon, Member
Texas Senate, District 30

 



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