AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Gov. Greg Abbott called it “Texans helping Texans.” A company based in North Texas is looking to supply the state with about two million masks per week, the governor said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Abbott said Prestige Ameritech, a medical supply company based in North Richland Hills, will be scaling up their production of face masks to “create a pipeline of supply on an ongoing basis for the state of Texas.” The company will be aided by the Texas National Guard.
“I had a chance to visit to thank them for what they are doing. Because at a time of need especially for the face masks that are in such a high demand, we need an automatic supply that we will be able to rely upon both immediately but in an ongoing way, and they are capable of providing exactly that,” Abbott said.
The company is currently using a facility that was once used by Kimberly-Clark before that company moved operations to Mexico, according to Abbott.
“Prestige Ameritech really wanted to focus on doing manufacturing in America, showing our own manufacturing abilities. So, they used this facility… to make products right here in the Lone Star State,” the governor said.
Abbott also made mention of other companies such as Toyota and its suppliers that are stepping up in providing personal protection equipment to those in need across the state. He said Reyes Automotive Group in San Antonio, a supplier for Toyota, is making about 5,000 face shields per day for health care workers.
“Once again, we come back to Texans helping Texans and that is how we have gotten through challenges in the past and that’s exactly how we will get through this challenge,” Abbott said.
Through the course of this week, Abbott said about five million masks will be produced and supplied to those who need them throughout the state.
Abbott’s comments come as the state’s top doctor said the efforts in Texas to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are working.
Dr. John Hellerstedt, Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said, “We’re headed in the right direction, these are good signs.”
But Commissioner Hellerstedt said the good news is that it’s taking longer for the state to see the number of positive tests double. “We’re as we said at around five and a half to six days from starting out closer to two or three days. So we’re making progress, but I’d like to see that progress continue,” he said.
He said it’s too early to say the state has seen the number of COVID-19 cases peak. “We want to see more data. We want to know we have confidence in the trends,” he said.
The governor continued to urge residents to follow the stay-at-home practices in place around the state in order to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.