Out of 334 confirmed coronavirus cases in Texas, six people are dead, Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed at a press conference March 22.

He also announced that he is issuing two orders that he hopes will free up “countless hospital beds” across the state of Texas. He is ordering medical professionals to postpone procedures and surgeries that are not necessary in order to increase the capacity of hospital rooms available. He is also urging hospitals to allow more than one patient per hospital room.

Gov. Abbott also announced that National Guard troops will assist at Texas hospitals and drive-thru testing facilities.

When asked whether he plans on issuing a shelter-in-place currently, Abbott said he will not because there are more than 200 counties out of a total of 254 Texas counties that have no confirmed cases at the moment. He said local officials have the authority to order shelters in place.

Texas Department of State Health Services said at the press conference “it is very clear … that we are in the beginning of community spread of COVID-19.”

MORE: kvue.com/coronavirus

KVUE is Austin's ABC affiliate station and has been delivering local news for Central Texans since 1971. Today it is owned by TEGNA, Inc., which reaches approximately one-third of all television households in America. http://www.kvue.com

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