Gov. Abbott waives health care fees for incarcerated Texans in relation to COVID-19

Coronavirus

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — As part of the ongoing response to COVID-19, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that he is temporarily suspending inmate fees for health care services related to the disease.

Usually, Texas inmates are not denied medical service due to an inability to pay. This action is to ensure a timely reporting of COVID-19 symptoms so inmates can get the care they need faster and limit spread.

“As we work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we are committed to protecting the health of individuals in state custody and the dedicated state employees working at TDCJ facilities,” Abbott wrote in a press release. “Waiving health care fees for offenders housed in TDCJ facilities will ensure that inmates experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 receive immediate medical attention. This suspension will protect the health of both inmates and TDCJ staff, and is a crucial tool in our efforts to mitigate any potential spread of COVID-19 in closely confined populations.” 

This is the latest in a series of actions Abbott is taking to address the threat of COVID-19. During his Thursday announcement, Abbott issued an executive order consisting on four orders to help mitigate spread of the coronavirus:

  • Order No. 1: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Order No. 2: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.
  • Order No. 3: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
  • Order No. 4: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall temporarily close.

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