Gov. Abbott asks Texans to respond to COVID-19 challenge with 'strength and resolve'

Texas Governor Greg Abbott posted a video message on social media late Wednesday night, calling on Texans to respond to the challenge of COVID-19 with strength and resolve.

There are nearly 4,700 cases of the virus across the state now, and at least 70 deaths.

It wasn't anything new in the governor's message, but more of a reminder that Texans should be home unless they really need to be out.

Down in the South Texas, if people are out and not covered up, it could cost them.

We've been hearing a lot from government officials, but now, some other voices in Dallas are speaking out about how we need to survive the virus.

Under increasing pressure to do more to keep Texans at home, Gov. Abbott put out a video message Wednesday night as his latest executive order went into effect.

“That requires all Texans to stay at home except to provide essential services or do essential things, like go to the grocery store,” Gov. Abbott said in his video message.

RELATEDCoronavirus coverage

At the grocery store, gas station, or anywhere in public in Laredo, starting on Thursday, if you’re over the age of five, you must wear something that covers your nose and mouth or face up to $1,000 fine.

The state has suspended regulations so the number of EMS workers can increase if necessary.

Not only EMS technicians from out of state, but even those who aren't formally certified can be pressed into service to provide emergency care for patients needing treatment or transport.

Pastor Richie Butler's wife and daughter are recovering from COVID-19.

“So she turned to me and said let people know I need prayer,” he said.

But over the weekend, his wife became terribly ill.

“She shared that she was really deathly ill, so I just believe between the cocktail of medicines and prayers of God's people, she got through Saturday,” he added.

Through the “We Need 2 Survive” campaign, Butler and other leaders are trying to educate people about the disease and its reality.

“And it doesn’t discriminate, and if we're not careful, we can contract it, and furthermore, we can infect others. So we just need to educate everybody in our community, and beyond that, we need to survive so take this serious,” Butler said. “If you have plans to do a party or its your birthday, hey, it can wait till this passes and we'll all celebrate with you on the back side of this virus.”

One of the reasons we need to stay away from each other is that infected persons can spread the coronavirus up to three days before showing any symptoms.

And health experts are saying research shows the virus can be spread just by talking, or maybe even breathing.

RELATED: Track Texas coronavirus cases by county with this interactive map