Saturday marks one year since Gov. Abbott issued disaster declaration for COVID-19 pandemic

A year ago on Saturday, Governor Greg Abbott issued a statewide disaster declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

North Texans are still feeling the impacts and losses from the coronavirus, both economic and personal.

Back on March 13, 2020, it was still unclear how serious things would be.

Now, a year later, more than 45,000 Texans have died from the coronavirus.

In the midst of loss, there continues to be hope with the vaccine.

A year ago, Texas officials started taking steps to combat the coronavirus.

The same week conference basketball tournaments were cancelled, including March Madness.

Days later, city and county officials closed restaurants, bars, gyms, and other venues.

"We're only doing this because believe we genuinely believe it is going to potentially save lives," Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said back in March 2020.

Things would drastically change when stay-at-home orders were put in place.

For months, people lost jobs and some businesses closed and never reopened.

"The biggest group that was impacted, at least at Parkland, was the Hispanic community, so I was actually very scared for my family, for my mom specifically," said Bianca Castillo, who is a registered nurse in the COVID unit at Parkland.

Hundreds of thousands of North Texans have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 6,000 people in North Texas have died from the virus.

"You have multiple family members passing away days or weeks within each other, and that is something that is very hard to deal with," Castillo added.

When the pandemic started, Castillo did not see her mother and family members in person because she did not want to put them at risk.

Working long hours and extra shifts, she said the time apart from family brought her closer to co-workers.

The loss of life has been great, but now there is hope in the form of multiple vaccines being available.

So far, more than 5 million Texans have received their first dose, and 12% of the state is fully vaccinated.

Starting Monday, all adults 50 and older are eligible, and President Joe Biden said by May 1, all adults in every state should be eligible for a shot.

"I’m excited that we are finally going into a new era where we are maybe going to get over this," Castillo said. "It’s been a tough year but I’m ready and excited for what the future brings."

Waitlists for the vaccine remain large, but every adult is urged to go ahead and register so that you place in line will be there when you are eligible.