COVID-19 still a concern while evacuations are underway in Galveston Co.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020
COVID-19 still a concern as evacuations underway
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Watch the video above to see hundreds of Galveston County resident evacuate the island ahead of Hurricane Laura.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As evacuations are underway in Galveston Island, many Texans are still worried about the COVID-19 pandemic.

"When you're making these decisions, you're always weighing the pros and cons. Putting a lot of people together that may be in a high risk group, and putting them together in the midst of this COVID-19, the benefits, and so forth. Do they outweigh staying on the island?" said Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown.

He also said that's why the city ordered the evacuations.

SEE MORE: Galveston mandatory evacuations in effect now ahead of Laura

"We need to protect the citizens on this island. They would be in extreme danger staying here," Brown said.

The Texas Department of Emergency Management helps facilitate transportation for people that need assistance evacuating.

"We have over 900 individuals on the island that require assistance to evacuate," Brown said.

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Buses lined up at the community center to help people evacuate on Tuesday. One of the people who got on the bus was Nita Norris.

"I've been trying to stay away from everybody, and then here I am," said Norris.

She said she had some reservations with the virus, but since the evacuation order was mandatory, she decided to leave.

"I had to think about what's more important, getting away from the storm or this COVID thing. You know, everybody's leaving," said Norris.

RELATED: Houstonians urged to stay off roads for people evacuating from Hurricane Laura

All of the buses are about half full to ensure there's social distancing.

Everyone who boards the buses will have their wristband scanned, and that information will be sent to the Emergency Tracking Network. The wristband will be scanned a second time once the evacuees arrive in Austin. The scanning process will help people track their loved ones if they lose contact.

Once in Austin, evacuees will be transported to hotels.

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