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AUSTIN, Texas – With the novel coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, threatening lives and complicating daily life, some Texas residents now have one less thing to worry about.

Express Emergency Room announced Friday it is forgiving more than $3.5 million in patient debts, KVUE and KTEM reported.

“With unemployment skyrocketing, I think it’s the compassionate thing to do for the communities we serve,” Dr. Dan Akers, general manager of Express ER, said in a prepared statement, adding, “I don’t want to add more stress to people’s lives.”

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Express ER operates facilities in the Texas communities of Austin, San Antonio, Abilene, Waco, Temple and Harker Heights.

According to the company, the debt relief program takes effect immediately and applies to all patients seen on or before March 31. Facilities will also forgive COVID-19-related balances.