Gov. Greg Abbott will let Texas’s stay-at-home order lapse after Thursday following a statewide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 280,406 Texans filed for unemployment in the week ending April 18 amid the lockdowns, according to figures provided by the Texas Workforce Commission. Abbott also announced Monday that the first phase of Texas’s reopening will begin Friday, with phase two happening on May 18 if the first phase is successful.
“The most important element of phase one is protecting our most vulnerable in Texas,” Abbott said during his Monday briefing. (RELATED: ‘We’re Ready To Get Working’: Rand Paul Calls For Kentucky And Other Rural States To Reopen)All retail stores, restaurants, theaters, malls and museums, among other store fronts, will be allowed to open after Thursday with the occupancy rate at those facilities capped at 25%, the Republican governor noted. Abbott is deploying thousands of Texas National Guard members to manage mobile coronavirus testing sites across the state.
More than 600 people have died in Texas from the virus, according to the Worldometers website, which provides a running tab on the number of coronavirus cases and deaths.
Conservative lawmakers are pushing for states to begin reopening their economies. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said Sunday that his home state should begin reopening, adding that the virus no longer justifies an economic shutdown. Coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, before jumping to the United States, where it has reportedly killed 55,000 people.
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