Julia Reihs / KUT

Providers Report Anger And Despair Among Patients After Texas Officials Ban Abortions

Officials at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas say they have canceled 261 abortions since Tuesday, after the state effectively banned the procedure.

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Zach Volta, chef at Casino El Camino, spray paints the boarded window on the front of the Sixth Street restaurant as his coworkers watch. Bars and restaurants in the popular entertainment district have closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Julia Reihs / KUT

PHOTOS: Life In Austin During The Coronavirus Pandemic

KUT's photographers are documenting the changes to daily life that a pandemic has brought to the Austin area — from a safe distance.

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Lisa Scheps

“Theater by its very nature sort of needs the gathering of humans together to make it work,” says Ground Floor Theatre co-artistic director Lisa Scheps. “And so, as theater artists, we have got to, during this time, find other ways to create that same magic without having people physically with us.”

The Reverend Joseph Lowery, co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, died Friday, according to a statement by the Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights. He was 98 years old.

The statement said Lowery died peacefully at home Friday night, surrounded by his daughters.

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET

President Trump signed an historic $2 trillion coronavirus relief package on Friday just hours after the House approved it amidst the deepening crisis over the pandemic.

"This will deliver urgently needed relief to our nation's families, workers and businesses. And that's what this is all about," Trump said at a signing ceremony in the Oval Office.

BBC World Service/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

As of Friday, Dallas County had the most positive COVID-19 cases in the state, at more than 300. At least seven of those cases are in Dallas County Jail.

While those in lockup are confined, they are no less vulnerable to disease outbreaks than others. Indeed, there are unique challenges to protecting inmates from disease compared to the general population, says Keri Blakinger, a reporter who covers criminal justice for the news organization The Marshall Project.

Miguel Gutierrez for KUT

Gun sales can continue even as cities and counties curb nonessential business in light of COVID-19, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a historic $2 trillion economic recovery package into law Friday afternoon, shortly after the House of Representatives approved the bill.

In an Oval Office ceremony Friday, the president thanked Republicans and Democrats "for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first" to pass the legislation. Trump was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. No Democrats were present at the signing.

A health care worker at Austin Regional Clinic during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

We'll be updating this story throughout the day Friday with the latest local news on the coronavirus pandemic. If you'd like to go through a roundup of COVID-19 news from Thursday, read it here. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

People accused of nonviolent felonies like possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, theft and prostitution can now be automatically released on bond – on the condition that they return to court.

A hearse is parked outside Mission Funeral Home. Funeral homes in Austin must comply with local and statewide orders that limit how many people can gather during the coronavirus pandemic.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Terry Shockley remembers her mother, Patsy Hopper, as a strong person.

"She had to be.” she said. “She eventually had four children. We were a military family, so we were moving a lot. She had to do a lot of packing, a lot of organizing, a lot of discipline. My dad was busy with his career. She was strong.”    

Updated at 6:37 p.m. ET

President Trump told governors his administration is working on publishing guidelines for state and local governments to use to determine whether to increase or relax social distancing rules to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The announcement came ahead of the White House's regular news conference on its response to the pandemic.

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Hundreds of John L. Hanson's interviews have been restored and digitized thanks to a grant from Recordings at Risk.