Greg Abbott

People line up for drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin surpassed a crucial threshold for COVID-19 hospitalizations Tuesday, which could signal possible restrictions on businesses and nonessential travel.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT§a

From Texas Standard:

Last week, shortly before Texas Gov. Greg Abbott did an abrupt reversal and ordered masks be worn across much of Texas, an extraordinary op-ed column appeared in The Washington Post. Part of what made it extraordinary was the person who wrote it.  

People wear face coverings on South Congress Avenue on Wednesday
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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People in Texas counties with more than 20 COVID-19 cases will be required to wear face coverings when in public starting Friday — and those who don’t could be fined.

Hole in the Wall had reopened at 50% capacity but was forced to shut down again after Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order June 26 requiring bars in the state to close.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Travis Tober was finally finding a rhythm. 

When people entered his East Austin bar, Nickel City, they were greeted by an employee who laid out all the ground rules: No mask, no entry. Tables would be 6 feet apart. No loitering at the bar top. A waiter or waitress would take their orders. 

Workers board up bars on Sixth Street in Austin after Gov. Greg Abbott closed bars in Texas for the second time in three months because of the COVID-19 pandemic on June 26.
Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune

Several Texas bars and owners filed a $10 million federal lawsuit Tuesday afternoon against Gov. Greg Abbott, in an attempt to void his executive order shutting down bars for a second time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

More Than 30 Texas Bars Sue Over Gov. Greg Abbott's Recent Shutdown Order

Jun 29, 2020
An employee boards up a bar on Sixth Street in Austin after Gov. Greg Abbott closed bars in Texas for the second time in three months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune

Hoping to block Gov. Greg Abbott’s Friday decision ordering Texas bars to close due to a rise in coronavirus cases, more than 30 bar owners filed a lawsuit Monday challenging Abbott’s emergency order.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered all bars to close in Texas as the state sees a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

All businesses that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcohol are required to close, though they may continue delivery and takeout, the governor said Friday.

Spencer Selvidge / KUT

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Gov. Greg Abbott has suspended elective surgeries and procedures at hospitals in Travis, Bexar, Dallas and Harris counties as COVID-19 hospitalizations surge across Texas.

A car pulls up to a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in North Austin.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Seven weeks after Gov. Greg Abbott began allowing businesses to reopen, Texas exceeded another one of his key metrics Wednesday when the seven-day average positivity rate passed 10%, a level that Abbott previously called a “warning flag.”

People are tested for COVID-19 at a drive-thru testing site in South Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Texas reported more than 5,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, as hospitals in some parts of the state begin to show signs of straining to keep up with the renewed spread of the virus.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

As coronavirus hospitalizations and cases continue to rise in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott is urging people to wear masks and follow other health protocols to slow the spread of the disease. 

“COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, and it must be corralled,” he said during a news conference Monday.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Texas students will be returning to public schools in person this fall, Gov. Greg Abbott told state lawmakers Thursday morning.

The state's top education officials confirmed the plans in a statement to The Texas Tribune.

The Texas Capitol
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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As the state set another record Tuesday for COVID-19 hospitalizations, Gov. Greg Abbott tried to reassure Texans the uptick is manageable.

People gather at Austin Police Department's headquarters on Sunday to protest police violence against black people.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Gov. Greg Abbott warned during a press conference Tuesday that people are coming from outside Texas to protest violently.

Protesters gather in downtown Austin on Sunday demanding justice for black people killed by police.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that Texas won’t be asking U.S. military to come into the state in response to protests.

“We know that Texans can take care of Texans,” he said at a news conference in Dallas. “We have tremendous police forces in Dallas, in Fort Worth, in the surrounding suburbs, across the entire state.”

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Three of Texas' top Republican leaders are vigorously fighting efforts to expand mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, arguing it will lead to increased voter fraud, yet all three have themselves cast absentee ballots at least once in past elections.

Barton Creek Mall in Austin reopened May 1 after being forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Greg Abbott said mall food courts can reopen today.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Water parks, recreational sports programs for adults, driver education programs and food-court dining areas in malls can reopen this month with certain occupancy restrictions and health protocols, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is facing bipartisan criticism for hastily awarding a nearly $300 million contract to a little-known North Texas company to lead the state's contact-tracing program in the fight against the coronavirus.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks from the State Operations Center on Feb. 27.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

As more businesses begin to reopen, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said child care is essential and announced that providers would be allowed to reopen immediately.

The governor also said at a news conference Monday that bars would be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity starting Friday. Restaurants will be allowed to expand to 50% then, too, he said. These limits will not apply to outdoor patios where customers can maintain safe distances.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Danielle Quilla/Public Domain

From Texas Standard:

Monday is the first day since the coronavirus lockdown that gyms in Texas will be allowed to open up. But there are limitations.

Shelley Luther comforts Brenda Stephanie Mata as she addresses supporters at a Freedom Rally in Laredo. Mata was arrested for operating an eyelash salon from her home during the coronavirus lockdown.
Jessica Rodriguez for The Texas Tribune

By April 27, when Gov. Greg Abbott announced that hair salons and barbershops would have to remain shuttered, Shelley Luther’s Salon a la Mode had long since opened for business.

Julia Reihs/KUT

From Texas Standard:

State and local officials have issued a variety of orders related to how individuals and businesses can conduct themselves during the coronavirus pandemic. In many cases, these orders conflict, cover different periods of time or provide different penalties if someone doesn't comply.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at the Texas State Republican Convention in 2018.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter to Austin Mayor Steve Adler and outgoing Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt on Tuesday saying some of the requirements in their local public health orders are unlawful and “likely to confuse residents.”

Voting signs at the George Washington Carver Public Library polling location in Austin on March 3.
Eddie Gaspar / The Texas Tribune

Ahead of the first statewide election during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Greg Abbott has doubled the length of the early voting period for the upcoming July primary runoff elections.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin area officials extended their stay-at-home guidelines Friday morning as businesses reopen under new state rules.

Shelley Luther spoke to reporters after being released from jail in Dallas.
Twitter via The Texas Tribune

Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther, who defied orders to keep her business closed during the pandemic, was released from jail Thursday, according to the Dallas County Sheriff's Office. She had been in jail since Tuesday after being sentenced to seven days, but on Thursday morning, the Texas Supreme Court granted a motion to release her.

Murals adorn boarded-up businesses along Sixth Street. Businesses across the city were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Join KUT on Monday at 11 a.m. for a live conversation with Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

The state Capitol building in downtown Austin during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons and tanning salons can reopen starting Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced. Gyms, nonessential manufacturers and businesses that work out of office buildings will be allowed to reopen May 18, with certain restrictions. 

eutrophication hypoxia/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Since the coronavirus outbreak began in Texas, state and local officials have had to make difficult decisions to protect Texans' health and safety. Some of those decisions have had dire economic consequences.

Businesses in downtown Austin were boarded up during the coronavirus pandemic in April. Gov. Greg Abbott has allowed restaurants and certain other businesses to reopen at 25% capacity on Friday, but not all are choosing to do so.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Texas’ statewide stay-at-home order expires Friday, but the City of Austin has yet to clarify how this might affect local residents, how it will enforce the governor’s new order and what, if any, additional requirements the city will enact.