TUESDAY AM: Abbott continues Texas comeback; retail can return Friday


The Texas economy will get another shot in the arm later this week under a new executive order from Governor Greg Abbott.

The governor's executive order - which he has avoided calling a "stay at home" order will expire on Friday. Retail stores can open along with malls and movie theaters to 25% capacity. Churches will be allowed larger capacities. All health professionals can return to work. Abbott says the White House coronavirus task force approved the plan.

"I had the opportunity to talk to Dr, Birx about this plan. I sent her a copy of it. She said the Texas plan was great," Abbott said.

The Governor's new executive order does not include a face mask requirement, but it takes fines away, too. Stores like HEB can still require you to wear a mask.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner didn't like being left out of Abbott's decision making process.

"It will take the ability of stay at home orders and things of that nature out of our hands," Turner said, adding that he understood why Abbott made the decision to re-open the state.

It's about the economy, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, who was on the state committee to re-open the state, says he's most excited for the people that work for him.

“What I’m most happy about is putting employees back to work!” he told TV partner Channel 2. “That’s the greatest thing in the world.”

Under the order, hair salons, bars and gyms will remain closed until at least mid-May. And the Governor also lifted travel restrictions to and from Louisiana starting Friday.

Elsewhere:

  • A new testing site in Fort Bend County is now open in Sugar Land for anyone. You have to sign up online. We have the link at KTRH.com.
  • The number of Harris County jail inmates with COVID-19 has doubled to 262 over the last week.
  • The city had 74 new cases. Four new deaths bring the Houston total to 46.
  • The Greater Houston area with 189 new cases yesterday and eight deaths for a total of 196.
  • The state reported just 353 cases yesterday and 14 deaths for a total of 666.
  • Starting today, Kroger will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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