Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to reopen businesses in early May, schools to remain closed

Coronavirus
Greg Abbott

FILE – In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is joined by state and city officials as he gives an update on the coronavirus outbreak in San Antonio. Abortion clinics in Texas filed an emergency motion Saturday, April 11, 2020, asking the Supreme Court to overturn a lower-court order and allow abortions when they can be performed using medication during the coronavirus pandemic. Abbott issued an executive order last month that bars non-essential medical procedures so that medical resources can go to treating coronavirus patients. Texas’ attorney general has said that providing abortions other than for an immediate medical emergency would violate the order. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has begun a slow reopening of the state’s economy with orders that allow retail shops to sell items curbside, open state parks to visitors and puts doctors back in operating rooms after they were banned for weeks from performing nonessential surgeries.

The eased restrictions will be phased in starting next week. The Republican governor announced them after President Donald Trump gave governors a road map for recovering from the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic.

Abbott says he’ll announce another phase of reopening April 27 but didn’t detail what criteria would be used or what kind of businesses would be allowed to resume.

Texas schools will remain closed at least until summer. Abbott said broader stay-at-home orders designed to increase social distancing remain in effect through April.

At least 17,300 people in Texas have tested positive for the virus, and more than 400 have died.

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