COVID-19

Texas governor pauses reopening the state as COVID-19 cases rise

Andy Uhler Jun 26, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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Texas consumers and business owners and are having trouble navigating the confusing climate, as COVID-19 continues to spread. Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images
COVID-19

Texas governor pauses reopening the state as COVID-19 cases rise

Andy Uhler Jun 26, 2020
Texas consumers and business owners and are having trouble navigating the confusing climate, as COVID-19 continues to spread. Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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Update (June 26, 2020): On Friday morning, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order requiring bars to close and putting restrictions on outdoor gatherings. Abbott also scaled back restaurant dining, the most dramatic reversals yet as confirmed coronavirus cases surge.

Abbott also said rafting and tubing outfitters on Texas’ popular rivers must close and that outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more must be approved by local governments.


More than 39,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the U.S. just Thursday, a new record. Some businesses are shutting down again: Apple has ordered the re-closing of 18 stores in the U.S., including seven stores in Houston, because of spikes.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday he was “pausing” the reopening of the state. But he said he’s not telling any businesses to re-close.

Among Texans who have been tested for COVID-19 in the past week, 1 out of 10 has it.

“As you look at the trends and then you look at our openings, you can see some patterns there and they’re not surprising,” said Marilyn Felkner, who teaches public health at the University of Texas at Austin.

Since May, the governor has gradually pulled back social distancing requirements. Felkner said each time, Texas sees an uptick in cases.

Right now, most businesses can operate at 50% capacity. But rules vary by city. Depending where you are in Texas, you might be required to wear a mask, which leads to confusion among consumers and business owners.

“Businesses need to be able to get back open, but we’re not going to be able to unless business owners, and then every Texan, take seriously the fact that this is in some ways in our own hands,” said Justin Yancy, president of the Texas Business Leadership Council.

Gov. Abbott said Thursday, “The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses.” But he may have to do just that if the trend continues and COVID-19 keeps spreading.

With reporting from The Associated Press

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

How many people are flying? Has traveled picked up?

Flying is starting to recover to levels the airline industry hasn’t seen in months. The Transportation Security Administration announced on Oct. 19 that it’s screened more than 1 million passengers on a single day — its highest number since March 17. The TSA also screened more than 6 million passengers last week, its highest weekly volume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While travel is improving, the TSA announcement comes amid warnings that the U.S. is in the third wave of the coronavirus. There are now more than 8 million cases in the country, with more than 219,000 deaths.

How are Americans feeling about their finances?

Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.

Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.

What’s going to happen to retailers, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching?

A report out recently from the accounting consultancy BDO USA said 29 big retailers filed for bankruptcy protection through August. And if bankruptcies continue at that pace, the number could rival the bankruptcies of 2010, after the Great Recession. For retailers, the last three months of this year will be even more critical than usual for their survival as they look for some hope around the holidays.

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