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Coronavirus live updates April 11: Here’s what to know in the Dallas-Fort Worth area

We’re keeping track of the most up-to-date news about the coronavirus in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. Check back for updates.


Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday he would be issuing an executive order next week that will address reopening businesses while maintaining health and safety as the number of cases of the novel coronavirus continues to rise in Texas.

“We will focus on protecting lives while restoring livelihoods. We can and we must do this. We can do both: expand and restore the livelihoods that Texans want to have by helping them return to work,” Abbott said from the Texas Capitol.

When asked whether most Texans will have to have been tested for COVID-19 in order to go back to work, Abbott said testing would be an aspect, but that more details would come next week.
“I will tell you that testing will be a component of it. And we will operate very strategically. We want to open up. But we want to open up safely, knowing that if we do it too fast without the appropriate strategies, it will just lead to a potential closure because of another outbreak of COVID-19,” Abbott said.
His announcement comes amid record job losses. According to figures released by the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday, more than 761,000 Texans have filed for unemployment in the past four weeks — more than the total number of claims filed in the state for all of 2019.
On a call organized by the Republican Party of Texas, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Friday he wants Texas to be ready to revitalize the economy as soon as feasible, and pointed to the first week of May as a possible date — the same time that Abbott’s current executive order requiring Texans to stay home unless participating in activities deemed “essential” by the state is set to end.


A judge pushed pause late Friday on an executive order issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in March that restricted access to awarding personal recognizance bonds to certain suspects.

In response to discussions and concerns about emptying the jails of violent suspects to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Abbott signed the executive order to prevent a widespread release of certain inmates on personal recognizance bonds.
Criminal justice reform advocate organizations and Harris County magistrates argued and then filed a lawsuit saying the order was unconstitutional and created a two-tier bond system in favor of wealthy suspects.
Also called personal bonds, these are issued by judges and allow suspects the opportunity to be released from jail at minimal or no cost while awaiting trial.
The ACLU of Texas and other criminal justice reform organizations sued Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, arguing that Abbott did not have the authority to issue the order in addition to the order being unconstitutional.
“We are pleased that the Court recognized the urgency of this matter and the need to press pause while it is heard in full,” said Andre Segura, the ACLU of Texas attorney who argued before the court on Friday. “The Governor has an important role to play in responding to this pandemic, but the Governor cannot impede the ability of judges to use their discretion to release particular individuals, especially when lives are at risk.”

Court proceedings are expected to be held to decide whether Abbott had the authority to issue the order in the first place or whether it meets constitutional muster.


In the back-and-forth rulings over whether Texas can maintain its ban on most abortions amid the novel coronavirus’ spread, a federal appeals court ruled Friday that only a narrow set of abortion procedures may continue.
A panel of judges at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals based in New Orleans once again ruled in favor of Texas, granting a stay that reversed, in part, a federal judge’s ruling that had been issued just a day before in Austin.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling states that abortions will only be permitted for patients who would be unable to access services during Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on elective medical procedures due to limits on gestational age.

In Texas, abortions are banned in cases where the woman is 22 weeks past her last menstrual period. Under the appeals-court ruling then, abortions will be permitted only for patients who would have reached that limit before Abbott’s order expires on April 22.
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin had issued a temporary restraining order on Thursday, granting abortion providers’ narrower request to also allow medical abortions, that are often induced by ingesting pills, in addition to abortion procedures for patients facing the limits on gestational age.
Attorney General Ken Paxton submitted an appeal of Yeakel’s ruling on Friday, and vowed to defend Abbott’s executive order “to ensure that hardworking medical professionals receive the supplies and personal protective gear they need to successfully combat this health crisis.”

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