Governor Abbott Extends School Closures, "Social Distancing" Rules

Alan Scaia
April 01, 2020 - 7:54 am

DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued an executive order to try to slow the spread of ​the coronavirus, COVID-19.

On Tuesday, Governor Abbott has extended social distancing rules through April 30, and schools across the state will stay closed through May 4.

"We will persevere through this for another month," Abbott says. "Together, we are going to heal our state. Together, we will ensure the Lone Star State continues to shine."

Through Tuesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services says public and private labs had conducted 42,992 tests. Of those, 3,266 people across the state have tested positive and 41 have died.

Large gatherings are prohibited in Texas. Abbott says violations could lead to fines, jail time or time spent in quarantine.

"We are not yet done with our response," Abbott says. "We cannot forfeit the gains we have already made by cutting short our task. We've come too far to falter now."

Abbott's order will require many to work from home. Businesses that can continue operating include grocery stores, hardware stores and gas stations. A complete list is available here.

Abbott is encouraging churches to stream services online. He says drive-thru restaurants and carry out services are still allowed, and Abbott encouraged people to use those businesses.

Dine-in restaurants, bars, gyms and salons should be avoided, Abbott said. He also encouraged people to exercise outside but avoid large groups.

The order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and runs through April 30.