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Texas governor orders schools to remain closed until May 4

Photo: Fbot / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0
Photo: Fbot / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0
Published: Mar. 31, 2020 at 12:58 PM CDT
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday ordered the state’s schools to remain closed until May 4 in the continuing effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

He also extended social distancing guidelines to April 30.

“Social distancing is our best tool in the fight against COVID-19, and the actions we have taken thus far have proven to be effective in limiting the spread of this virus,” Abbott said.

“Now it is time to redouble our efforts to reduce further exposure as much as possible and flatten the curve."

Texas Medical Association Dr. David Fleeger praised Abbott’s decision.

“TMA physicians applaud Gov. Greg Abbott for following the science and preventing Texans statewide from gathering – and potentially spreading this coronavirus. The fewer people exposed to COVID-19, the stronger our ability to overtake this disease without overwhelming our hospitals, physicians, nurses, and health care system,” he said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

“Your health care workers are bracing themselves for this pandemic, ready to care for a wave of patients. Help us help you,” he said.

Not long after the governor’s announcement, the Killeen ISD advised parents of the extension and said it would continue to provide grab-and-go breakfast and lunch.

“District leadership is continuing to analyze how COVID-19 will impact High School graduation ceremonies. While our goal is to celebrate the success of our students with a traditional ceremony, the health of our community remains the top priority. A final decision has not been made at this time,” the district said in a press release.

A total of 3,266 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Texas and 41 people have died of the virus including a Temple woman in her 80s and a Waco middle school principal, according to figures released early Tuesday afternoon.

Cases of the new coronavirus have now been confirmed in 10 Central Texas counties.

As of Tuesday afternoon, McLennan County was reporting 44 cases and one death; Bell County was reporting 44 cases with one death; Navarro County was reporting three cases; Limestone, Milam and Robertson counties were each reporting two cases; and Coryell, Falls, Hill and Leon counties were each reporting one case.

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has increased to more than 3,500, at least 200 more than China’s 3,300.

About 1,550 have died in New York state, most of them in New York City.

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