Tuesday’s biggest developments
Five leaders at a Houston church have tested positive for the new coronavirus
Houston church closes doors again after five leaders test positive[5 a.m.] Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Houston closed its doors after five leaders tested positive for the new coronavirus over the weekend, the Houston Chronicle reports. Holy Ghost resumed limited Masses three weeks ago, according to the Chronicle, and the church said in a statement that two of the five leaders who tested positive are priests who were active in those services.
The Rev. Donnell Kirchner, another church leader, died May 13 after being diagnosed with pneumonia, according to the Chronicle. Kirchner received the pneumonia diagnosis at an urgent care clinic, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston said, and it’s unclear whether he was tested for the new coronavirus before he returned to the home where he lived with seven other members of a religious order.
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Child care facilities can reopen immediately, bars can open Friday with limited capacity and sporting events can return without fans at the end of the month, Gov. Greg Abbott said on Monday, as he announced his next wave of reopenings designed to restart the Texas economy during the coronavirus pandemic. Abbott also said he would permit restaurants to operate at 50% capacity starting Friday, up from 25% that’s allowed now.
Texas public school districts may offer summer school in their classrooms as early as June 1, but they cannot require any students to attend in person. Daily temperature checks and supervised handwashing are some of the safety rules for schools that decide to hold in-person classes this summer, under new guidance from the Texas Education Agency.
As the nation remains focused on COVID-19, the U.S. government has aggressively begun to rush the deportations of some of the most vulnerable migrant children in its care to countries where they have been raped, beaten or had a parent killed, according to attorneys, court filings and congressional staff. While the deportation of children to dangerous situations is not a new phenomenon for U.S. authorities, what has shocked even veteran immigration attorneys is that the government is trying to so quickly to remove, arguably against federal law, those most imperiled — all during a global pandemic.
Last week, Texas announced it would be testing every resident and staff member in nursing homes, which have emerged as hot spots for the new coronavirus. But state-run homes for people with disabilities and state-run psychiatric hospitals will not receive that same level of state support to test all residents, patients and employees, according to a spokesperson for the agency that oversees the facilities. The facilities at this time are still only testing residents and patients who are symptomatic or have potentially been exposed, despite concerns raised by employees and family members about outbreaks.
Texas reports 48,693 cases and 1,347 deaths[5 a.m.] Texas is expected to release updated coronavirus figures Tuesday afternoon. On Monday, the state reported 909 more cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of about 2% over the previous day, bringing the total number of known cases to 48,693. The state also reported 11 additional deaths, bringing the statewide total to 1,347 — an increase of about 1% from Sunday. See maps of the latest case numbers for each county and case rates per 1,000 residents. — Anna Novak