From wire reports
A Texas Supreme Court justice said Thursday that she and her husband have tested positive for COVID-19 after going to a drive-through testing center with symptoms including body aches and fever.
Justice Debra Lehrmann tweeted that she and her husband, Greg, tested positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus. She told the Dallas Morning News that they went to the Austin center last week after noticing symptoms.
Lehrmann is the highest-ranking state official known to have tested positive. She said her health has not interfered with her job because the state Supreme Court is working remotely.
She said the couple have “strictly adhered” to stay-at-home orders since early March, cooking all their meals at home and wearing masks and gloves to the grocery story. They did get visits from family, which included an infant grandson.
“We were just extremely careful, and then we get it,” Lehrman told The Morning News. “How in the world would that happen? We have no idea. All I know is it must be very contagious.”
The state reported 945 new COVID-19 cases and 21 new deaths Thursday. Texas has reported 52,468 cases with 1,440 deaths overall.
Texas also has started reporting the number of antibody tests used within overall test results. Health officials had been combining the number of antibody tests with viral tests, which public health experts have said could make for impressive testing totals but does not give a true picture of how the virus is spreading.
Antibody tests show a past infection, while viral tests show an active infections. According to data released Thursday, of the 800,433 tests overall in Texas, at least 49,300 were antibody tests.
Also Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the temporary quarantine order for air travelers from California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Washington, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Miami.
Travelers from those areas had been required to self-quarantine for two weeks.
Abbott also ordered testing of 4,700 patients and residents and 18,000 staff at 23 state-operated inpatient psychiatric hospitals and living centers throughout Texas. As of May 20, a total of 161 patients and residents at those facilities have tested positive for COVID-19.
And the governor announced Thursday that driver’s license offices will gradually reopen with limited services starting Tuesday.
The first reopening phase includes Northwest and West Texas offices followed by South and Central Texas offices on May 29 and North and Southeast Texas offices on June 3, according to a statement.
The limited services that will be offered include: applying for a Texas driver’s license, learner’s permit or ID card and scheduling a drive test. Services will only be offered with an appointment, according to the release.
The Texas Department of Public Safety — which runs the driver license offices — will launch an appointment system Friday through which people can book an appointment up to six months in advance.
“This phased opening of our driver license offices and the launch of DPS’ online appointment system prioritizes the health and safety of our communities and ensures Texans have access to the services they need at their local driver license offices,” Abbott said in the statement.