Where Texas stands after COVID-19 restrictions have eased

John C Moritz Austin Bureau USA TODAY NETWORK

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Gov. Greg Abbott’s first phase to reopen Texas began May 1. Here’s a video breakdown of what that order means and what businesses can and can’t reopen in Texas.

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Since allowing some businesses to reopen, Texas has seen a spike in new cases of COVID-19 and the death count is nearing 900.

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday will give his first news briefing since easing some of the restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus even as the number of new cases has spiked in recent days.

When he announced that restaurants, retail stores and other businesses could reopen effective May 1, with limits on occupancy, the governor stressed the rate of increased infections had slowed and that he made his decision in collaboration with medical experts.

Gov. Greg Abbott, flanked by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, left, and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen at the Texas Capitol, April 27, 2020. (Photo: Still image from pool video)

Abbott also said testing for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, was ramping up across the state. He warned that increased testing was likely to find more people testing positive. He also said the rate of positive tests was also on the decline.

More: Gov. Abbott unveils plan to allow many businesses to open Friday in limited fashion

Meanwhile, Abbott’s office confirmed the governor plans to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday about Texas’ handling of the pandemic.

At the time of Abbott’s announcement on reopenings, about 25,000 people in Texas had tested positive for COVID-19 and the virus had caused at least 633 deaths. As of Monday, the number of people infected was more than 32,000 and the death count had reached 884. 

More than half of the people with COVID-19 have recovered.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

John C. Moritz covers Texas government and politics for the USA Today Network in Austin. Contact him at jmoritz@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @JohnnieMo.

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