What did the governor say at his press conference this afternoon
The governor spoke to several COVID-19-related subjects. He
said the higher hospitalization rate “does raise concern, but it is no reason
to be alarmed.” The following is a summary of his main points:
-We are in the middle of a short period of time where all of us
have to co-exist with COVID-19.
-He wanted to let Texans know about the abundant hospital
capacity that exists, and that the state and counties are “laser-focused” on
-He explained why we see spikes in certain areas. For
example, Jefferson County averages 12-15 new cases per day. On June 10,
the county showed 520 positive cases. But those all came from a batch of
prison inmates that were reported all at once. A similar situation
occurred in Collin County, where tests came back from an assisted living
-The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission warned bars and
restaurants that they must follow the state’s protocols to help ensure health
and safety as Texas reopens or they will face license suspensions. These
requirements include indoor customer capacity limits of 50 percent for bars and
75 percent for restaurants, along with social distancing of at least six feet
between groups of customers. The first infraction will result in up to a 30-day
license suspension, and the second infraction will result in up to a 60-day
“Everyone now knows what to do to prevent spread. First and
most obvious is to stay at home…if you must go out, wear masks and sanitize,”
the governor said. “We are now co-existing where we do not have to choose
between returning to jobs and protecting health care if everyone follows the
safe strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services,
Dr. John Hellerstedt, also stressed that “continued success is up to the people
of Texas. The things we have recommended all along is for people to be
personally responsible for their own health: masking, hand hygiene, and
disinfecting commonly-touched surfaces.”
What’s the latest development in the mail-in ballot controversy?
Today (6/16), the Texas Democratic Party appealed a U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s opinion to the U.S. Supreme Court. The
Fifth Circuit opinion prevents Texas voters who are afraid of contracting
COVID-19 at the polling place from voting by mail solely for that reason.
Democrats are arguing to the Supreme Court that the state statute governing
voting by mail violates the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on discriminatory
voting restrictions based on age because it allows older voters to vote by
mail, while prohibiting younger ones from doing so.
What information does TML have for cities as they start to prepare
for the upcoming budget year?
TML has developed a special-edition, mid-year fiscal conditions
survey to help cities navigate the upcoming budget planning process. With an
unexpected public health crisis and an economic recession, most cities will
have to make difficult decisions over the next coming months. Survey questions
center on current budget shortfalls, as well as the anticipated impact on next
The full text of the survey is available here, but we prefer that you complete it online.
We ask that one official from each city complete
the survey no later than Friday, June 19. Please contact JJ Rocha
with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?
TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.