Here are things you need to know for Tuesday, June 23:
1. Gov. Abbott urges voluntary measures to curb coronavirus but says closing Texas is ‘last option’
Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday struck a newly urgent tone about rising coronavirus numbers in Texas but said “closing down Texas again will always be the last option.”
"To state the obvious, COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas and it must be corralled," Abbott said during a news conference at the Texas Capitol in Austin.
However, he stopped short of introducing any new policies or pulling back on the reopening of Texas businesses, instead emphasizing long-established voluntary guidelines encouraging people to stay home if they can, use hand sanitizer, keep six feet of distance with others and, if they cannot, wear a mask.
2. ‘Never reported these types of numbers’: Turner reports highest number of COVID-19 cases in Houston
New coronavirus cases in Houston have seen unprecedented highs in the past few days, with Mayor Sylvester Turner announcing Monday that he had more than 1,700 cases to report.