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5 things for Houstonians to know for Friday, June 26

Contact tracer Kandice Childress, right, works at Harris County Public Health contact tracing facility, Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Houston. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the state is facing a "massive outbreak" in the coronavirus pandemic and that some new local restrictions may be needed to protect hospital space for new patients. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Contact tracer Kandice Childress, right, works at Harris County Public Health contact tracing facility, Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Houston. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the state is facing a "massive outbreak" in the coronavirus pandemic and that some new local restrictions may be needed to protect hospital space for new patients. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Here are things you need to know for Friday, June 26

1. Gov. Abbott calls for ‘temporary pause’ in ‘Reopening Texas’ effort, citing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that the phased-in Reopening Texas effort is under a “temporary pause” as the state responds to the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Businesses that are permitted to open under the previous phases can continue to operate at the designated occupancy levels and under the minimum standard health protocols provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services, a news release notes.

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2. Abbott suspends elective surgeries in Harris, 3 other Texas counties over fears of COVID-19 hospitalization surge

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Thursday to suspend elective surgeries at hospitals in Harris County.

Other counties included in the order include Bexar, Dallas and Travis counties.

The order, which goes into effect on Friday at 11:59 p.m., is to ensure hospital bed availability for COVID-19 patients as Texas faces an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, according to a news release announcing the order.

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3. With nearly 6,000 new coronavirus cases reported in Texas Thursday, the 3-day total surpasses 17K

For the third day in a row, Texas reported a new record high in coronavirus cases with nearly 6,000 new cases Thursday. This brought the state’s 3-day total to more than 17,000 cases.

On Thursday, there were 5,996 new cases reported in Texas. On Wednesday, there were 5,551 cases reported and on Tuesday, there were 5,489 cases reported, according to data from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.

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4. If you have school-aged children, you could get $285 for groceries, regardless of income. Here’s how

With kids at home and indoors more often right now, your summer grocery bills may be higher. If you could use some extra money, getting it may be as simple as asking for it. The United States Department of Agriculture is sending many families nearly $300, regardless of their income. Think of it as a second stimulus but you have to use the money to pay for groceries.

The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) was approved by the USDA for students who receive free and reduced lunches. Since schools were closed in mid-March, the federal government is sending $285 on a P-EBT card.

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5. Galveston City Council votes 5-2 to extend mandatory mask order through September

A mask order issued by Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough earlier this week has been extended for residents through the end of September after a 5-2 vote by the Galveston City Council Thursday evening.

The residents in the city of Galveston are required to wear face coverings in all Galveston businesses that serve the public. The order issued Monday was to remain in effect until June 30 before the city council voted to extend it till Sept. 30.

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3 things to share

WORD OF THE DAY

Fainéant [fey-nee-uhnt] 1. (adjective) idle; indolent; 2. (noun) an idler.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

June 26, 1948: U.S. and British pilots begin delivering food and supplies by airplane to Berlin after the city is isolated by a Soviet Union blockade.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.” - Carl Sandburg


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