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5 things for Houstonians to know for Thursday, July 9

Healthcare professional Kenzie Anderson grabs a test tube for a sample at United Memorial Medical Center COVID-19 testing site Friday, June 26, 2020, in Houston. The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise across the state. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said 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 Thursday, July 9:

1. Houston officials scrap Texas GOP’s in-person convention at GRB due to virus

Houston officials on Wednesday canceled the Texas Republican Party’s in-person convention, saying the spread of the coronavirus made it impossible to hold the event as scheduled.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city’s lawyers exercised provisions in the contract that the Texas GOP signed to rent the downtown convention center for a three-day event to have started July 16, with committee meetings earlier in the week. Turner, a Democrat, previously resisted calls to cancel the convention and insisted Wednesday that his decision wasn’t driven by politics.

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2. Report: A Texas county will arrest those who test positive for COVID-19, but don’t quarantine

Brooks County Attorney David Garcia issued a warning to those who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Garcia warns that those who test positive and don’t isolate will be arrested, except if that person is receiving medical care.

The warning falls under Texas Penal Code 22.05 (a), which states “A person commits an offense if he recklessly engages in conduct that places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.”

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3. More people have died of COVID-19 in Florida, Texas in 1 month than in 20 years of hurricanes, report says

Although states and many businesses are now open in a variety of capacities, don’t be fooled: the novel coronavirus pandemic is far from over.

These numbers seemed jarring: COVID-19 cases in Florida and Texas are up, and those include nearly 3,800 and 2,700 deaths, respectively, according to a Tuesday report from Newsweek -- one that goes on to say that the combined number of coronavirus-related deaths recorded in both states in the past month is greater than the total number of hurricane-related deaths reported in the U.S. over the past 20 years.

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4. Officials, parents react to TEA guidelines, STARR testing requirement for upcoming school year

Many local school districts are shifting their back-to-school plans after the Texas Education Agency released its guidelines late Tuesday. Parents raised many concerns, including STARR testing being put back on the calendar for the upcoming school year.

While school officials attempt to get students and teachers back safely, parents are not happy with the STARR testings back on the schedule. They said the focus needs to be on returning back to school safe first.

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5. Whataburger announces updated design, plans expansion to more states

Whataburger has announced expansion plans and a new restaurant design that will be coming soon.

In a release Wednesday, Whataburger said new restaurants will be added in Tennessee and Kansas City, with planned eventual growth in other states. Currently, 10 states have Whataburger restaurants, including Texas.

Whataburger also announced plans to roll out a brand new look for their restaurants Wednesday, equipped with LED lighting and efficient equipment for 24-hour use.

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3 things to share

WORD OF THE DAY

Tabinetor [tab-uh-net] (noun) a fabric resembling poplin, made of silk and wool and usually given a watered finish.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

July 9, 1877: The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club begins its first lawn tennis tournament at Wimbledon, then an outer-suburb of London.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“I rarely draw what I see. I draw what I feel in my body.” - Barbara Hepworth


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