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Coronavirus updates in Texas: McKinney shelter-in-place order could be overturned

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A medical technologist prepares the reagent used in the collection to help determine if a person would test negative or positive for the coronavirus. Eric Seals/REUTERS

Saturday’s biggest developments

  • State judge could overturn McKinney shelter-in-place order

North Texas officials' dueling coronavirus orders headed for court

[5:00 a.m.] A state district judge could overturn McKinney officials’ shelter-in-place order next week because its definition of an essential business is more strict than Collin County Judge Chris Hill’s order, according to The Dallas Morning News.

McKinney is the county seat of Collin. And the differing orders in the overlapping jurisdictions are at the heart of a lawsuit filed by a real estate agent, the paper reports.

The suit comes after Gov. Greg Abbott declined to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order, which typically mandates residents remain at home so pandemics, like the new coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease, are slowed or stopped.

Such orders, a patchwork of which have popped up across Texas, generally define what constitutes an essential business and allow people to travel to those places if they work there or are seeking the establishments’ services or products.

Abbott’s controversial decision to forgo a uniform statewide order has not only left Texans living under local orders that vary by jurisdiction, but has also exposed fault lines between officials in all levels of government who have different opinions on how to prioritize public health and economic viability. — Brandon Formby