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Coronavirus in Texas 4/13: Abbott to announce "small business initiative" Monday

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Gov. Greg Abbott is briefed on the coronavirus outbreak in Austin on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

Monday's biggest developments

  • Gov. Greg Abbott will announce a "small business initiative" as he expects to turn his sights on the economy this week.

Abbott press conference scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

[5 a.m.] Gov. Greg Abbott will hold a press conference at the state Capitol on Monday at which he is expected to announce "a new small business initiative in Texas." No details of the initiative have been released but Janie Barrera, president and CEO of LiftFund, and John Waldron, president and COO of Goldman Sachs, are scheduled to participate.

Small businesses across the state and nation have been ravaged by the new coronavirus, with restaurants and retail shops forced to shut their doors or dramatically scale down business. In the last four weeks, more Texans applied for unemployment than in all of 2019.

The virus continues to spread in Texas and experts say we haven't likely seen the peak yet. But Abbott and other state officials expressed confidence that social distancing measures have been working — and Abbott has indicated that this week he plans to begin discussing ways to reopen the economy once the worst has passed. — Matthew Watkins

More coronavirus cases could follow first wave

[5:00 a.m.] While some models show the new coronavirus could peak in Texas in late April or early May, the disease could persist for a long time, and there might be more waves of cases, the Dallas Morning News reported. Health care policymakers are studying the spread of the disease as they decide whether and when to loosen social distancing restrictions.

Texas reports 13,484 cases and 271 deaths

[5:00 a.m.] Texas reported 923 more cases of the new coronavirus Sunday, an increase of about 7% over the previous day, bringing the total number of known cases to 13,484.

No new counties reported their first cases Sunday; more than half of the state’s 254 counties have reported at least one case. As of Sunday, 1,338 patients are known to be hospitalized in Texas. That’s a decrease of 176 patients from Saturday. At least 124,553 tests have been conducted. — Carla Astudillo