Coronavirus in Texas: Houston reopens first major art museum in nation since pandemic began

Elia Montoya serves breakfast dishes to U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Austin, and his family at Juan In A Million in East Austin. USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Co

What you need to know this weekend:

Houston Museum of Fine Arts first major U.S. art museum to reopen

Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts will reopen Saturday, becoming the nation’s first major art museum to do so since the coronavirus pandemic began, Texas Monthly reports. Among the planned safety measures are required masks for visitors older than 2, temperature checks, and museum staff opening and closing all doors. The 300,000-square-foot building will be open to 900 visitors at a time, or 25% of its capacity, and 6 feet of social distancing will be enforced, according to Texas Monthly. — Emily Goldstein

Top Tribune stories you might have missed:

  • Unemployment rate hits record high: The state’s April unemployment rate was 12.8% — Texas’ worst monthly tally on record. Until now, the state’s worst-ever monthly unemployment rate was 9.2% in November 1986, as Texas reeled from the last big oil bust.
  • Patrick enters vote-by-mail debate: Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in an interview Friday that efforts to expand mail-in voting during the coronavirus amount to a "scam by Democrats to steal the election."
  • Dell Medical School’s first cohort graduates: Over the next month, the inaugural class, which attended a virtual graduation ceremony, will scatter across the country to begin residencies in the thick of a pandemic.

Sixth Street in downtown Austin features COVID-19-related art.

Sixth Street in downtown Austin features COVID-19-related art. Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

  • The politics of masks: Arguments about wearing masks in public are occurring everywhere from retail stores to the highest levels of government. And for some, forgoing masks in public during the coronavirus pandemic has become a political statement.

Texas reports 53,449 cases and 1,480 deaths

Texas is expected to release its latest coronavirus figures Saturday afternoon. The state reported 1,181 more cases of the new coronavirus Friday, an increase of about 2% over the previous day, bringing the total number of known cases to 53,449. It also reported 40 additional deaths, bringing the statewide total to 1,480 — an increase of about 3% from Thursday. See maps of the latest case numbers for each county and case rates per 1,000 residents.