Friday’s biggest developments:
- Stores offering curbside pickup can reopen
- Texas reports 21,944 cases and 561 deaths
Galveston will reopen public beaches for workouts
[9:23 a.m.] The Galveston City Council voted Thursday to reopen its beaches for specific uses, the Houston Chronicle reports. Exercise, surfing, swimming and fishing will be allowed from 6 to 9 a.m. beginning Monday. Outside of those hours, the use of the beach is still prohibited. Violators face a $500 fine. Vehicle traffic, picnics and setting up chairs or tents is banned.
Officials are still asking visitors to maintain social distancing while on the beaches. Many cities in the area are still under stay-at-home orders and are prohibiting nonessential travel. - Juan Pablo Garnham
Stores can start offering curbside pickup
[5 a.m.] Texas retailers that have been closed for weeks during the coronavirus pandemic can begin selling their goods curbside today. That's one of Gov. Greg Abbott's initial steps to reopen the Texas economy, which has been battered by stay-at-home orders, the closings of nonessential businesses and plummeting oil prices.
The San Antonio Express-News reports that some business owners are hopeful that sales from pickup orders will help their bottom lines, while others think many customers will still practice social distancing and may be trying to save money through the economic downturn.
Taco Cabana parent company reevaluating its SBA loan
[5 a.m.] Texas-based restaurant chain Taco Cabana's parent company is reevaluating whether it's eligible for $15 million worth of federal aid it received as part of Congress' coronavirus economic relief package, The Dallas Morning News reports.
The Small Business Administration issued new guidance on loans that were part of the relief package, which spurred Fiesta Restaurant Group to review its eligibility, the paper reported.
The Texas Tribune reported Thursday that some small companies fell through the cracks and missed out on Congress' first round of forgivable business loans as larger businesses and those that had established relationships with banks successfully sought aid, which dried up in weeks. Congress agreed Thursday to spend more than $300 billion to continue certain aid programs.
Texas reports 21,944 cases and 561 deaths
[5 a.m.] Texas officials are expected to announce the latest number of people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus Friday. As of Thursday, 21,944 people had contracted the virus and 561 had died. See maps of the latest case numbers for each county and case rates per 1,000 residents.
Disclosure: The Texas Tribune, as a nonprofit local newsroom and a small business, applied for and received a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program in the amount of $800,000.