Politics

(Austonia staff)

The University of Texas-Austin continued its march toward a new normal on Friday, as university President Gregory Fenves marked his last day of leadership after five years in office—the final two months of it dominated by sweeping pandemic-era changes on campus.

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Over the weekend, Austonia polled our readers: 85% say all Texans should be able to vote by mail in 2020.

State Democrats and civic organizations are pushing to expand mail-in voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic at the state's highest court—and against the backdrop of a national, decades-long partisan fight over voting rights.

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Gov. Greg Abbott announced the reopening of a wide range of businesses and activities over the next several weeks, including many activities for children, at a press conference today. He also said that restaurants can increase capacity from 25% to 50%.

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Gov. Greg Abbott said in a release that he "will make an announcement regarding Texas' continued safe and strategic opening" in a news conference at 2 p.m. today.

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(city of Austin)

In an effort to balance COVID containment with economic stability, Austin Public Health debuted a color-coded chart that identifies the local risk of coronavirus spread and issues recommendations for high-risk individuals, the public at large and the workplace.

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(Starting Strength Austin)

Earlier this week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced gyms and fitness studios can open at 25% capacity starting May 18—just over two months after local stay-home orders required them to close. They'll join a growing list of businesses—including restaurants, malls, movie theaters, barbershops and tanning salons—that have received the green light from the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Local elected officials extended Stay Home-Work Safe orders, with modifications to comply with Gov. Greg Abbott's statewide orders, in an effort to prevent a second surge of COVID-19 cases and an overwhelmed health care system.

"COVID-19 is not done with us," Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said at a virtual press conference earlier today.

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(Miguel Gutierrez/POOL via The Texas Tribune)

Texas hair stylists, nail salons, tanning salons and barber shops may reopen for clients this Friday, and gyms may open on May 18, as long as they follow new social distancing and health guidelines, Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday.

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