Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed an executive order extending statewide school closures through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

Executive Order GA-16 was announced a press briefing late Friday morning.

Under the order, students may not return to public or private schools to physically attend class, but educators may return to campuses to conduct remote video lessons or perform administrative duties if these actions cannot be performed at home.

The order is part of Abbott's initiative to begin gradually reopening Texas. The order also includes language allowing for retail services not deemed essential to be provided through pickup, delivery by mail, or doorstep delivery, provided those providing such services are in strict compliance with Texas Department of State Health Services requirements. Those requirements can be found here.

These limited retail business re-openings would go into effect April 24.

Under the latest order, restaurant dining rooms, food courts, and bars would remain closed, though these businesses may continue to provide drive-thru, pickup, and delivery options. Gyms, massage centers, tattoo and piercing studios, beauty parlors, barber shops, and salons will remain closed.

Texans are strongly encouraged to continue practice social distancing measures, frequent hand washing, and the use of masks or other cloth face coverings when out in public. We're also being asked to continue minimizing social gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not part of our household to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Abbott has also announced the formation of a Strike Force to Open Texas comprised of recognized medical experts and leaders both public and private to advise him on safely and strategically reopening Texas.

You can see a full list of who's part of the strike force here.

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