View All Posts

Jun 16

June 16, 2020 TML Coronavirus Update #65

Posted on June 16, 2020 at 5:17 PM by TML Staff

Urgent Updates


What did the governor say at his press conference this afternoon (June 16)?


The governor spoke to several COVID-19-related subjects. He said the higher hospitalization rate “does raise concern, but it is no reason to be alarmed.”  The following is a summary of his main points:


-We are in the middle of a short period of time where all of us have to co-exist with COVID-19.

-He wanted to let Texans know about the abundant hospital capacity that exists, and that the state and counties are “laser-focused” on maintaining that.

-He explained why we see spikes in certain areas. For example, Jefferson County averages 12-15 new cases per day. On June 10, the county showed 520 positive cases. But those all came from a batch of prison inmates that were reported all at once. A similar situation occurred in Collin County, where tests came back from an assisted living facility.

-The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission warned bars and restaurants that they must follow the state’s protocols to help ensure health and safety as Texas reopens or they will face license suspensions. These requirements include indoor customer capacity limits of 50 percent for bars and 75 percent for restaurants, along with social distancing of at least six feet between groups of customers. The first infraction will result in up to a 30-day license suspension, and the second infraction will result in up to a 60-day suspension.


“Everyone now knows what to do to prevent spread. First and most obvious is to stay at home…if you must go out, wear masks and sanitize,” the governor said. “We are now co-existing where we do not have to choose between returning to jobs and protecting health care if everyone follows the safe strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”


Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, Dr. John Hellerstedt, also stressed that “continued success is up to the people of Texas. The things we have recommended all along is for people to be personally responsible for their own health: masking, hand hygiene, and disinfecting commonly-touched surfaces.”


Further Updates


What’s the latest development in the mail-in ballot controversy?


Today (6/16), the Texas Democratic Party appealed a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s opinion to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Fifth Circuit opinion prevents Texas voters who are afraid of contracting COVID-19 at the polling place from voting by mail solely for that reason. Democrats are arguing to the Supreme Court that the state statute governing voting by mail violates the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on discriminatory voting restrictions based on age because it allows older voters to vote by mail, while prohibiting younger ones from doing so.


What information does TML have for cities as they start to prepare for the upcoming budget year?


TML has developed a special-edition, mid-year fiscal conditions survey to help cities navigate the upcoming budget planning process. With an unexpected public health crisis and an economic recession, most cities will have to make difficult decisions over the next coming months. Survey questions center on current budget shortfalls, as well as the anticipated impact on next year budgets.


The full text of the survey is available here, but we prefer that you complete it online.


We ask that one official from each city complete the survey no later than Friday, June 19. Please contact JJ Rocha with questions at or 512-705-3912. 


Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?


TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.