AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – The Texas Supreme Court has issued an emergency order temporarily suspending residential evictions due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The emergency order will last through April 19.
Social distancing restrictions have kept many Texans from going to work or have had hours cut. Gov. Abbott released a statement Friday morning supporting the order.
“This decision by the Texas Supreme Court offers a lifeline to many Texans who are beginning to feel the economic impact of COVID-19. Temporarily suspending residential eviction proceedings will provide Texans whose personal income has been affected by the spread of this virus with greater flexibility to meet their housing needs and provide for their families. I thank the Texas Supreme Court for its swift action on this matter.”Gov. Abbott
On Thursday, Abbott penned an executive order tightening social distancing restrictions that take effect at 11:59 p.m. Friday night. They include:
- No social gatherings larger than 10 people
- All schools and gyms are closed
- Restaurants and bars must suspend service except for takeout or delivery
- Visits to hospitals or nursing homes are restricted except to provide medical care.
The executive order will stand through at least April 3. Gov. Abbott in a press conference on Thursday that while Texas reported roughly 150 cases of coronavirus, it could reach into the tens of thousands.
Also passed on Thursday was a public health disaster for Texas, the state’s first in 119 years.
Three people so far have died from COVID-19 and all had previous medical conditions.
There are nine confirmed cases in East Texas as of this writing, according to NET Health. There are five in Smith County with one each in the following counties: Bowie, Gregg, Rusk, and Van Zandt.