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Houston, Austin join cities ordering residents to stay home

2 months 1 week 4 days ago Tuesday, March 24 2020 Mar 24, 2020 March 24, 2020 2:12 PM March 24, 2020 in News - Coronavirus Pandemic
With Dallas County under a shelter in place order due to the COVID-19 disease, a normally busy road sits empty leading into downtown Dallas, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Texas' lieutenant governor says the U.S. should get back to work in the face of the global pandemic and that people over the age of 70 will "take care of ourselves." The Centers for Disease Control says people over the age of 65 are at higher risk from the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

HOUSTON (AP) — Leaders in Houston and Austin on Tuesday joined a growing a list of Texas cities that have urged people to shelter in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Fort Worth and El Paso also announced similar orders Tuesday. Those new orders will all take effect at the end of the day.

The announcements come as Gov. Greg Abbott has declined to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order.

Dallas-area leaders announced Sunday that residents would be ordered to shelter in their homes. And leaders in San Antonio announced Monday they’d have such restrictions as well.

The restrictions mean residents must stay at home except for essential activities. Generally, businesses including grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants with deliver and takeout will remain open during such orders.

Ten deaths have been reported in Texas so far, along with more than 400 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the illness linked to coronavirus. More than 11,000 people in Texas have been tested.

The vast majority of people who contract the virus recover within weeks. It causes only mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but it can lead to more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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