Governor Abbott Expands Essential Only Order to Entire State of Texas
This is no April Fool's Joke. Governor Greg Abbott has ordered only essential businesses to operate in Texas, something he had previously left to local authorities. For those of us in large cities, this is nothing new. We have been living under a similar lockdown for a week. But, for many people in rural areas, this will come as something new entirely.
Some folks are noting that the inclusion of religious services as essential is something new and perhaps is a signal that churches should resume large in-person worship services. We do not believe that is the intent at all. Governor Abbott specifically addressed worship services in his remarks (as well as the order) and made it clear that remote services should continue. If remote services are impossible, a service might be conducted but it should be in compliance with the federal social distancing rules limiting social gatherings to no more than 10.