Sunday's biggest developments
- Governor extends month-old disaster declaration
- Texas reports 13,484 cases and 271 deaths
- Dallas pastor lauds Trump for leadership during crisis
Governor extends month-old disaster declaration
[2:30 p.m.] Gov. Greg Abbott will extend his month-old disaster declaration in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, he announced Sunday afternoon via proclamation.
The move allows him to continue using a slew of powers to address the crisis, most notably his ability to authorize "the use of all available and necessary state government resources to help manage" the pandemic.
"By extending my Disaster Declaration, we are ensuring the state of Texas continues to have adequate resources and capabilities to support our communities and protect public health," Abbott said in a statement. "I urge all Texans to continue practicing social distancing and abide by the guidelines laid out by the CDC and my Executive Orders to slow the spread of COVID-19."
Abbott issued his original declaration nearly a month ago, on March 13. — Abby Livingston
Texas reports 13,484 cases and 271 deaths
[12:00 p.m.] Texas reported 923 more cases of the new coronavirus Sunday, an increase of about 7% over the previous day, bringing the total number of known cases to 13,484. No new counties reported their first cases Sunday; more than half of the state’s 254 counties have reported at least one case.
Harris County has reported the most cases, 3,561, followed by Dallas County, which has reported 1,644 cases.The state has reported 17 additional deaths, bringing the statewide total to 271 — an increase of about 7% from Saturday. Harris County reported one additional death, bringing its total to 41 deaths, more than any other county.
As of Sunday, 1,338 patients are known to be hospitalized in Texas. That’s a decrease of 176 patients from Saturday. At least 124,553 tests have been conducted. — Carla Astudillo
Dallas pastor lauds Trump for leadership during crisis
[10:57 a.m.] President Donald Trump planned to spend his Easter Sunday watching the online service of the First Baptist Church Dallas, according to a Saturday tweet from the president.
The church's senior pastor, Robert Jeffress, began his Sunday sermon praising the church's "special guest watching today" and referred to Trump as "my friend and the great president of the United States."
"Mr. President, our church absolutely loves you, as do millions of Christians across this country," Jeffress continued. "We appreciate your strong articulation of the Christian faith. I've never heard a stronger affirmation of the faith than the one you gave on Friday, Good Friday, in the Oval Office."
"We thank you for your commitment to religious liberty, and we thank you for your strong leadership during this coronavirus crisis," he added. "We are going to get through this crisis with your continued strong leadership and power of God. We love you and we pray for you every day."
The service aired on various online channels, including FoxNews.com. — Abby Livingston