Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced at a press briefing on Tuesday that hair salons, barbershops, tanning salons and gyms will be allowed to reopen within the next two weeks.

Why it matters: The announcement comes less than a week after Texas launched its phase one reopening plan, prompting backlash from some Democrats who believe the state is moving too fast to determine whether the reopenings have caused a surge in infections.

  • Dallas County reported its highest daily increase in new coronavirus cases for the third straight day on Tuesday, though it's worth noting that the state has significantly ramped up its testing capacity.

The state of play: Abbott allowed movie theaters, restaurants and malls to begin operating at 25% capacity on April 30. Close-contact facilities like salons were largely excluded from the phase one plan.

  • Hair salons, barbershops and tanning salons will now be allowed to reopen on Friday with recommended limitations, including 6 feet between clients and masks for employees and customers.
  • Gyms will be permitted to open on May 18, with requirements including 25% occupancy limits, locker room closures, 6-feet of distancing, gloves worn by patrons and consistent disinfection of surfaces.

By the numbers: Texas has reported over 33,000 cases of the coronavirus and more than 900 deaths, per Johns Hopkins.

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Updated 17 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

A coalition of 156 countries agreed Monday to a "landmark" agreement aimed at the fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the globe, the World Health Organization announced Monday.

The big picture: 64 higher-income countries, including European Union members, are among the signatories to the deal, known as "COVAX." The U.S. is not participating in the scheme.

How "naked ballots" could upend mail-in voting in Pennsylvania

Trump signs in Olyphant, Penn. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ordered state officials last week to throw out mail-in ballots submitted without a required inner "secrecy" envelope in November's election, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The state of play: The decision went under the radar alongside the simultaneous decision to extend the time that mail-in ballots could be counted, but Philadelphia's top elections official warned state legislators this week that throwing out so-called "naked ballots" could bring "electoral chaos" to the state and cause "tens of thousands of votes" to be thrown out — potentially tipping the presidential election.

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

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