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Medical workers handling coronavirus test samples in Houston on July 17. Photo: Go Nakamura/Getty Images

Texas on Friday gave public schools the ability to offer online-only instruction for up to the first eight weeks of the school year to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, AP reports.

Why it matters: Texas has effectively shut down campuses across the state until November. The Trump administration has threatened to withhold funding from schools that do not fully reopen at the start of the academic year, although it's not clear what authority it has to unilaterally do so.

By the numbers: Texas reported 10,256 new cases and 174 new fatalities from coronavirus on Friday, its highest single-day casualty count since the start of the pandemic.

  • Over the past five days, 543 people in the state have died from coronavirus, while 10,632 are currently hospitalized for the virus.

The big picture: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) also announced guidance for public schools on Friday.

  • California schools in high-risk counties cannot reopen for in-person learning unless their risk status has been downgraded by the California health department for two consecutive weeks.

Go deeper: The coming political brawl over reopening schools

Go deeper

Updated Oct 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trumpworld coronavirus tracker

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

An outbreak of COVID-19 has struck the White House — including the president himself — just weeks before the 2020 election.

Why it matters: If the president can get infected, anyone can. And the scramble to figure out the scope of this outbreak is a high-profile, high-stakes microcosm of America's larger failures to contain the virus and to stand up a contact-tracing system that can respond to new cases before they have a chance to become outbreaks.

2020 was the economy's worst year since 1946

Source: FRED; Billions of chained 2012 dollars; Chart: Axios Visuals

One of the last major economic report cards of the Trump era lends perspective to the historic damage caused by the pandemic, which continued to weigh on growth in the final quarter of 2020.

By the numbers: The U.S. economy grew at a 4% annualized pace in the fourth quarter, a sharp slowdown in growth compared to the prior quarter. For the full year, the economy shrank by 3.5% — the first annual contraction since the financial crisis and the worst decline since 1946.