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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 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Omicron variant lifts Moderna's stock price — CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states — NYC urges masks indoors "at all times" regardless of vaccination status — New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
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.

Fed signals it could yank economic support quicker as inflation sticks around

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee today. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve will consider pulling back economic support sooner "as the threat of persistently high inflation has grown," chair Jerome Powell said during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the biggest signal yet the Fed is backing away from its stance that soaring prices would be fleeting — a change that could shift its policies that underpin the economy.