Coronavirus in Texas: Chevron plans to lay off thousands while Exxon Mobil says it has no such plans

What you need to know Friday:

Chevron plans to lay off thousands, while Exxon Mobil says it has no such plans

Two top oil companies are taking different routes so far in dealing with the industry’s downturn. Chevron said it would lay off 15% of its employees while Exxon Mobil has no plans for such cuts, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Chevron said in a statement that it was “streamlining our organizational structures to reflect the efficiencies and match projected activity levels. This is a difficult decision, and we do not make it lightly.”

The paper reported that the company employs about 7,000 people in the Houston area and about 45,000 people across the globe, but that Chevron did not provide details on where a reduction in its workforce would occur. — Brandon Formby

Abbott will extend early voting for November elections

Gov. Greg Abbott is extending the early voting period for an unspecified amount of time during the November election as concerns continue to persist around in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic. Abbott has already doubled the time period for the primary runoff election July 14, calling it necessary so that “election officials can implement appropriate social distancing and safe hygiene practices.”

In an interview with KCBD-TV in Lubbock on Thursday afternoon, Abbott said he believes Texas voters will be able to cast their ballots safely not only this summer but also in the fall.

“Texas has always had early voting, and what I did for the July time period and what we will do again for the November time period is we will extend the early voting period,” Abbott told the TV station. — Patrick Svitek

Trib stories you may have missed:

  • Small-business loans: The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed legislation Thursday to ease rules on small-business owners who are participating in a loan program meant to mitigate the economic complications of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new legislation was a bipartisan effort, spearheaded by two freshmen, including U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Austin.
  • Prison outbreak: The U.S. 5th Circuit of Appeals held a hearing Thursday in a lawsuit accusing state officials of not doing enough to stem the spread of coronavirus in a geriatric prison. When two inmates first sued in March, no inmates at the unit were confirmed to have the virus. By Thursday’s hearing, nearly 200 had tested positive and five had died.

Texas reports 59,776 cases and 1,601 deaths

Texas officials are expected Friday to report the latest number of people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus. The state reported the largest single-day number of new coronavirus cases Thursday, though health officials attributed the surge to increased testing at prisons, which have become hot spots, and delayed test results from the holiday weekend coming in.

Texas reported 1,855 more cases of the new coronavirus Thursday, bringing the total number of known cases to 59,776. At least 1,601 people have died. The Texas Tribune publishes maps of the latest case numbers for each county and case rates per 1,000 residents. — Chris Essig

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