Texas coronavirus

Texas Announces Sites For Next COVID-19 Vaccine Shipment

Jan 11, 2021

Texas health officials on Sunday released a list of coronavirus "vaccination hubs" that will receive the state's next shipment of vaccines.

The 28 hubs will get 158,825 doses of the vaccine this week, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Another 38,300 doses will go to other providers across the state.

The number of doses that each provider is getting is based on its own estimate of how many people it could vaccinate in a week, DSHS said.

Gov. Greg Abbott had a message for healthcare providers on Monday: Give out all the COVID-19 vaccine you have. Don’t hold on to it to make sure people get their second dose.

Abbott visited the mass vaccination site at the Arlington Expo Center for a press conference about how vaccine rollout is going, exactly one month after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the first vaccine for emergency use.

A group of state lawmakers wants major changes to the plan for distributing COVID-19 vaccines in Texas, including changing the order of priority for who can get the vaccine.

This comes after more than a week of confusion and frustration among Texans who are unsure if they qualify to get the vaccine — and if they do, where they’re supposed to get it.

Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene is overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. As Hendrick Health chief medical officer Rob Wiley explained, the intensive care unit has been over capacity for weeks.

“So right now, we are presently staying over probably 130% capacity every day,” he said. “And we've been that way for a very long period of time — for over a month.”

That means there are more patients requiring intensive care than the total number of staffed beds. Hendrick Medical Center and other hospitals have been forced to activate surge capacity.

According to the Census Bureau, more than a million Texas renters are now behind on rent; three-quarters of them are families with children in the home. Even more renters have little confidence they’ll be able to make rent in January.

“There’s no question there’s a huge need for rental assistance so that people can stay in their homes,” Texas Sen. John Cornyn said.

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Hospitals in Central Texas began vaccinating their staff against COVID-19 last week. For many, the vaccine represents an end in sight to what has been a grueling year for frontline health care workers. But it also comes as the state is experiencing a surge in cases.

Lee esta historia en español.

Thousands of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are currently being distributed throughout the state, Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday.

During a news conference at a UPS center in Austin, Abbott said Texas has already delivered 95,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. He said an additional 129,000 doses will be distributed on Thursday alone.

Food banks across Texas are projecting food shortages in coming months due to the end of three key federal and state programs that have helped them respond to high demand during the coronavirus pandemic and its accompanying recession.

Teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic isn't easy. Social distancing, remote learning and ramped-up school safety rules have, quite possibly, made education more challenging now than at any other time in recent memory.

That's one of major reasons the nonprofit Teach for America DFW has partnered with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to focus on the mental health of educators.

Texas received $11.2 billion in CARES Act funding to cope with bills run up in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

But there's a catch: it has to spend everything by the end of the year.

Anything left over goes back to the federal treasury. And many state lawmakers and county officials are complaining that Gov. Greg Abbott has been less than transparent as to how his administration is spending the money.

After initially saying he didn't do anything wrong, Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, Texas, says he now realizes he "set a bad example" by traveling to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for vacation last month.

Texas could receive coronavirus vaccine doses to immunize up to 700,000 Texans in December, assuming U.S. health officials approve coronavirus vaccine candidates from drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has promised to send Texas as many as 1.4 million doses of forthcoming vaccines in the month of December, Abbott said. The vaccines require two doses per person, and state health officials have said health care workers will be first in line.

Texas military families are struggling with food insecurity at a higher rate than military families in other parts of the country, according to a new report from the Military Family Advisory Network, a nonprofit focused on military family needs and services.

One in six military and veteran respondents in Texas were hungry or experiencing low food security before the coronavirus pandemic. Nationally, the rate was one in eight.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday touted the arrival of a new antibody treatment as progress in Texas' fight against the coronavirus, while again ruling out any new statewide business restrictions as the state experiences alarming growth in cases and hospitalizations.

"It is important for everybody in the state to know that statewide we’re not gonna have another shutdown," Abbott said during a news conference in Lubbock. "There's an overestimation of exactly what a shutdown will achieve, and there's a misunderstanding about what a shutdown will not achieve."

The number of COVID-19 cases in rural Texas keeps going up, taxing medical resources and challenging the notion that living in relative isolation protects against the disease.

From Texas Standard:

Texas now leads the country in total coronavirus cases, this week reaching 1 million total cases since the start of the pandemic.

If Texas was a country instead of a state, it would rank in the top 10 nations with the most overall coronavirus cases.

That's according to data from Johns Hopkins University, which also revealed that the state, the second-most populous in the U.S., surpassed 1 million cases on Tuesday.


Cases of COVID-19 in El Paso continued to skyrocket on Wednesday as the city reported a record 3,100 new people contracted the virus, smashing the previous single-day record by more than 1,000.

With new coronavirus infections surging and area hospitals already at capacity, medical examiners in El Paso, Texas, have received a fourth refrigerated morgue to temporarily store bodies, a county official says.

It is a stark reality for a city where coronavirus patients have been succumbing to COVID-19 at a rate faster than medical personnel can investigate their cases. El Paso sits along the U.S. southern border and is referred to as part of the Borderplex, along with Mexico's Ciudad Juárez.


The man who arrived at the emergency room in Childress earlier this month did not have COVID-19, but he did have a serious abdominal condition that required surgery, hospital administrators said.

Slowly And Cautiously, The VA Is Reopening Its Medical Clinics

Oct 28, 2020

You won't see rows of parked cars on the first floor of the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital parking garage in Tampa. Instead, the garage is filled with hospital beds, computers, medication carts, and an X-ray machine.

The medical center has begun seeing more patients after it initially sharply restricted care at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. But to do that, it has moved most of its emergency department outside.

Patients with minor issues like sprained ankles can receive treatment in the garage and never have to step foot inside the hospital.

With new coronavirus cases on the rise, residents of El Paso, Texas, nestled on the U.S-Mexico border, are encouraged to stay home for two weeks as a judge imposes a mandatory curfew.

Noting that area hospitals are overrun and the positivity rate of residents has ballooned since the beginning of the month, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said he was "left with no choice" but to impose a countywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

From Texas Standard:

Lubbock saw the same summer spike in COVID-19 cases as much of Texas. And, like much of the state, those cases decreased for a while after. But they jumped back up again in recent weeks, says Covenant Health Regional Chief Medical Officer Dr. Craig Rhyne.


If a COVID-19 vaccine is ready next month, Texas health officials predict it won’t be widely available to Texans until at least July.

Lee esta historia en español. 

From Texas Standard:

On March 26, the Texas Public Utilities Commission, or PUC, took a rare step, temporarily suspending cutoffs for all the electric companies it regulates. The measure was a response to economic displacement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The PUC doesn’t regulate all utilities, but many of them do fall under the agency’s jurisdiction.

After several miscarriages over the last few years, Joy Tucker is finally pregnant with her third child at the age of 37.

A statewide rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations suggests another surge may be on the way in Texas.

Coronavirus hospitalizations in Texas plateaued in early September at slightly around 3,000, then began climbing again on Sept. 20.

More than 4,200 Texans are now in the hospital with COVID-19.

Texas Health Department spokesman Chris Van Deusen says the state is closely tracking these numbers and — by request — is sending extra health care workers to El Paso, Amarillo and Lubbock, where cases have spiked in recent weeks.

Lee esta historia en español. 

Jarymar Arana grips a backpack outside an apartment complex in Pflugerville just after 8 a.m. on a recent Sunday. Arana doesn’t live here, but hundreds of people do, and nearly two dozen of them have had evictions filed against them during the pandemic.

From Texas Standard:

A Texas prison housing inmates believed to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 won't have to provide enhanced coronavirus protection measures. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals this week stayed an order that would have gone into effect Wednesday, aimed at preventing spread of the coronavirus at the Wallace Pack Unit in Navasota, Texas.

From Texas Standard:

In 2018, Texas state health officials were preparing for the possibility of a future pandemic. But by the time COVID-19 reached Texas last spring, not much more had been done. As a result, the state was caught flat-footed like much of the rest of the country as the pandemic worsened.

Almost 16,000 Texans have died so far from COVID-19, and a recent investigation by the Houston Chronicle found that Texas failed to prepare for a major outbreak when it had the chance.

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