Here are things you need to know for Thursday, June 18:
1. The new coronavirus has killed more than 2,000 people in Texas
By the state’s official count, the coronavirus pandemic has now killed 2,029 people in Texas, toll experts agree is an undercount. It is now routine to add two or three dozen deaths to the tally every afternoon. And each day, more Texans are catching the virus that might kill them.
The state’s focus is not on preventing all deaths at all costs, but on reopening gradually enough that hospitals do not become overwhelmed. The question is not how much death can we bear, but how many deaths can our system manage?
2. Google slated to open new Houston office by 2021
Google Inc. is opening its first local sales office in Houston, according to the Houston Business Journal.
The company will house the regional Cloud Enterprise Sales team at the One Buffalo Heights building at 3663 Washington Ave. The 37,000-square-foot office is slated to open in early 2021.
3. ‘Spirit of the Confederacy’ statue removed from Sam Houston Park, to be relocated to Houston Museum of African-American Culture
The “Spirit of the Confederacy” statue has been removed from Sam Houston Park. Mayor Sylvester Turner said it is one of two Confederate statues that will be removed before Juneteenth.
The statue will be relocated to the Houston Museum of African-American Culture in Midtown.
Turner said his decision to remove Houston’s Confederate statues from public parks marks a major turning point at an important time in our history.
4. Houston Methodist and UnitedHealthcare back in-network after finalizing an agreement
Houston Methodist and UnitedHealthcare finalized an agreement that will ensure UnitedHealthcare members enrolled in employer-sponsored, individual and Medicare Advantage plans will continue to receive care at Houston Methodist hospitals and its physicians.
The new agreement is effective June 1, meaning UnitedHealthcare members are currently in-network with all Houston Methodist hospitals and facilities.
5. Houston pastor collaborates with Beyoncé to open food distribution site for COVID-19 relief efforts
Beyoncé has teamed up with a Houston pastor’s organization by opening a drive-thru food distribution site for COVID-19 relief.
The distribution site is at St. John’s Downtown Houston every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and is also offering free COVID-19 testing.
3 things to share
WORD OF THE DAY
Zafferor [zaf-er] (noun) an artificial mixture, resembling smalt, containing cobalt oxide and, usually, silica, used to produce a blue color in glass and in ceramic glazes.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
June 18, 1812: The day after the Senate followed the House of Representatives in voting to declare war against Great Britain, President James Madison signs the declaration into law - and the War of 1812 begins.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.” - George Santayana
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