Here are things to know for Monday, Feb. 8:
1. More than 60,000 doses sent to vaccine hubs in Houston area this week
Tens of thousands of additional coronavirus vaccines are headed to the Houston area this week.
More than 60,000 doses will be sent to vaccine hubs in the Houston area. Harris, Galveston, and Fort Bend counties will receive the most.
The Houston Health Department said nearly 6,400 doses will go to the department’s Area Agency on Aging.
Health officials said about 3,800 will be set aside for providers in underserved communities and other doses are for previously scheduled appointments. About 5,700-second doses will be given, officials said.
2. Texas coronavirus hospitalizations fall below 10,000
The number of people hospitalized due to the coronavirus fell below 10,000 on Saturday, the first time since Dec. 19, according to the state health department.
There were 9,957 hospitalizations in addition to 13,192 newly reported confirmed or suspected virus cases and 348 additional deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, the department reported.
There have been 38,476 COVID-19 deaths and more than 2.15 million cases since the pandemic began.
Texas had the third highest number of new cases per capita in the nation with 871.77 per 100,000 residents, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
3. Texas tenants behind on rent will soon be able to seek aid from $1.3 billion assistance program
State officials plan to roll out a $1.3 billion rental assistance program for Texans struggling to keep up with housing payments during a shaky economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The new program comes after a separate state initiative was criticized for its limited scope and because many landlords declined to participate.
More than 1.6 million Texans had little or no confidence in being able to pay next month’s rent, according to a January survey by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Assistance for the new program will only be available to households that make no more than 80% of the area’s median income, which varies by county and by the number of members in a household.
4. Local nonprofit hosts day of pampering for girls with special needs
A former pro-basketball player is using his nonprofit to bring a sense of normalcy amidst the pandemic. Remi Yusuf, a native of Houston, founded the Be A 9th Wonder Foundation, which offers sports camps to children with special needs.
However, on Sunday night, the group swayed away from sports, by focusing on a day of pampering. The organization allowed girls to get their hair and nails done for free at a local salon.
“It just warms my heart to know this organization is here to do this for our children with special needs. This pandemic has been hard for them. Being home all the time isolated to have this day to pamper them is just incredible,” said mother Jennifer Vincet.
5. ‘Hard without my mother.’ Family remembers local nurse who dies after weekslong battle with COVID-19
The family of Tricia Moten is mourning after the 49-year-old nurse died Friday a six-week battle with COVID-19.
“Everyone is just taking their time to grieve in their own way. For me, it’s been really hard without my mother. She was my everything, my rock, my soul,” said her son, TJ Lynch.
Tricia Moten, who was the chief nursing officer at First Surgical Hospital, contracted the virus on Dec. 20 and was admitted to the hospital, according to her family.