5th round of P-EBT on the way: Governor Abbott, HHSC approve $1.4B in pandemic food benefits for families
Governor Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a fifth round of federal Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits for Texas families with children who temporarily lost access to federally funded summer meal programs due to COVID-19.
‘We are in the midst of the worst surge of COVID that we have seen since the beginning of the pandemic’: Doctors send warning as cases continue to rise in Houston area
With Harris County having a count of more than 1 million COVID cases, and Houston wastewater revealing seven times more of the virus than this time in 2020, local doctors are warning residents to take precautions when it comes to COVID-19.
Harris County commissioner calls for Judge Lina Hidalgo to have emergency powers revoked
Judge Lina Hidalgo was granted more authority under the state’s disaster declaration back at the state of the pandemic in 2020. Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle’s proposal to strip the judge of her emergency powers failed in a 3-2 vote Tuesday afternoon.
HISD principal helps clean school after custodial workers step away due to COVID-related issues
Administrators, teachers, and parents have all had to roll up their sleeves in a sense to wade through the pandemic and make sure kids were educated, but one Houston Independent School District principal gave a literal example just this week.
UT Health creates hotline for healthcare workers experiencing difficulty during COVID-19 pandemic
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers have been working tirelessly to stop the spread of the virus and help those who fall ill but it's leading to anxiety, depression, substance abuse and other issues.
Did you lose a loved one to COVID-19? This is your chance to share that person’s story with the world
Maybe it was when the pandemic first arrived in the United States, or perhaps it only happened in recent weeks or months. But if you lost a friend or family member to COVID-19, and you’d like to memorialize that person’s legacy, we invite you to share more.
Federal pandemic food benefit enters 2nd round in Texas: What families of kids with free, reduced school meals need to know
Texas Families Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a second round of federal Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits for families with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to COVID-19 during the 2020-2021 school year.
Pandemic Pivot: Changing careers during a pandemic
But with millions of people laid off and out of work, changing careers may seem out of the question. Money and work-life balance –these are the top two reasons people change careers. Two big questions to ask yourself first—do you really want to change careers or do you not like working during a pandemic? If you still want to change careers, know why? On average, it takes four years to successfully change careers and regain your credibility at your job.
Stronger Houston: Bridging the unemployment gap for people of color
Black and Latina women are facing the highest unemployment rate among all women with 8.9 % and 8.5% respectively. The pandemic, Lane said, has only magnified those long-standing inequities. “So that means we’ve got to have better education, better opportunities for people of color,” said Judson Robinson, President & CEO of The Houston Area Urban League. The Turnaround Houston Initiative is set to take place online from Thursday, April 29th through Sunday, May 2nd. If you’re interested in looking for work and want information about jobs, call The Houston Area Urban League at 281-220-6012.
Shots in little arms: COVID-19 vaccine testing turns to kids
In the U.S. and abroad, researchers are beginning to test younger and younger kids, to make sure the shots are safe and work for each age. (Shawn Rocco/Duke Health via AP)(AP) – The 9-year-old twins didn’t flinch as each received test doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine -- and then a sparkly bandage to cover the spot. Researchers in the U.S. and abroad are beginning to test younger and younger kids to make sure COVID-19 vaccines are safe and work for each age. AdBut younger children may need different doses than teens and adults. Most COVID-19 vaccines being used around the world were first studied in tens of thousands of adults.
From public to private school: How families are making it affordable
HOUSTON – When public schools kept students online with abrupt, unscheduled closures, many private schools were able to keep classes more stable. Bellaire mother of two Charity Zemzous heard how private school Lutheran High North handled the pandemic and school in general. “Probably every private school would say that this has been a nice boon for them,” said Lutheran High North principal Dana Gerard. Gerard has seen enrollment increase and decline in his 37 years at LHN, but he said the pandemic caused families who had never before considered private school to take a look. Private school for low-income familiesCristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School, located by Hobby Airport, is a private, Catholic school (accepting all faiths) that exclusively educates students from low-income families.
Monitoring the traffic trends 1 year after the pandemic
HOUSTON – Congestion in Houston is a good indicator of things going back to normal, more people going back to work and students returning to school. Though we’re not 100% back to pre-pandemic traffic congestion, we’re certainly getting close. Here’s a look a the numbers:Traffic VolumesTraffic VolumesIt’s worth noting, even though congestion is slowly making a comeback, a recent report says: fewer Houstonians are driving into work. In 2019 nearly 85% of workers drove into the office, compared to nearly 90% in 2010.
7 diseases that vaccines have all but eliminated in the U.S.
First- and second-graders line up for Salk Polio vaccine shots on April 23, 1955. Regardless of where anyone stands on the matter, we know that vaccinations have been protecting us from diseases for decades. In 1921, the United States recorded 206,000 cases, which resulted in 15,520 deaths, according to the History of Vaccines website. According to the CDC, polio was once one of the most feared diseases in the U.S. Since 1979, there have been no polio cases that originated in the U.S.
What’s at the top of your post-pandemic bucket list? Fill us in
To think of a world in which there’s no longer a COVID-19 pandemic. With vaccines now rolling out all over the country, as well as becoming available to more and more people, some have begun to talk about a post-pandemic life -- words we couldn’t imagine uttering (much less living) just a few months ago. Shall we go so far as to say there’s light at the end of the tunnel? So now we ask: What is at the top of your bucket list, if you will, post-pandemic? Maybe you’re dying to get back to work in person with your colleagues or classmates.
In-person vs. virtual: Where do the numbers stand among Houston-area’s school districts?
HOUSTON – As students in many school districts across the greater Houston area get ready to start for spring break, KPRC 2 took a deep dive into the enrollment numbers. We wanted to outline the percentage of students who attend face-to-face instruction versus those who are in virtual remote learning. Here is a non-comprehensive list of some of the local school districts:Spring Branch ISD79 % in-person learning21% virtual learningHISD44% in-person56% virtualFort Bend ISD47.57% in-person52.43% virtualKaty ISD68% in-person32% virtualCy-Fair & Pearland ISD70 % in-person30% virtualAlief ISD40% in-person60% virtualHumble ISD79 % in-person21% virtual
Man accused of stealing money from job seekers by promising city of Houston jobs
HOUSTON – Prosecutors with The Harris County District Attorney’s Office said Larry Aguero was preying on the unemployed. Hayes said Aguero claimed to work for the City of Houston, promising his victims jobs that do not exist. AdThe alarm was sounded after several of the victims confronted Aguero at Aguero’s southwest Houston apartment. Gradually that complainant learned this job doesn’t exist, we don’t know what you’re talking about,” Hayes said. Prosecutors said if you’re ever approached by someone about jobs with the city or county, look for an official I.D.
One year since pandemic began: These are the last pictures KPRC reporters took before the shutdowns
One year ago Thursday, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus pandemic. AdKPRC2 Sofia Ojeda:The #lastphoto before the pandemic shut everything down last year. We went to the zoo.... Posted by KPRC2 Sofia Ojeda on Wednesday, March 10, 2021KPRC 2 Britta Merwin:My last photo on my phone before the pandemic. This photo makes... Posted by KPRC2 Britta Merwin on Thursday, March 11, 2021KPRC2 Amy Davis:#TheLastPhoto I took before the #pandemic #lockdown . @KPRC2 Posted by KPRC2 Amy Davis on Thursday, March 11, 2021KPRC2 Andy Cerota:What is the last picture on your camera roll from before the pandemic?
All the major decisions, orders from Gov. Abbott since the COVID-19 pandemic began: A timeline
AdIn addition, Abbott rescinded the executive order pertaining to self-quarantining travelers to Texas from New Orleans. An executive order stated no jurisdiction would be allowed to confine anyone to jail for violating any order issued in response to the COVID-19 disaster. May 21: An executive order was issued that terminated air travel restrictions related to the pandemic. March 2, 2021: Abbott announced he would reopen Texas and rescind the mask mandate. March 10, 2021: Businesses in Texas allowed to reopen at 100%, and masks are no longer mandated in the state.
What you need to know before and after getting a COVID-19 vaccine
We have heard from viewers who wanted to know if they should be taking medication before getting the vaccine. In Quintero’s case, the potential problem was discovered last-minute as she was about to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. “If you’ve received any vaccine two weeks before getting the COVID vaccine then you may be turned away and you should avoid getting the vaccine in the two weeks after the Moderna vaccine,” explains Mishra. RELATED: What to expect at your appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine. RELATED: Common questions and answers about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Stronger Houston: The COVID-19 crisis and it’s impact on Houston’s transgender community
“The trans community is one of the most overlooked communities in times of disaster,” said Austin Ruiz, communications and marketing manger at The Montrose Center. AdWhen COVID-19 hit, The Montrose Center, which serves Houston’s LGBT community, saw a sharp increase in requests for help among Houston’s trans community. “We found there were a lot of community members, specifically trans community members, that do not feel safe to go to other social service agencies because they were afraid they’d be turned away or discriminated against because of their status as a trans community member,” Ruiz said. Through a foundation grant, Save Our Sisters United has been able to provide money for food, shelter, basic necessities and medication like HRT’s. She added that ongoing therapy sessions with her counselor at the Montrose Center continues to make all the difference in the world.
Local doctor warns that virus will spike if masks not mandatory
Abbott’s decision to open up the state, making face masks no longer mandatory, is the wrong move at the wrong time, according to Dr. Varon. At his United Memorial Medical Center in north Houston, Dr. Varon worked battling COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Dr. Varon said everyone should keep wearing masks because they work. Now, Dr. Varon and his staff are preparing for another surge that he says will likely come as a result of the governor’s order. Dr Varon says in the short term, people should continue wearing masks and social distancing to stay safe.
Texas Education Agency says school boards can determine their own mask policies
HOUSTON – When it comes to masks and children in school, the Texas Education Agency said the mask policy will be left up to each district’s school board. We ask that other school districts do the same. “It isn’t what we wanted (for) the Texas Education Agency to come out with. Molina is the president of the Texas State Teachers Association. After a year of online learning, the state has ordered all vaccine providers to immediately include teachers and school employees.
Tomball venue prioritizing employees’ safety after governor’s latest executive order
Greg Abbott announced an executive order allowing businesses to operate at 100% capacity and ending the statewide mask mandate. “We do have our foyer, with the biggest Chandelier in Texas,” said Lidice Ortiz, the manager of the venue. The wedding and special event venue has multiple spaces, including a ballroom, marble ceremony space, an outdoor venue, gardens and fountains. “We will use the masks until everybody will be vaccinated and we will be safe,” Ortiz said. “We really recommend that they wear masks, they must have social distancing if they want everyone to be safe,” Ortiz said.
Study finds Texas is one of the worst states for children during the pandemic
(AP Photo/LM Otero)Texas ranks among the 10 worst states in the nation when it comes to child protection amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study. Approaching the one-year mark since the pandemic was declared, the international non-profit Save the Children has been able to analyze the burden of COVID-19 on families with children. Save the Children examined three hardships that it believes most-challenged children in the United States – hunger, lack of tools for remote learning, and difficulty for families to pay bills. AdThe study found children of color are more likely to face hunger as well as lack tools needed for remote learning. Out of all 50 states, Texas was ranked No.
Congressman Dan Crenshaw introduces anti-lockdown legislation to end shutdown during pandemic
HOUSTON – U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston) introduced anti-lockdown legislation Monday that he said would end the economic shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic. In order to qualify for COVID recovery aid, the End Lockdowns Now Act would require states and localities to submit economic reopening plans. Crenshaw said his legislation would also ensure that the president could not impose national lockdowns or bans on interstate travel. AdAccording to Crenshaw, the bill also requires that the Treasury Department Inspector General take steps to recover funds if the disclosure requirements are not met. The bill will not intervene in steps taken to protect the public under the Public Health Services Act and will allow governors the authority to limit travel to their state in the event of a disaster declaration, according to Crenshaw.
Gov. Abbott shares when he expects Texas to expand who can receive COVID-19 vaccine
According to Abbott, President Joe Biden said the state could expect about a million or more doses of the vaccine very soon. “The good news is there is going to be a record amount of vaccines available across Texas this week,” Abbott said. We will be increasing the immunity that Texans have.”A single-shot dose of the COVID-19 vaccine could bring much-needed relief to millions of people. The panel made their initial decision for people 65 and older because they are most vulnerable to COVID-19, Abbott said. AdHowever, Abbott said as the vaccine availability improves he expects the criteria of those who can be vaccinated will also expand.
Did you lose a loved one to COVID-19? Share their story and spirit with us
It almost seems impossible, but we’ve been living with COVID-19 in our lives for almost a year, and tragically, some of us have lost grandparents, parents, siblings and friends due to this unforgiving virus. As the United States is approaching 500,000 deaths since early 2020, it seems that many of us have experienced a COVID-related loss. So, in honor of your loved one’s memory, we’re asking that you share a photo of them and tell us their story. We’ve all dealt with grief in our lives, but losing a loved one to the COVID-19 pandemic is especially hard, since we all can’t celebrate their lives like we normally would. Hopefully sharing your loved ones with others virtually can bring you the tiniest bit of comfort in these uncertain times.
Vaccination efforts increase across Houston area
Another first this Friday, the Michael E. DeBakey V.A. Medical Center in Houston started facilitating a new vaccination method for veterans: first come, first served. “This is really important to us, we are vaccinating America’s heroes,” said associate director of the Michael E. DeBakey Medical Center, Chris Myhaver. The line stretched for miles for the first-come, first-served veteran vaccinations, but Navy Veteran Earl George did not mind. AdIf you are an eligible veteran and want to get vaccinated, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center drive-thru vaccination clinic opens at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Here’s what you need to know about Houston area rental assistance programs
Landlords can apply for rental assistance in another programHOUSTON – The Southwest Management District announced an update to the Houston area rental assistance program. Here’s what you need to know:Harris CountyApartment owners and residents -- except those in the city limits of Houston, Baytown or Pasadena -- can apply for a program that will provide up to six months of rental assistance. The money will be paid directly to the landlord, funded by the Texas Emergency Rental Assistance Program. To apply, click hereHouston and Harris CountyThe city of Houston and Harris County have a combined $140 million in rental assistance funding. AdTo apply, click hereThe Houston Apartment Association will host a webinar on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. with program experts from Houston, Harris County and BakerRipley.
Galena Park ISD employees surprised with $1,000 stipend during pandemic
GALENA PARK, Texas – The emotional strain from the coronavirus pandemic on educators has been overwhelming. Instead of telling the faculty and staff in Galena Park Independent School District what a great job they’ve done, the school board of trustees and superintendent decided to show them. As a token of their appreciation for their dedication and commitment during the pandemic, trustees approved the administration’s recommendation at Monday’s board meeting. Ad“It’s a great way to show folks that you love how much you care,” said Dr. John Moore, Galena Park ISD superintendent. We’ve had people say they are going to be able to have a great Valentine’s weekend.
This is what Houstonians learned about themselves, other people during the coronavirus pandemic
HOUSTON – During these trying times, many Houstonians are taking a deep breath to reflect. After KPRC 2 asked our Facebook followers what they’ve learned about themselves during the pandemic, most have said from “slowing down in life” to appreciating your friends and family like never before. This is what Houstonians said:“All the things that don’t matter vs the things that do. I miss hugging my friends and I didn’t realize until the pandemic how important it is to socialize.” - Aracely Palomares Neely“I have learned to slow down. I don’t do that anymore.” - Autumn HartWhat have you learned about yourself during these trying times?
UK variant could become dominant in the US by the end of March
HOUSTON – Two new cases of the UK variant were reported in the Houston area on Monday, including a man in his 50′s who is currently hospitalized, health officials said. The hospital’s lab helped discover the two new cases, along with a case of the South African variant in Fort Bend County. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the UK variant spreads more easily and quickly than other variants, and Dr. Anthony Fauci said it could become dominant in the U.S. by the end of March. Dr. David Persse, Houston’s health authority, said the city has found evidence of the UK variant in very low levels of its wastewater as well. Harris County Public Health reported the first known case of the UK variant in Texas on Jan. 7.
CVS Health among pharmacies set to expand access to COVID-19 vaccine in Houston
HOUSTON – If you’re eligible and looking to get the COVID-19 vaccine, you’ll be able to schedule an appointment with CVS Health beginning Thursday. Vaccinations at 70 pharmacy locations in Texas, including an undisclosed number in Houston, will begin the next day on Friday. The scheduling system will open on Feb. 11,” Monica Prinzing with CVS Health Corporate Communications said. Because active stores will change regularly based on vaccine supply, CVS Health will not provide a full list of participating locations,” Prinzing added. H-E-BAd“H-E-B Pharmacies are prepared to receive new allotments of COVID-19 vaccine at any time from the government.
Houston Newsmakers: The many ways the pandemic is hurting our children
Baker Institute Doctor is pushing for changeThe pandemic continues to take its toll, hitting families and children particularly hard. Dr. Quianta Moore is a Fellow in Child Health Policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. She is a guest on Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall and says the pandemic impact can be felt by the decreased availability of childcare and Pre-K facilities. Among the Baker Institute recommendations to the Biden administration is a push for more funding for those centers because of the role they play in society. “They’re involved in trafficking, they’re doing the worst of the worst and law enforcement is going out of their way.
Who will receive a third stimulus check? Here’s what we know so far
HOUSTON – The Senate approved the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package Friday, which would include a third round of stimulus checks. Tune in as I discuss the state of our economy and the need for the American Rescue Plan. https://t.co/JmFqJvPL8z — President Biden (@POTUS) February 5, 2021READ: President Biden remarks on push for $1.9 trillion planAdThe White House is apparently open to narrowing the $1,400 stimulus checks to certain households but keeping those payments to $1,400 per person, according to the Washington Post. Congressional Republicans and senior Democrats raised concerns that Biden’s proposal to send another round of stimulus checks would give government aid to Americans who do not need it, according to reports. The third stimulus plan is in addition to the $600 checks Congress approved in December.
Supermarket owner believes coronavirus pandemic is a hoax
NAPLES, Fla. – Despite the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic, no one at a crowded grocery store in Naples was wearing a face mask, WPLG reported. That’s because Alfie Oakes, the owner of Oakes Farms - Seed to Table Market, is not enforcing customers or employees to do so. Ad“Please do your research,” Oakes said, as he defies all scientific research. “Please do your critical thinking and research.”Collier County issued a face mask mandate. Ron DeSantis has not issued a face mask mandate.
Latest COVID-19 vaccinations numbers among Hispanic community
HOUSTON – As the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out continues, recent numbers by the CDC gives a better picture of who’s getting vaccinated. Sanborn said there are many factors that likely play into those lower numbers among the Hispanic community. As far as turning the numbers around across the board though, many believe it’ll be a community effort and getting everyone on board. “We do need to do a lot of outreach and education to our communities about the benefits of the vaccine,” Caracostis said. ”We’re going to have to be able to craft unique messages for the Latino community so that people understand that this is safe,” Sanborn said.
Houston Texans, Texas Children’s Hospital select 4 local healthcare heroes to attend Super Bowl LV
HOUSTON – The Houston Texans and Texas Children’s Hospital announced that they have selected four local healthcare workers to attend the Super Bowl LV as their guest in Tampa Bay on Sunday. The healthcare heroes were selected based on their “unwavering commitment to their community throughout the coronavirus pandemic,” according to a release. The four workers, among other selected care workers who’ve been invited by NFL clubs, will participate in several Super Bowl LV activities at Raymond James Stadium. Those chosen to attend Super Bowl LV in celebration of their dedication include Kaitlin Hernandez, a respiratory therapist, Bhumi Patel, a registered nurse, Matthew Rivera, a registered nurse, and Dr. Matthew Pesek, a medical director for the pediatric intensive care unit at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. AdThe invitation will include a roundtrip flight on United Airlines, a two-night hotel accommodation, a Texans travel kit and Super Bowl LV Draft Experience, Gameday Tailgate and a ticket to the game.
UH survey shows 1/3 of Texans may refuse COVID-19 vaccine
HOUSTON – A new survey from the University of Houston found about one-third of the Texans who responded may refuse a COVID-19 vaccine. AdThe Hobby School of Public Affairs conducted the survey online among Texans 18 and older from Jan. 12 to Jan. 20. Another question asked whether getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is a personal choice or everyone’s responsibility to protect the health of others. Among the results of people who chose a side, 51% said personal choice while 49% said everyone’s responsibility. To read more of the UH survey questions, click here.
People putting marriage plans on hold in a big way in the time of COVID-19, Harris County authorities say
(AP Photo/Yasin Akgul)HOUSTON – The Harris County Clerk’s Office said the pandemic has taken its toll on love with people putting their marriage plans on hold. Harris County Clerk's Office graph showing marriage license applications from 2015-2020. (Harris County Clerk's Office)The chart provides totals dating back to 2015. To provide a uniform assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the number of marriage license applications, the covered period ends in 2020. AdApplications for marriage licenses are carried out by appointment only.
Houston hospitals need more nurses to help care for COVID-19 patients
HOUSTON – Nurses are playing an important role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and Houston’s health authority said hospitals are looking for more of them. Speaking with the news media on Monday, he also had a message for retired nurses and nurses currently out of the workforce. “If you’re thinking about getting back into it, the community could certainly use you now,” Dr. Persse said. Everyone needs and is looking for nurses in all capacities,” said Angela Gray, regional business development manager for ProHealth Medical Staffing. LINKS:- Harris Health (Feb. 23, 2021, virtual event information): https://jobs.harrishealth.org/- Houston Methodist (Feb. 2, 2021 nursing virtual open house): https://www.houstonmethodistcareers.org/jobs/nursing/- ProHealth Medical Staffing: https://www.phmstaffing.com/
Florida man travels to Houston after suffering from enlarged tongue following COVID-19 diagnosis
HOUSTON – A Houston doctor helped restore a Florida man’s quality of life after he suffered from a rare condition while being treated for COVID-19. Macroglossia, a medical term for an enlarged tongue, it is extremely rare and uncomfortable. Jones, who lives in Lake City, Florida, was hospitalized for three weeks because of the coronavirus. During that time, his tongue became enlarged, making it hard to talk or eat. Jones can now talk and eat again, though the pressure of the enlarged tongue forced him to remove four bottom teeth.
After crushing cookie season, Girl Scouts are back with new ways to safely sell during pandemic
HOUSTON – It’s almost that time of year again -- Girl Scout Cookie time! Last year, the coronavirus outbreak struck right in the middle of cookie season, but this year, the Girl Scouts are back, finding safe and innovative ways to carry on the tradition. The Girl Scouts are also using the GrubHub app to get you your cookie fix. “So when you open the GrubHub app you’ll have the option to order Girl Scout cookies. AdThings to know for Girl Scout cookie season:- Girl Scouts will be following all CDC guidelines, wearing maks and practicing social distancing when conducting in-person sales- Ask a Girl Scout for the link to her digital storefront or place an order directly with her.
Small business owners: Get answers today for your PPP questions
HOUSTON – If you are a small business owner or you know someone who is, tell them about the Texas governor’s webinar Wednesday to give an update on recovery resources through the Small Business Administration like the Paycheck Protection Program. They will answer questions live during the online session today from 1 to 2 p.m.You don’t have to pay to participate, but you do need to register online because there is a maximum capacity of 10,000 attendees. What: Governor’s Small Business Webinar Series: Information on the New Round of PPP FundingWhen: January 27, 2021, 1-2 p.m.Where: Online WebinarAbout the Event:The Governor’s Small Business Team will host a webinar for Texas small business owners to provide an update on recovery resources through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), specifically the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Our panel of experts will include senior executives from the SBA and Small Business Development Centers. They will explain the recent changes and provide up-to-date advice on the new round of PPP funding, loan forgiveness, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and other important resources.
What happens to leftover COVID-19 vaccine doses?
HOUSTON – Criminal charges were dropped against a Harris County Public Health doctor who was fired after being accused of stealing a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine. The bigger question is, what happens to leftover doses to make sure they’re safeguarded at the various vaccination sites? Protocols and policiesKPRC 2 discovered the policies and protocols vary slightly between the different hospitals, counties and health districts that handle and administer the COVID-19 vaccine. “Accounting for medications is a process well known to clinical staff,” said Sally Sparks, Ft. Bend County Health and Human Services. If there are not enough staff to receive the unused doses, we allow Fort Bend County clinical staff to sign out the doses in the dispensing log.
Mayor Turner, Judge Hidalgo participate in national Memorial to Lives Lost to COVID-19
HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo participated in the national Memorial to Lives Lost to COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon. The combined Honor Guard from the Houston Police Department and Houston Fire Department also participated in the memorial. This was the nation’s first nationwide COVID-19 Memorial to Lives Lost, which was part of the Inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. The event emphasized the importance of the past and remembers the lives lost to the coronavirus and gives hope to the future. I encourage everyone to join us by illuminating your building, ringing a bell, and watching the virtual program,” Turner said.
Houston Newsmakers: Conspiracy, lies lead to Capitol insurrection
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A protester holds a Trump flag inside the US Capitol Building near the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)1 (2021 Getty Images)What drove thousands of Trump supporters to Washington, D.C. on January 6th? Thousands of them rioted and attacked the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress, upset with election results that showed former Vice President Joe Biden beating President Trump.
’It is literally a drop in the bucket’: Fort Bend County Judge says he’s equally frustrated over wait for more COVID-19 vaccines
HOUSTON – Fort Bend County Judge KP George said he’s equally as frustrated as others waiting on COVID-19 vaccines. The county received about 1,000 doses last week but they’re already gone. The problem: The county needs more doses and it’s not alone. Still, Judge George is optimistic. He also said the county is ready to open four or five vaccine locations but it needs the doses to arrive first.
Kingwood community holds vigil for woman battling COVID-19 for over a month
KINGWOOD, Texas – A community joined hands in prayer Tuesday, in the parking lot of a hospital, to hold vigil for a woman who has battled COVID-19 for over a month. She’s my baby doll,” Sarge Summers said. Sarge Summers has kept thousands abreast with his wife’s journey through social media. They need to know that God is still on the throne and they need to know that God still heals,” Sarge Summers continued. “I think prayer pits people in good spirits.
Texas opens COVID-19 care facility at Austin Convention Center to provide 25 more beds, with room to grow
Joining him are Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd (left) and former State Representative Dr. John Zerwas (right). (Photo by Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images)AUSTIN, Texas – Texas opened an additional facility on Tuesday to expand hospital capacity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in central Texas, according to Governor Greg Abbott’s Office. The facility will provide central Texas with additional hospital beds, medical equipment, and medical personnel to assist with the region’s COVID-19 response. The facility has a capacity of 25 beds and can expand to more beds if needed, according to the governor’s office. “This Alternate Care Site in central Texas will reduce the burden on local hospitals and help ensure that Texans diagnosed with COVID-19 receive the care they need,” Abbott is quoted as saying in a news release.
A Harvard professor strikes a chord in poem dedicated to frontline workers fighting the pandemic
HOUSTON – A Harvard Medical School professor and doctor of internal medicine published a poem as an ode to essential workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic and their families and it’s now circulating widely on social media. Wendy Stead, MD authored the poem “An Essential Worker’s List of Pandemic Chores for the Kids”, written about the children of essential workers who were left home to take care of the chores, from laundry to schoolwork. In the poem published on the JAMA Network, she emphasized that she “is an essential worker” and called it a comfort of being one “while the dead (bodies) piled up.”“It’s OK to lose the game. Sometimes a leader needs to stay calm so everyone else knows it will be OK,” the poem said. Many of the readers on JAMA Network took the time to comment on her poem, saying it captured the conflict between a mom with her love for her children and her career as a frontline worker.