Texas will receive over 900,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine next week
(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)Texas will receive more than 900,000 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine next week, state health officials said Friday. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the state will distribute more than 900,000 first doses and 674,580 second doses to providers in 183 of the state’s counties. As of Friday, Texas providers have administered more than 8.8 million doses of the vaccine, 1.2 million of those administered in the last week. More than 6 million people have received at least one dose, and more than 3 million are fully vaccinated. AdNearly one in seven of all Texans at least 16 years old are now fully vaccinated, health officials said.
Harris County, Houston health officials issue COVID-19 safety guidance for schools
HOUSTON – Health officials in both Houston and Harris County issued a list of coronavirus safety guidelines as the ending of the state’s mask mandate and capacity limits approaches. In a joint letter published Friday, officials at Harris County Public Health and the Houston Health Department laid out nine points of guidance. New guidance for schools from Harris County Public Health and the Houston Health Dept. Greg Abbott is no longer limiting capacity in private businesses and is lifting the state’s mask mandate. Abbott addressed schools in his order by requiring them to follow COVID-19 guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency.
Houston-area will receive influx of COVID-19 vaccine doses this week
Vaccinations in the U.S. began last week with healthcare workers, with at least 556,000 doses reportedly administered. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)The Greater Houston-area is set to receive an influx of over 62,000 COVID-19 vaccines this week, driven by an increase in the number of vaccines provided to the state by the federal government and large allocations to Houston-area providers, state officials announced Friday. The Harris County’s public health department and the City of Houston’s public health department are slated to receive 9,000 vaccinations each. In addition to the first doses coming, the state ordered 188,225 doses intended as the second dose for people first vaccinated a few weeks ago. “Currently, there is not enough vaccine to supply every provider with vaccine every week.”AdAs of Friday, Texas providers have administered nearly 2.2 million doses of the vaccine.
Houston Health Department prioritizing COVID-19 vaccinations for city’s most vulnerable residents
This week, the Houston Health Department will focus its COVID-19 vaccine allocation efforts on people at the highest risk for severe illness and those in vulnerable communities, the department said in a release. Those who received their first dose from the health department will be contacted to schedule a second dose appointment. Houston Health department appointments are currently full based on supply. The department urges residents not to contact the city’s COVID-19 call center about first dose appointments because no slots are currently available. AdWhen first dose vaccination appointments are available, the appointment portal for Houston Health Department vaccine clinics will open at HoustonEmergency.org/covid19.
Crowded Houston nightclub evacuated over ‘life-safety concern’
HOUSTON – Authorities evacuated a crowded Houston club overnight for “life-safety concern” described as going “beyond the issue with COVID.”At around 12:30 a.m. Sunday, officers were dispatched to Spire Nightclub, located at 1720 Main St. in downtown Houston, in reference to reports of a large gathering. In addition to the crowding outside, the club had exceeded its capacity inside, Houston police said. The club was hosting an event dubbed the “All Black Affair” Saturday night, according the club’s website. It was to the point where it became a life safety issue, a fire hazard. Spire Nightclub was one of the first business listed on the wall and remains there to this day.
Texans’ love of the outdoors has blossomed amid the pandemic
Though they’ve visited state parks before, the anxieties of quarantine motivated them to get outside more. I left Laguna Atascosa and headed north to the final stop on my road trip, Caprock Canyons State Park. The cap on state park visitors has helped prevent the park from getting overwhelmed, but it has been busy nevertheless. HOW TO VISIT PARKS SAFELYMake reservations online: Almost all state parks are open with limited capacity. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recommends making advance reservations on its website, tpwd.texas.gov.
These Houston-area hospitals are set to receive the coronavirus vaccine first
The Houston-area’s first batch of the coronavirus vaccine will include 59,475 doses of the inoculation, state health authorities announced last week. Greg Abbott said that the state would receive its first allotment of the vaccine — approximately 1.4 million doses from the drug makers Pfizer and Moderna — beginning in mid-December, pending federal approval. 21 hospitals in Harris County, four in Montgomery County, one in Galveston County and one in Fort Bend County were selected to receive the vaccine. “I intend to take the vaccine and I intend to get vaccinated in a very public way. Here’s a list of the local hospitals set to receive the state’s first allocation of the vaccine.
Texas passes 500K cases; infection rate soars to new high
AUSTIN, Texas Texas surpassed 500,000 confirmed coronavirus cases Tuesday as Republican Gov. He also continued to say more testing in Texas is likely after dropping off in recent weeks, a trend seen across the U.S. even as deaths mount. Although health officials say there are encouraging signs in Texas particularly hospitalization levels that have dropped more than 30 percent since July's peak infection rates have been on a steady increase. The rising infection rate comes as testing in Texas has plummeted, with the seven-day average dropping below 30,000 on Tuesday for the first time since June, according to state figures. In Austin, health officials say testing has fallen off dramatically from more than 6,000 a week in July, but said the reason was a decrease in demand.
Private schools in Texas limit enrollment as they aim to reopen classrooms
But if they fall short on safety, private schools are more vulnerable to lawsuits than public schools. Texas has about 900 accredited private schools that served about 250,000 students last academic year, according to the Texas Private Schools Association. Public schools usually have to set aside a portion of federal money for equitable services for private school students. The latter option means Texas private schools could potentially get up to $44.2 million in federal funding, while the former would allocate about $5.5 million to private schools about a more than $38 million difference. Disclosure: The Texas Private Schools Association has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors.
Trumps `strong wall to block COVID-19 from China had holes
We saved millions of U.S. lives!Trump on Jan. 31 announced the original travel ban on any non-U.S. residents who had recently been in mainland China. Even with those low totals, Hong Kong has struggled with at least three spikes of COVID-19 cases: one in late February. And right now thats Hong Kong, the CDCs director, Dr. Robert Redfield, testified during a House hearing on Feb. 27. Federal health officials planned to funnel the thousands of people returning from China through 11 airports for health screenings over the several weeks. The agency acknowledged that data problems contributed to thousands of notifications not being sent to state health departments.
Texas reopening guide: Everything you need to know as state begins phase 1 of reopening today
HOUSTON – After weeks of staying home to slow the spread of coronavirus, the stay-home order issued by Texas Gov. People traveling from New York, Chicago, Detroit and other places will still need to self-quarantine for 14 days after coming to Texas. Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas. Phase 2 aimed to begin May 18Abbott said he is aiming for May 18 as the target date for the start of the second phase of his reopening Texas plan. Abbott hopes that in Phase 2, Texas will be able to reopen barber shops, hair and nail salons, bars and gyms.