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State-run homes for Texans with developmental disabilities aren’t ready for coronavirus outbreaks, some workers warn

State-run homes for Texans with developmental disabilities aren’t ready for coronavirus outbreaks, some workers warn

 When the novel coronavirus hit Texas, Mike Danks immediately began to worry about the possibility of an outbreak at the state-run home where his 31-year-old daughter, Sarah Danks, lives.Sarah Danks, who has moderate to severe autism, functions at the level of a 6-year-old and requires medication every day to manage her behavioral issues, her father said. For six years, she has been a resident of the Denton State Supported Living Center, the largest of the 13 state homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.Mike Danks was right to be worried. were first reported March...

April 9, 2020
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Coronavirus in Texas: 48,693 cases and 1,347 deaths

Coronavirus in Texas: 48,693 cases and 1,347 deaths

The Texas Tribune is using data from the to track how many people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Texas each day. The state data comes from local health officials, and it may not represent all cases of the disease given limited testing. Here's what we know about the daily numbers.Gov. Greg Abbott is looking at to justify his decision to restart the Texas economy — the and . Here’s in the first to weeks of May when Texas began reopening.To get the Texas Tribune’s in your inbox, sign up for our .On March 4, DSHS reported Texas’ , in Fort Bend County. The patient had recently...

April 14, 2020
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Bexar County GOP chair refuses to resign for posting racist George Floyd conspiracy theory despite calls from her own party

Bexar County GOP chair refuses to resign for posting racist George Floyd conspiracy theory despite calls from her own party

Editor's note: this story has been updated to reflect that Cynthia Brehm says she will not resign.Gov. and other top Texas Republicans are calling for the resignation of the GOP chair in one of the state's biggest counties after she floated a conspiracy theory about the death of George Floyd. The chairwoman, Bexar County's Cynthia Brehm, is refusing to step down.In a since-deleted Facebook post from this week, Brehm asked for her friends' thoughts on a theory that Floyd's death was a "staged event," apparently to gin up opposition to President Donald Trump. There is no evidence to support...

June 4, 2020
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U.S. Supreme Court blocks elimination of DACA, protecting more than 100,000 Texans from immediate threat of deportation

U.S. Supreme Court blocks elimination of DACA, protecting more than 100,000 Texans from immediate threat of deportation

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against the Trump administration's efforts to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, declaring in a 5-to-4 opinion that the 2012 initiative was inappropriately terminated by the Trump administration.The court's decision comes nearly three years after Trump announced he was terminating the policy, known as DACA, that has protected more than 130,000 Texans from deportation since its inception, the second-highest total of any state after California. As of December 2019, there were about 107,000 Texans with DACA permits,...

June 18, 2020
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“How many more are coming?” What it’s like inside hospitals as coronavirus grips Texas’ Rio Grande Valley

“How many more are coming?” What it’s like inside hospitals as coronavirus grips Texas’ Rio Grande Valley

Reporting and writing by Shannon Najmabadi, photography by Miguel Gutierrez Jr.*correction appendedEDINBURG — At midnight in South Texas, nearly every bed is full in a low-slung building housing some of the sickest COVID-19 patients near the U.S.-Mexico border.Many patients in this unit, a hospice center at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance remade into a coronavirus ward, are sedated, intubated and attached by a tangle of cords to the whirring and beeping machines keeping them alive. Some are in individual rooms; dozens more are lined up in vacated bay divided into a grid by curtains to...

July 2, 2020
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Gov. Greg Abbott warns if spread of COVID-19 doesn’t slow, “the next step would have to be a lockdown”

Gov. Greg Abbott warns if spread of COVID-19 doesn’t slow, “the next step would have to be a lockdown”

Need to stay updated on coronavirus news in Texas? Our evening roundup will help you stay on top of the day’s latest updates. .With Texas continuing to break records for new coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations this week, Gov. reiterated Friday afternoon that things will continue to get worse. And if people keep flouting his new , he said, the next step could be another economic lockdown.“Things will get worse, and let me explain why,” . “The deaths that we’re seeing announced today and yesterday — which are now over 100 — those are people who likely contracted COVID-19 in late May.“The...

July 10, 2020
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Texas faces a looming $4.6 billion deficit, comptroller projects

Texas faces a looming $4.6 billion deficit, comptroller projects

Texas Comptroller delivered bleak but unsurprising news Monday: Because of the economic fallout triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the amount of general revenue available for the state’s current two-year budget is projected to be roughly $11.5 billion less than originally estimated. That puts the state on track to end the biennium, which runs through August 2021, with a deficit of nearly $4.6 billion, Hegar said.The coronavirus pandemic has steered the economy into the path of a recession. .are a significant downward revision from , when the comptroller said the state would have over...

July 20, 2020
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These “last responders” deal with the bodies as coronavirus deaths surge in the Rio Grande Valley

These “last responders” deal with the bodies as coronavirus deaths surge in the Rio Grande Valley

Reporting and writing by Shannon Najmabadi, photography by Miguel Gutierrez Jr.McALLEN— Juan Lopez is in the ambulance bay of a McAllen hospital, zipping a gauzy blue jumpsuit over a Polo button-down and work slacks. Two well-worn stretchers are in the back of his Cadillac Escalade, a pack of Marlboros near the gear shift.It’s Saturday morning in South Texas, and the corpse of a 60-something-year-old needs to get to a funeral home — specifically, a refrigerated truck behind a funeral home that’s run out of storage space. The deceased coronavirus patient goes in the back of the Escalade, and...

July 21, 2020
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Hope, fear and hula hoops. How four Texas schools are preparing to bring students back into classrooms.

Hope, fear and hula hoops. How four Texas schools are preparing to bring students back into classrooms.

Need to stay updated on coronavirus news in Texas? Our evening roundup will help you stay on top of the day's latest updates.Across Texas, teachers and are that will become the next front lines in the battle with the coronavirus pandemic.While much teaching will continue online, most of Texas' more than want to .It’s a tense moment, a fraught experiment to see whether students and educators can — and a semblance of a normal school year — without triggering further spread of the coronavirus and debilitating weakened communities., knowing it is possible that colleagues and students could...

August 13, 2020
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Child care centers, bars and sporting events scheduled for Texas' next phase of reopening

Child care centers, bars and sporting events scheduled for Texas' next phase of reopening

Gov. on Monday announced his next wave of reopenings designed to restart the Texas economy during the coronavirus pandemic, saying child care facilities can reopen immediately, bars can open Friday with limited capacity and sporting events can return without fans at the end of the month.Abbott also said he would permit restaurants to operate at 50% capacity starting Friday, up from 25% that’s allowed now.At the same time, Abbott exempted two hot-spot regions — Amarillo and El Paso — from his latest decisions, saying they would need to wait a week — until May 29 — while the state's surge...

May 18, 2020
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