Latest on the Coronavirus

UTRGV halts vaccine registration due to overwhelming requests

The amount of vaccine requests has overwhelmed the University of Texas School of Medicine and UT Health RGV, prompting the temporary suspension of registrations...

Valley lawmakers hopeful for Medicaid expansion

With the focus on health care growing stronger due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state legislators representing the Rio Grande Valley are hopeful that Medicaid...

Record days for Texas COVID-19 hospitalizations continue

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas coronavirus hospitalizations continued to edge closer to the 14,000 level Friday as the string of record hospitalizations continued, state...

State orders Valley businesses to reduce capacity, halts elective surgeries

Businesses in the Rio Grande Valley will have to drop to 50% capacity and elective surgeries will be halted because the state now considers...

Virus vaccine demand is huge; Brownsville clinic to take place next week

As a new surge of holiday-gathering-related COVID-19 cases grips the Rio Grande Valley, the demand for the vaccine greatly surpasses supply. Esmeraldo Guajardo, administrator for...

U.S. tops 4,000 daily deaths from coronavirus for 1st time

By EUGENE GARCIA, LISA MARIE PANE and THALIA BEATY Associated Press ORANGE, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. topped 4,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day...

Five Willacy residents COVID-19 positive

RAYMONDVILLE — State health officials have found five more Willacy County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, pushing the rural area’s total case...

SPI extends beach operations order

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — While on the beach of this coastal city, the public will still need to continue following these rules that were...

County virus cases surging; Holiday gatherings are driving numbers higher

A big enough percentage of Cameron County residents have ignored the pleas of health experts and elected officials to take precautions and avoid gatherings...

Area leaders warn of COVID-19 crisis

HARLINGEN — Area leaders Thursday called on residents to take strict safeguards to help curb a wave of holiday-spawned COVID-19 cases that have led...

Texas sees 1st case of new variant amid push for more shots

By JIM VERTUNO and JUAN A. LOZANO Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas reported its first known case of a person infected with the...

Eleven COVID-19 related deaths, 540 positive cases in Hidalgo County

Hidalgo County officials reported 11 COVID-19 related deaths and an additional 540 positive cases of the virus on Wednesday, raising the total number of...

US registering highest deaths yet from the coronavirus

By LISA MARIE PANE Associated Press The U.S. registered more COVID-19 deaths in a single day than ever before -- nearly 3,900 -- on the...

Cameron County reports 5 more virus deaths

Cameron County has confirmed five more COVID-19 related deaths and 303 new coronavirus cases here. The deaths were reported in Brownsville, Harlingen, La Feria and...

San Benito CISD offers remote learning option after winter break

SAN BENITO — After a holiday break, students are being welcomed back to class at this school district with the option of having face-to-face...

COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic set for Harlingen

HARLINGEN — Cameron County will hold its first COVID-19 community vaccination clinic in Harlingen on Friday, targeting people 65 and older and those suffering...

Oncologist, fire chief stress safety of COVID vaccine for cancer patients

It’s safe for cancer survivors and patients undergoing chemotherapy to take the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a local specialist. DHR Health oncologist Dr. Lee Drinkard...

COVID-19 exhausting Texas ICU beds as hospitalizations soar

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Coronavirus cases are exhausting the availability of intensive-care unit beds in parts of Texas as hospitalizations with COVID-19 continue to...

Willacy County awaits first vaccine shipment

RAYMONDVILLE — A week after his vaccination, Police Chief Uvaldo Zamora is waiting for most of his officers to take the vaccine to protect...

Second community vaccine clinic to open in La Joya

A second community clinic for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations is scheduled to open Thursday in La Joya. The clinic will administer Moderna COVID-19 vaccines...

Cameron County lifts curfews

Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. has signed an 11th amended Emergency Management Order that includes the wearing of facial coverings and limitations on...

16 Willacy residents COVID-19 positive

RAYMONDVILLE — State health officials have found 16 more Willacy County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, pushing the rural area’s total case...

DHR Health administering second dose of Pfizer vaccine

People who received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine through DHR Health will be receiving their second vaccine starting Thursday. “These doses are...

16 more people succumb to virus in Valley

Sixteen deaths due to COVID-19 across the Rio Grande Valley were reported on Tuesday, along with 842 new cases. Ten of those deaths along with...

Overwhelming response to first Hidalgo County vaccine clinic

MERCEDES — The first person showed up to Hidalgo County’s initial community COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Mercedes almost 30 hours early. A few minutes...

Point Isabel ISD extends winter break

PORT ISABEL — Out of an abundance of caution, this school district decided it was best to delay students return to instruction to try...

Mexico to vaccinate rural elderly, but still awaits vaccine

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Once Mexico has vaccinated its frontline medical workers against COVID-19, the government will turn its attention to the elderly living...

Downtown board debates, then delays, plans for Feb. festival

HARLINGEN — The time may still not be right for major city-sponsored events. The Downtown Improvement Board on Tuesday tabled a proposal for a daylong...

Hidalgo County’s vaccination clinic ended before it began

MERCEDES — Before doors opened to Hidalgo County’s first community COVID-19 vaccine clinic at 8 a.m., they announced they had reached their limit on...

One more COVID-19 death reported in Cameron County

One more Cameron County resident has died from COVID-19 related causes, the county health department reported Monday afternoon. This raises the total number of COVID-19...

If I’ve already had the coronavirus, can I get it again?

(AP) - If I've already had the coronavirus, can I get it again? It's possible, but such cases seem to be rare. Evidence is growing that...

SBA extends disaster loans for small businesses, nonprofits

HARLINGEN — The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Monday that the deadline to apply for special economic disaster loans has been extended until Dec. 31,...

Cities offering help during pandemic’s economic slowdown

HARLINGEN — The area’s cities are offering a helping hand as residents enter their second year of the coronavirus pandemic. In Harlingen, city commissioners have earmarked...

64 Willacy residents test COVID-19 positive

RAYMONDVILLE — State health officials have found 64 more Willacy County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus during the last week, driving the rural...

Hospitalizations continue to spike in Hidalgo County, state

Hidalgo County reported seven additional COVID-19 related deaths and 448 new cases Monday as the rate of hospitalizations continues to climb both locally and...

Texas on brink of record 13K in hospitals as virus surges

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas was on the brink Monday of surpassing a record 13,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as the number of new...

Some relief: New measure includes payments to mixed households

The $2 trillion CARES Act, signed into law in late March, denied direct COVID-19 relief payments to married couples of mixed immigration status, though...

Roma police chief dies from COVID-19

Roma Police Chief Jose H. Garcia died due to complications from COVID-19 on Monday. Roma Police Chief Jose H. Garcia Garcia’s family first reported he had...

Have you received your $600 stimulus check?

The Internal Revenue Service has set up an online portal so you can get an update on your $600 stimulus check. The IRS says the...

Texas reports new record high for COVID-19 hospitalizations

DALLAS (AP) — Texas hit a new record high for COVID-19 hospitalizations Sunday, as a surge in the disease caused by the novel coronavirus...

BEARING WITNESS: Friend honors memory of farmworker, musician, jack of all trades

Editor’s note: After John Garza of McAllen read several Bearing Witness articles in The Monitor, he decided to write about his dear friend Pedro...

Mexico City ban on single-use plastics takes effect

By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN Associated Press MEXICO CITY (AP) — A broad ban on single-use containers, forks, straws and other ubiquitous items takes effect in Mexico's...

Calamity comes: How COVID-19 left its mark on the Valley

“It’s safe to say that things are getting a little strange out there,” read the first line on the front page story of The...

Hidalgo Co. judge orders temporary curfew for residents 17 and younger

Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez has ordered a temporary curfew for individuals 17 and under for the New Year’s holiday weekend. The order came...

Outgoing Texas House speaker tests positive for coronavirus

DALLAS (AP) — Dennis Bonnen, the outgoing speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, said Sunday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, as...

Highlights of COVID-19, government funding law taking effect

(AP) - The massive, year-end catchall bill that President Donald Trump signed into law combines $900 billion in COVID-19 aid with a $1.4 trillion omnibus...

Requests for state resources show Valley on brink of disaster amid pandemic

Face masks, isolation gowns, surgical caps, and small, medium and large gloves — 500 of each. These were the first State of Texas Assistance...

Trump signs massive measure funding government, COVID relief

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump has signed a $900 billion pandemic relief package that will deliver long-sought cash to businesses and...

Texas hospital offers vaccine to pharmacists, school nurses

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Houston hospital system plans to start vaccinating workers from outside its own buildings with its next phase of shots...

Virus hospital cases on the rise; Up 50% since Halloween

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Rio Grande Valley continue to fluctuate but they are undoubtedly on the rise, having increased by 32% since Thanksgiving and...

Many concerns raised in Latin America, hard hit by COVID-19

Patrick J. Mcdonnell and Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times MEXICO CITY — In Latin America, a region hard hit by pandemic, poverty and flawed health...

Three Willacy residents COVID-19 positive

RAYMONDVILLE — State health officials have found three more Willacy County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, pushing the rural area’s total case...

Grieving daughter touched by billboard campaign honoring COVID victims’ memories

Hidalgo County chose to honor what seems like the innumerous victims of COVID-19 with the launch of a billboard campaign that pays tribute to...

Over 1M passengers screened for flights in US

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of passengers screened for flights in the U.S. topped nearly 1.2 million Wednesday for the first time since...

Coronavirus dampens Christmas joy in Bethlehem and elsewhere

By JOSEF FEDERMAN and JALAL HASSAN Associated Press BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Bethlehem on Thursday ushered in Christmas Eve with a stream of joyous...

Roma employees partake in plan to raise vitamin D to combat COVID-19

Employees with the city of Roma are participating in a health initiative to raise vitamin D levels as a way to combat the symptoms...

State urges COVID-19 vaccine providers to aggressively use up doses

A letter from the Department of State Health Services was sent Wednesday urging COVID-19 vaccine providers to use up their doses “with all deliberate...

‘We are struggling’: A bleak Christmas for America’s jobless

NEW YORK — Last Christmas, Shanita Matthews cooked up a feast for her family of three: Roast chicken, barbecue spareribs, spinach, macaroni and cheese. This...

Hidalgo County inches closer to virus case milestone

Hidalgo County confirmed an additional eight deaths due to COVID-19 on Thursday as cases continue to inch toward the 50,000 mark since the onset...

COVID Confessions: Be kind and considerate — musings from a former retail worker

Holidays are typically seen as a festive and joyous time of year where families can get together to eat plentiful, open presents, watch the...

A Different Christmas: Churches adapt to celebrate the most special holiday

For as long as we can remember, if you grew up in a Christian house, Christmas Eve was time to spend with family, eat...

Leaders urge Christmas caution; COVID cases still rising from Thanksgiving

The number of COVID-19 cases in Cameron County is steadily rising in the run-up to Christmas, a trend disturbingly similar to early summer just...

22,000 Moderna vaccines bound for Valley

More than 22,000 doses of the most recently approved COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna will be shipped to the Rio Grande Valley this week. Most...

Workforce commission has plan to help restaurants

HARLINGEN — The Texas Workforce Commission has approved a new initiative aimed at helping the state’s restaurants negotiate their way through the COVID-19 pandemic. The...

Here’s why the mail is taking so long and your packages might be late

Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press DETROIT — Robyn Sawyers was scanning a list of thousands of Christmas letters from U.S. Postal Service's yearly Operation Santa,...

Texas official urges people to stay home as virus cases soar

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Health officials in the Texas state capital on Wednesday again urged people to avoid holiday gatherings to slow the spread...

Rental assistance program designed to avoid evictions extended until March 15

By Kate McGee, Texas Tribune The Texas Supreme Court has extended its emergency eviction relief program for tenants behind on rent through at least March...

Texas inmates haven’t received coronavirus vaccine

By Jolie McCullough, Texas Tribune Texas’ prisons and jails have been coronavirus hot spots throughout the pandemic. At least about 200 Texas inmates have died...

Cameron County reports 4 virus deaths

Four more Cameron County residents have died from COVID-19 related causes, the county health department reported Tuesday. The deaths were reported in Brownsville, Harlingen and...

Starr County health authority encourages providers to vaccinate as many as possible

Following criticism of state Sen. Eddie Lucio who was photographed over the weekend receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, the Starr County Health Authority came to...

COVID-19 cases exceed 49,000 in Hidalgo County

Hidalgo County’s total number of likely coronavirus cases breached 49,000 Tuesday as the county reported 293 more positive cases and four more deaths. Out of...

5 more COVID-19 deaths reported in Cameron County

Five more Cameron County residents have died from COVID-19 related causes, the county health department reported Monday afternoon. This raises the total number of COVID-19...

Mexican priest who defended migrants dies of COVID-19

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Migrant advocates and Roman Catholics on Sunday marked the death of Rev. Pedro Pantoja, a priest who helped found a...

Abbott to receive COVID-19 vaccine today

By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is getting the COVID-19 vaccine as the number of patients hospitalized...

UTRGV vaccine information campaign combats conspiracies

The COVID-19 vaccine is not a medium of control such as implanting a microchip in the blood, UTRGV School of Medicine Dean Dr. John...

Lives lost to COVID-19 to be displayed on billboards

Hidalgo County announced six additional COVID-19 related deaths and 411 new cases of the virus Monday. The deaths include two men and a woman over...

9,856 in Texas hospitals with COVID-19, more vaccines on way

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Texas continues to increase, as more doses of the vaccine are expected...

Health workers at DHR declined COVID-19 vaccine, state senator and others lined up

By Vianna Davila, The Texas Tribune and ProPublica, and Karen Brooks Harper, The Texas Tribune So many workers at a hospital in the Rio Grande...

Texas Capitol reopening after being closed over virus fears

By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Capitol will reopen to the public in January after being closed for much...

Biden to receive COVID vaccine as Trump remains on sidelines

By JILL COLVIN Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden will receive his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on live television as part...

Texas surpasses 25,000 virus deaths, awaits more vaccines

HOUSTON (AP) — Texas on Saturday surpassed 25,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, the second-highest total in the country. State health officials reported 272 new...

Surrounded by death and division, Valley medical workers emerge triumphant

Time faded inside Fermin Herrera’s hospital room at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen. Stricken with COVID-19 and heavily medicated, the Missouri gentleman who...

EDITORIAL: Heroic: RGV Citizens of the Year risked lives to save others

Heroes tend to be humble. Perhaps that humility inspires them to their selfless acts. “I was just doing my job,” we’ve heard from many...

US clears Moderna vaccine for COVID-19, 2nd shot in arsenal

By LAURAN NEERGAARD and MATTHEW PERRONE | Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. added a second COVID-19 vaccine to its arsenal Friday, boosting efforts...

TEA nixes proposal to allow continued online education

Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath has rejected a proposal submitted by dozens of South Texas superintendents earlier this week that would have given...

Extra doses may give a boost to vaccination capabilities

Extra doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being found in the vials sent by Pfizer BioNTech that, if used, would allow more people to...

Bidens to get first vaccine dose on Monday

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, will be getting their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Monday. That’s according to Biden’s...

Bayview man is latest COVID-19 victim in Cameron County

Another Cameron County resident has died from COVID-19 related causes, the county health department reported Thursday. The death of the man in his 70s was...

Cortez calls TEA refusal to offer flexibility to Valley schools shameful

State Board of Education Member Ruben Cortez expressed disappointment Friday over Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath's refusal to approve a proposal signed by...

5 more COVID-19 deaths, 505 new cases reported in Hidalgo Co.

Five more Hidalgo County residents died due to COVID-19 related complications and 505 tested positive, the county reported Friday. The five individuals included an Edinburg...

Four more virus deaths, 522 new cases in Hidalgo Co. 

Four more deaths linked to COVID-19 were reported in Hidalgo County on Thursday, according to a news release. County officials also announced 522 new cases...

30 Willacy residents COVID-19 positive

RAYMONDVILLE — State health officials have found 30 more Willacy County residents testing positive for the coronavirus, driving the rural area’s total case count...

Edinburg hospital breaks ground on $100M patient tower

EDINBURG — South Texas Health System Edinburg broke ground on a $100 million hospital tower that will not only expand its bed capacity, but...

COVID-19 Update: City holds press conference on virus vaccine

The City of Brownsville held a virtual press conference where Mayor Trey Mendez, Public Health Director Art Rodriguez, renowned epidemiologist Dr. Joseph McCormick and...

DHR Health to host drive-thru flu shot event

Now you can get your flu shot in a drive-thru thanks to an event DHR Health is planning Saturday. Scheduled from 8:30 to 11 a.m.,...

FDA advisory panel endorses Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine

By MATTHEW PERRONE and LAURAN NEERGAARD Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — A government advisory panel endorsed a second COVID-19 vaccine Thursday, paving the way for...

Superintendents seek distance learning waiver

BISD Superintendent Rene Gutierrez and other superintendents in the Region One Educational Service Center have sent a letter to Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath...

1 million vaccine doses expected in Texas by year’s end

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — More than 1 million Texans are expected to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by the end of the month as part...

BISD teachers to receive $400 bonus

The Brownsville Independent School District Board of Trustees has approved a one-time payment of $400 to all full-time employees as bonus compensation for working...

Hidalgo County reports 8 deaths, 377 new COVID cases

A dozen deaths due to COVID-19 and 577 new cases were confirmed in the Rio Grande Valley on Wednesday. Eight of those deaths are Hidalgo...

County says virus rate ‘steady’

Although the state's COVID-19 positivity rate is in the red zone according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and cities like Austin...

Church to host toy giveaway for the community

Every year during Christmas season, members of the Templo La Hermosa would dress festive, gather little gifts for children in need and walk the...

National/World News

Texas sees deadliest COVID-19 day so far with 58 deaths

DALLAS (AP) — Texas saw its deadliest COVID-19 day of the coronavirus pandemic so far, with state officials reporting 58 deaths during a time...

More virus testing in Texas prisons, Houston furloughs 3,000

By JUAN A. LOZANO and PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — Texas will begin widespread coronavirus testing in state prisons where at least...

Analysis: Reopening just a little bit isn’t really a big boon for the economy

By Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune Really opening Texas would require the governor and like-minded officials to actually put businesses in a situation where they could...

Houston officials use poop to track the spread of COVID-19

By JASPER SCHERER Houston Chronicle HOUSTON (AP) — City health officials and Rice University scientists have begun testing Houston wastewater samples for COVID-19, a process...

More than 1,000 new virus cases, 39 more deaths in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — At least 1,000 more people in Texas have tested positive for COVID-19 as the number of cases continues to climb...

Lawsuit: Texas rules for mail-in voting won’t work during pandemic

By Alexa Ura, Texas Tribune A coalition of voters and civil rights groups opened a new front Monday in the legal wars over mail-in voting...

Mental health hotline is helping Texans navigate the pandemic

By Elvia Limón, Texas Tribune Within the first month of its launch, the state’s new mental health support line received nearly 2,000 calls from Texans...

Texas coronavirus death toll reaches 1,000 as Panhandle hot spots surge

By Nicole Cobler Austin American-Statesman AUSTIN, Texas — The coronavirus death toll in Texas surpassed 1,000 for the first time Friday, a grim milestone, as...

VP Pence’s press secretary tests positive for coronavirus

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE and AAMER MADHANI Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary has the coronavirus, the White House said Friday,...

Trump praises Abbott as states roll back limits

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, JILL COLVIN and PAUL WEBER Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump praised another Republican governor for rolling back state coronavirus...

Big 12 schools intend to open in fall, giving football hope

By CLIFF BRUNT and STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writers All 10 schools in the Big 12 Conference expect their campuses to be open in the...

Texas hair salons to reopen Friday, gyms to open May 18

By Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune Gov. Greg Abbott will allow hair salons in Texas to reopen Friday — and gyms will be allowed to open...

Scientist: Trump officials ignored warnings on drug, virus

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, MICHAEL BALSAMO and COLLEEN LONG Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — A government scientist was ousted after the Trump administration ignored his dire...

Texas tops 2 million unemployment claims during outbreak

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has passed the 2 million mark in unemployment claims filed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said...

NASA begs spectators for astronaut launch: Please stay home!

By MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA and SpaceX on Friday urged spectators to stay home for the first home...

As daily virus deaths spike, Texas reopens door for business

By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas charged toward reopening Friday despite the grim milestone of the state's deadliest single day...

Consolidated flights leave planes full and passengers uneasy

By DAVID KOENIG AP Airlines Writer DALLAS (AP) — Many flights are nearly empty these days, but the high number of cancellations by airlines trying...

Texas A&M, Texas Tech to reopen campuses, resume football in the fall

By Carrington Tatum, Texas Tribune Students, and football, are expected to return to College Station and Lubbock this fall. Texas A&M intends to reopen its 11...

COVID-19 diagnoses, fatalities continue to climb in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The number of reported illnesses diagnosed as caused by the new coronavirus continued to climb Wednesday, as did the death...

Lawsuit: US citizens with immigrant spouses should get help

By ASTRID GALVAN The Associated Press PHOENIX (AP) — The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund has sued the federal government over its denial...

AP Exclusive: Texas AG helped donor fight virus lockout

By PAUL J. WEBER and JAKE BLEIBERG Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — When a small county in the Colorado mountains banished everyone but locals...

Texas Supreme Court extends moratorium on evictions until May 18

By Juan Pablo Garnham, Texas Tribune The Texas Supreme Court extended the moratorium on eviction procedures until May 18, offering a few more weeks of...

COVID-19 risk against a paycheck

By Clare Proctor, Texas Tribune Gov. Greg Abbott’s Monday announcement that retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls will be allowed to reopen Friday means...

Southwest posts 1st quarterly loss in almost a decade

By DAVID KOENIG AP Airlines Writer DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines posted its first quarterly loss in nearly a decade and said Tuesday that the...

Census says restart to field operations will be in phases

By MIKE SCHNEIDER Associated Press ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The U.S. Census Bureau's return to field operations for the 2020 national head count will take...

Texas to allow some into restaurants and retail on May 1

By JIM VERTUNO and PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott outlined Monday a slow reopening of one of...

COVID-19 deaths in Texas increase by 25, now stands at 648

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The number of deaths in Texas due to COVID-19, which is caused by the coronavirus, has risen by 25, the...

POLL: Most Texans think virus will be contained in the next few months

By Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune Texas voters are concerned about the coronavirus and believe it presents a serious crisis, and they are deeply worried about...

What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump has signed a $484 billion bill that aids employers and hospitals under stress from the coronavirus pandemic. The...

Texas accuses US’ largest egg producer of price gouging

HOUSTON (AP) — Texas' attorney general has accused the nation's largest egg producer of price gouging during the coronavirus pandemic. A lawsuit filed Thursday by...

Galveston will reopen public beaches for workouts

The Galveston City Council voted Thursday to reopen its beaches for specific uses, the Houston Chronicle reports. Exercise, surfing, swimming and fishing will be...

Virus pushes US unemployment to highest since Depression

By DAVID CRARY, KATHY GANNON, and ANGELA CHARLTON Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Unemployment in the U.S. has swelled to levels last seen during...

Governor defends testing levels as Texas begins reopening

By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday renewed his defense of coronavirus monitoring in Texas, which...

Governor defends testing levels as Texas begins reopening

By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday renewed his defense of coronavirus monitoring in Texas, which...

Doctors: Execution drugs could help COVID-19 patients

By JUAN A. LOZANO Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — Secrecy surrounding executions could hinder efforts by a group of medical professionals who are asking the...

Oil price goes negative as demand collapses; stocks dip

NEW YORK — Oil prices plunged below zero on Monday as demand for energy collapses amid the coronavirus pandemic and traders don’t want to...

College seniors face job worries, family stress amid virus

Sent home from college because of the coronavirus outbreak, Carter Oselett is back in his childhood bedroom, paying rent on an empty apartment near...

Texas governor begins easing restrictions to reopen economy

By PAUL J. WEBER and JIM VERTUNO Associated Press AUSTIN (AP) — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday began a slow reopening of Texas with...

Abbott issues order closing classrooms for the rest of the school year

Governor Greg Abbott announced today that he is ordering school classrooms to be closed for the remaining of the 2019-2020 school year. It applies to...

`LIBERATE!’: Trump goads states to lift virus restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — One day after laying out a roadmap for gradually reviving economic activity, President Donald Trump urged his supporters to “LIBERATE” three...

Texas universities are getting millions in federal money to offset coronavirus losses

By Raga Justin, Texas Tribune Texas universities and colleges are steeling themselves against the financial impact from a list of losses related to the new...

Facebook to warn users who ‘liked’ coronavirus hoaxes

NEW YORK (AP) — Have you liked or commented on a Facebook post about the COVID-19 pandemic? Facebook is about to begin letting you know...

Record 22 million have sought US jobless aid since virus

WASHINGTON — The wave of layoffs that has engulfed the U.S. economy since the coronavirus struck forced 5.2 million more people to seek unemployment benefits last...

Texas coronavirus deaths pass 300

DALLAS (AP) — The coronavirus death toll passed 300 in Texas Tuesday, as the state's juvenile prisons announced they will temporarily stop accepting young...

Texas governor says economy won’t reopen all at once

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas businesses won't all reopen at the same time, Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday, even as President Donald Trump itches...

Court lifts part of order blocking Texas abortion ban

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal appeals court on Friday partially rescinded a lower-court order that had largely blocked the enforcement of an abortion...

Texas COVID-19 cases top 10,000, deaths go past 200

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The volume of patients in Texas with the illness caused by the novel coronavirus topped 10,000 cases Thursday, with the...

Astros’ Alex Bregman launches $1M campaign to feed Houstonians

Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman has launched FEEDHOU, a $1M fundraising campaign to help feed Houston-area residents impacted by COVID-19. Proceeds from the...

First state prison inmate dies of COVID-19, lockdown expands

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A 72-year-old is first Texas state inmate reported to be a possible COVID-19 fatality during the new coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, a lawsuit...

Hopeful birdsong, foreboding sirens: A pandemic in sound

NEW YORK — Hopeful birdsong and foreboding sirens. Chiming church bells and bleating ferry horns. The coronavirus crisis has drastically transformed the world in sound....

More than 60 infected at Texas nursing home

By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Coronavirus outbreaks at two Texas nursing homes have infected more than 140 residents, and Gov....

Laredo orders residents to cover mouth, nose amid virus

LAREDO, Texas (AP) — Residents in one Texas city are being required to wear something that covers their nose and mouth when they're out...

28 students positive for coronavirus after spring break trip

AUSTIN (AP) — More than two dozen University of Texas students have tested positive for the coronavirus after taking a spring break trip to...

Texas closes school through May, extends social restrictions

By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that Texas' schools will stay closed through at least...

Texas tightens rules on neighboring Louisiana over virus

By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas is ratcheting up restrictions on neighboring Louisiana, one of the growing hot spots for...

Abbott blocks release of inmates who can’t pay bail

By Jolie McCullough and Emma Platoff, Texas Tribune As the new coronavirus continues to spread in Texas’ two biggest county jails, Gov. Greg Abbott has...

3.3 million seek US jobless aid, nearly 5 times earlier high

WASHINGTON — Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — nearly five times the previous record set in 1982 — amid...

More big Texas cities order residents to stay home

By JIM VERTUNO Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Several more major Texas cities issued orders telling their residents to stay in their homes on...

Trump says he hopes US will be reopened by Easter amid virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — With lives and the economy hanging in the balance, President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is hoping the country will be...

Hunt for medical gear to fight virus becomes all-consuming

PARIS — The hunt for masks, ventilators and other medical supplies consumed the U.S. and Europe on Monday, as new coronavirus infections soared and...

Gov. Abbott resists calls for statewide shelter-in-place; moves to expand hospital capacity

Gov. Greg Abbott took multiple measures Sunday designed to expand hospital staffing and capacity in Texas, but declined to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order...

Trump moves on invoking powers to spur virus supplies

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act to get needed medical supplies on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak,...

Houston pleads for more tests, gear as cars pack hospital

By JOHN L. MONE and PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — Cars lined up for more than a mile outside a Houston hospital...

Cornyn draws rebuke for blaming coronavirus on China

By Alex Samuels, Texas Tribune U.S. Sen. John Cornyn drew criticism Wednesday for comments he made about the new coronavirus. On a conference call with reporters,...

Texas governor orders schools closed and bans dine-in eating

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered schools closed statewide Thursday until at least until April 3 and a ban on dine-in...

US Census Bureau suspends field operations on virus concerns

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A week after starting its 2020 count, the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday suspended field operations for two weeks out...

Trump invokes act to marshal private sector against virus

WASHINGTON — Managing dual health and economic crises, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he will invoke emergency powers that allow the government to...

Trump mulls sending all who cross border illegally to Mexico

By ELLIOT SPAGAT and COLLEEN LONG Associated Press SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Trump administration is considering a plan to turn back all people who...

CDC recommends canceling gatherings of 50 or more

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that gatherings of 50 people or more in US be canceled or postponed over the next eight weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. The dramatic recommendation Sunday night came Americans struggled to come to terms with how to change their daily habits. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Gov. Abbott waives STAAR testing requirement

AUSTIN — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday shelved the state’s requirement for high-stakes standardized testing, with hundreds of school districts having already canceled...

US officials: Foreign disinformation stoking virus fears

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is alleging that a foreign disinformation campaign is underway aimed at spreading fear in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic,...

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will close his country’s border to non-citizens amid pandemic

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will close the border to anyone not a citizen or a permanent resident amid the coronavirus pandemic. Trudeau...

US tells older people to stay home, all ages to avoid crowds

WASHINGTON — The White House on Monday urged all older Americans to stay home and everyone to avoid crowds and eating out at restaurants...

Universal moves new releases to on-demand, AMC limits crowds

NEW YORK — The coronavirus pandemic has cracked Hollywood’s traditional theatrical window. With theaters increasingly shuttering nationwide, Universal Pictures on Monday said it will...

Austin joins big Texas cities in limiting bars, restaurants

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Austin joined other major Texas cities Tuesday in closing bars and restaurant dining rooms to curb the spread of the...

Texas reports 1st coronavirus death as bars, clubs close

By JIM VERTUNO and PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A man who tested positive for COVID-19 has died, becoming Texas' first...

Important Lists

Current Reopening Guidelines

As the state, counties and cities begin to attempt to reopen, we’ll post their provided guidelines here. If a document for your city is not...

How to apply for an SBA small business loan

Application process - Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center...

List of canceled City of Harlingen events

The City of Harlingen has canceled the following events: Harlingen Public Library Poetry Night March 17-canceled Kniffty Knitters March 18 & 25 canceled Lego Day March 18- canceled DIY...

Area schools announce closures through April

School districts throughout the Rio Grande Valley are extending their spring break closures to April as calls to avoid gatherings of 50 or more people intensify. Each district will continue to remain in communication with parents, students and staff to plan how they will continue past April. Read the full story at themonitor.com

List of local businesses that have changed hours, closures

The following businesses are changing their hours, closing or making other adjustments because of the coronavirus. This list will be updated as needed. Chick-fil-A Temporary Closure...