Edgar Walters / Texas Tribune | KERA News

Edgar Walters / Texas Tribune

Edgar Walters is a reporter with the Texas Tribune.

Nurses look over the X-rays of coronavirus patients in the COVID-19 unit at the DHR Health Center in Edinburg.
Miguel Gutierrez / The Texas Tribune

After months of undercounting coronavirus deaths, Texas’ formal tally of COVID-19 fatalities grew by more than 400 on Monday after state health officials changed their method of reporting.

While there is widespread consensus that more people wearing face coverings in public will slow viral spread, researchers disagree over how much credit to assign to Texas' statewide mask order.
Eddie Gaspar / The Texas Tribune

Three weeks after Gov. Greg Abbott required Texans to wear masks, epidemiologists and disease modelers say they are cautiously optimistic that the mandate is helping the state turn a corner in its efforts to contain an outbreak that has killed more than 4,500 Texans.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Renee Lopez has spent nearly all her time at home in recent weeks, keeping distance from friends and loved ones in the hopes of staying safe from the new coronavirus. Lopez, 58, uses a wheelchair because of a congenital joint disease, and she worries her disability could put her at greater risk of serious illness.

The Tomball nursing home near Houston
Michael Stravato / For The Texas Tribune

More than 160 of the state's 1,222 nursing homes, or about 13%, have at least one case of the new coronavirus, state officials said Thursday. And 38 nursing home residents and staff members have died of COVID-19 statewide.

Paramedics disinfect a gurney in their ambulance before leaving a  nursing home.
Michael Stravato / The Texas Tribune

At least 320 residents and staff members at Texas nursing homes have tested positive for the new coronavirus. At least 18 people have died. And at least seven nursing homes, across five metro areas, are grappling with infections of 10 or more people.

man in doctor's exam room
Michael Stravato / For The Texas Tribune

Erica Swegler is not just worried about her patients during the coronavirus pandemic; she’s also worried about her business, which she says has fallen into the red.

In normal times, the Austin family physician might see as many as 26 patients in a day. Recently, that number has fallen to 12 or six, as public officials urge people to stay home and delay non-urgent care to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The Denton State Supported Living Center has more than 400 residents and 1,400 staff members.
Cooper Neill / The Texas Tribune

Warning that a COVID-19 outbreak at a state-run home for people with disabilities could quickly overwhelm health care workers, local officials in Denton called on Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday to build a temporary hospital on site.

Hospitals are urging Texans to stay as isolated as possible in order to slow the spread of the new coronavirus because there aren't enough beds to care for critical patients if too many people get sick at once.
Gary Rhodes for The Texas Tribune

The front lines of Texas’ health care workforce are preparing for the possibility of widespread COVID-19 infection — and sounding the alarm about the state’s limited number of hospital beds.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday declared that the new coronavirus is a statewide public health disaster while adding that Texas is on the verge of being able to significantly ramp up its testing capacity.

Christian Gutierrez
Mark Felix / For The Texas Tribune

For Christian Gutierrez, preparing for a coronavirus outbreak is as much a financial consideration as it is a health one.

At what point should the Houston-area Latin dance instructor cancel his classes and forego his bread-and-butter income? If he feels sick with flu-like symptoms, should he take the over-the-counter cough medicine he’s stocked up on, or should he pay out of pocket to see a doctor about COVID-19 testing?

Susan Peake lives at the state-run homeless encampment off U.S. Highway 183 in Austin.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

When Susan Peake moved to Austin from Denver in 2018, she traded one kind of safety net for another.

In Colorado, she’d received state-funded health insurance coverage, which she credits with saving her from financial ruin after she suffered a heart attack requiring double-bypass surgery. In Texas, though she did not qualify for free health insurance, she had a room at her sister’s house, where she hoped to save some money while she recovered.

Gov. Greg Abbott reacts as President Donald Trump speaks at a church relief center during a visit with flood survivors and volunteers of Hurricane Harvey in Houston on Sept. 2, 2017.
Associated Press

The federal government is restoring funding for Texas’ publicly funded women’s health programs, bringing as much as $350 million into state coffers and sending a clear message to conservative states: It’s OK to defund providers affiliated with abortion.

A billboard on Interstate 20 outside of Waskom displays an anti-abortion message.
Ben Fenton / The Texas Tribune

Three Texas towns recently voted in favor of anti-abortion ordinances, extending the reach of a campaign to create “sanctuary cities for the unborn” across the state.

Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

Texas health officials violated state law when they said they would award a multibillion dollar series of health insurance contracts to for-profit companies while overlooking nonprofit health plans, a lawsuit brought by two nonprofit health insurers alleges.


Nearly four years after a federal judge first ruled that Texas violated foster children’s civil rights by placing them in a system where rape and over-medication were the norm, it’s high time for the state to stop dragging its feet and start making changes, that same federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson / The Texas Tribune

Last year, after a federal judge in Texas declared the entirety of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, throwing into question millions of Americans’ health coverage, the state’s Republican leaders promised they would come up with a plan to replace it.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

As Texas’ Republican leadership calls for property tax cuts and a school finance overhaul, the Texas House on Monday pitched a bold proposal: Pump roughly $7 billion more state funds into public schools — but only if lawmakers can satisfactorily overhaul the school finance system to slow the growth of property taxes.

A Nov. 16, 2018, meeting of the Legislative Budget Board included then-state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound.
Bob Daemmrich/BDP Inc.

A group of state leaders with huge influence over what public services receive funding said Friday they were prepared to make a significant withdrawal from the state’s savings account.

The Texas State Capitol on the first day of the 86th legislative session.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

A gray fog descended on Austin Tuesday morning, but the scene inside the Texas Capitol was all colorful and festive to mark the first day of the 86th biennial legislative session.

And perhaps the loudest celebration took place in the Texas House, where lawmakers whooped and hollered after the unanimous election of state Rep. Dennis Bonnen as House speaker.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

HOUSTON — As the sun set Sunday on a flood-ravaged Houston, a nagging uncertainty surrounding Tropical Storm Harvey’s next move persisted.

Graphic by Todd Wiseman

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the state’s two-year budget Monday, giving his approval to the $217 billion document crafted by the Legislature.

The Texas Tribune

Both chambers of the Texas Legislature voted Saturday evening to approve a $217 billion, two-year budget that would boost funding for the state's beleaguered child welfare agency, increase the number of state troopers on the Texas-Mexico border and avoid serious reforms to the state's much-criticized school finance system. 

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

After months of private squabbling and public threats of a legislative overtime session, the Texas House and Senate finally compromised to unveil a joint budget late Saturday.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

A program to rehabilitate victims of sex trafficking may finally receive funding under a proposal added to the Texas House budget late last week.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate unanimously approved a two-year budget on Tuesday that would shift nearly $2 billion in public education costs from the state to local taxpayers.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Facing sluggish economic forecasts amid low oil prices along with billions in tax revenue already dedicated to the state highway fund, Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Monday that lawmakers will have $104.87 billion in state funds at their disposal in crafting the next two-year budget, a 2.7 percent decrease from his estimate ahead of the legislative session two years ago.

Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

A significant cut to the amount of money Texas pays therapists who treat children with disabilities was finally cleared to take effect — more than one year after state lawmakers originally ordered it — when the Texas Supreme Court on Friday declined to hear a lawsuit over the budget cut's legality.

Texas Tribune

With federal funding to fight Zika stuck in Congress, and amid news that mosquito-to-human transmission of the virus has reached the continental U.S., Texas officials announced on Wednesday they would allow Medicaid to pay for mosquito repellent for women, in the hopes of preventing the disease.

Texas Tribune

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday delivered a temporary, last-minute victory to families of children with disabilities who want to stop sweeping budget cuts to a state-funded children’s therapy program.

Graphic by Todd Wiseman/The Texas Tribune

The Obama administration has agreed to temporarily keep some federal Medicaid money flowing into Texas to help hospitals treat uninsured patients, a relief to health care providers that feared losing the funds over state leaders' refusal to provide health insurance to low-income adults.