News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

From Refugees To Immigration To Making Hand Sanitizer: How Coronavirus Is Affecting Texas

Migrants who are part of the Migrant Protection Protocols program wait before dawn at the Paso del Norte International Bridge to get new court dates despite stay-at-home orders in place on both sides of the border.

The coronavirus outbreak is affecting Texas: from efforts to help refugees in Dallas to postponed immigration court cases for asylum seekers. And Texas companies are changing their operations to make hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment.

Click on the button above to listen to the latest from KERA News and our partner stations across the state as part of the Texas Newsroom.

The COVID-19 case counts continue to climb in North Texas. There are now more than 1,600 cases in the region's largest counties.

In Dallas County, officials on Thursday reported 100 new cases. That brings the county's total to 831. The county also reported its 16th and 17th deaths -- a woman in her 70s had been in a long-term care facility. A woman in her 80s also died. Both had been critically ill at local hospitals.

Tarrant County reported three new deaths Thursday, bringing the total number to six. The county has a total of 325 cases, although several are considered conditional.

Denton County reported its fifth death related to COVID-19. The county is now reporting more than 250 cases.

In other news:

Coronavirus and refugees: Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Rescue Committee in Dallas had a plan -- to encourage its clients to fill out the Census. It quickly adapted. Now it and other groups are also making sure their clients -- many of whom are refugees -- have enough to eat and know how to stay safe.

Coronavirus and immigration: Hearings for asylum seekers who must wait in Mexico as their cases move through U.S. immigration court have been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Migrants don’t have to sit in crowded courtrooms. But they still have to show up at ports of entry on their original court dates - in order to get new ones. But that can still put them at risk.

Coronavirus and business creativity: Across Texas, companies ranging from a chocolate factory to a beauty business have started making personal protective equipment and other supplies. Two companies in the Houston area that are reimagining their operations to fight the pandemic.