Resources for West Texans During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Marfa Public Radio is compiling resources for residents of the area. If you are offering services and would like to be included on this list of resources, please email diana@marfapublicradio.org. (Last updated Monday, March 30, 2020)

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GABRIEL C. PÉREZ / KUT

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Texas Ban On Abortions During Coronavirus Spread

By Ashley Lopez, KUT

A federal judge has temporarily blocked Texas’ ban on abortions during the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin ruled Monday that state officials can’t restrict abortion providers from offering the procedure to their patients.


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What Coronavirus Numbers Can And Can’t Tell Us About The Spread Of The Disease

By Mose Buchele, KUT

Every day, we hear updated COVID-19 numbers: The number of confirmed cases. The number of people hospitalized. The number of people who have died. We know the numbers are going up, and we expect them to continue to rise. But beyond that, it can be difficult to understand what they teach us about the spread of the disease and whether we’re making progress against it.


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The McLellan Lab at The University of Texas at Austin. (Eddie Gaspar / The Texas Tribune)

Coronavirus test results in Texas are taking up to 10 days

By Shannon Najmabadi and Jay Root

Though Texas has dramatically increased its testing capacity, many who have gotten one are waiting days on end, and sometimes a week or more, for the results, according to interviews with patients and health care professionals.


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Gov. Greg Abbott gestures to boxes of personal protective equipment during a press conference about the state's response to the coronavirus on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Austin. (Nick Wagner/POOL via American-Statesman)

Texas expands travel restrictions, launches pop-up hospital as coronavirus spreads

By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune

In Texas, Abbott said the state’s first ad hoc health care facility to respond to the pandemic will be the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, an original hotspot for the outbreak at the state level.


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Odessa Issues A Shelter-In-Place Order As The Number Of Coronavirus Cases Grows To 5

By Mitch Borden

The City of Odessa is issuing a shelter-in-place order, beginning Monday at 11:59 p.m.

Odessa’s Mayor David Turner made the announcement over the weekend on Facebook Live. Turner based Odessa’s shelter-in-place order largely on recommendations made by the Department of Homeland Security—especially when deciding which businesses are critical and would be allowed to stay open.


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The City of Marfa has issued a shelter-in-place order in response of the coronavirus pandemic. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

Marfa Issues Shelter-In-Place Order To Slow Spread Of The Coronavirus

By Carlos Morales

Marfa City Council voted unanimously late Thursday to issue a shelter-in-place order, which will go into effect Friday at 11:59 p.m. and could last through April 9.

Marfa follows a growing list of cities and counties across the state that have issued similar orders as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Texas climbs.


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The Otero County Processing Center. (MALLORY FALK / KERA NEWS)

‘A Public Health Nightmare Waiting To Happen’: Doctors Call For ICE To Release Detainees

By Mallory Falk, KERA News

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continues to climb, medical experts are turning their attention to immigration detention centers. Many say these facilities are tinderboxes for a coronavirus outbreak and are urging authorities to release detainees before the virus spreads within the centers and then back outside.


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Telford prison in New Boston. (Shelby Knowles / The Texas Tribune)

Coronavirus is officially in Texas prisons and jails. Now what?

By Julián Aguilar, The Texas Tribune and Perla Trevizo, The Texas Tribune and ProPublica

The Texas prison system and Dallas County both reported the first Texas cases of inmates testing positive for the new coronavirus this week. Self-quarantines and social distancing aren’t always possible for those who’ve been exposed.


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Medical Center Hospital in Odessa has set up a hotline for locals to call to ask questions and be assessed for COVID-19 symptoms. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

Odessa Increases Resources For Locals Concerned Over Coronavirus

By Mitch Borden

As Permian Basin communities brace for the coronavirus to continue to spread, Odessa is taking steps to test more residents showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19. 

The city and its hospitals are doing this by setting up remote testing sites and a hotline that residents can call to be screened for the virus.


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Selena Quintanilla Perez, the Queen of Tejano Music, (Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/atelier_tee/)(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

25 Years After Her Death, Selena’s Legacy Dreams On

By Carlos Morales

The cultural influence of the late Selena Quintanilla Perez has only grown since her untimely death twenty-five years ago. Over the idol’s career, the Queen of Tejano Music sold millions of albums and earned a Grammy. Today, she’s the focus of an upcoming Netflix series, a cosmetics line and continued devotion from South Texas and beyond.

That legacy is nearly impossible to escape, says Cat Cardenas, an Associate Editor at Texas Monthly. “She’s a huge, huge cultural icon and just a very important figure for us, especially growing up as a Latina.”

Cardenas spoke to Marfa Public Radio about the life and legacy of Selena.


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Midland Memorial Hospital is the only hospital in Midland and is leading the cities fight against the coronavirus. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

Midland Sees The First COVID-19 Related Death As The Virus Spreads Across The Permian Basin

By Mitch Borden

The first Midlander to be diagnosed with COVID-19 died on March 25 at Midland Memorial Hospital—only five days after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The patient was a man in his sixties with no underlying health conditions, according to hospital officials. The news of his death was shortly followed by the announcement of two more coronavirus cases in Midland.


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In Tune with Nick Hurt is a weekly classical music show on Marfa Public Radio (Photo Credit: Nick Hurt)

In Tune Feature: Andrew York

By Nick Hurt

In this segment Nick Hurt, host of Marfa Public Radio’s Monday classical music program In Tune has a conversation with the guitarist and composer Andrew York. 

The conversation was held in Odessa, Texas during the West Texas Guitar festival, which York headlined earlier this year. 


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Nurses work at Eastland Memorial Hospital in Eastland, between Fort Worth and Abilene. (Gary Rhodes for The Texas Tribune)

Rural Texas Hospitals Should Be Staffing Up To Face Coronavirus. Many Can’t Afford To.

By Edgar Walters, Texas Tribune

At a time when most hospitals are ramping up capacity to treat a massive number of patients who may become infected with COVID-19, rural hospital administrators say financial hardships could force them to do the opposite.


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Brewster County Commissioners Court held an emergency meeting on Friday, March 20 where they adopted measures to close hotels, motels, short-term rentals, RV parks, and campgrounds. (Facebook Livestream)

Closures of Hotels, Motels, RV parks and Short-Term Rentals in Presidio, Brewster, and Jeff Davis Counties Went Into Effect This Week

By Marfa Public Radio Staff

As the coronavirus spreads across the state, municipalities across West Texas have mandated the closure of hotels, motels, short-term rentals, and RV parks in an effort to curb the spread of the disease in the region.  


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(JULIA REIHS / KUT)

COVID-19 Is Costing People Their Jobs. Here’s How To Apply For Unemployment In Texas.

By Matt Largey, KUT

With much of the state’s service and entertainment sectors shut down and the ripple effects of the coronavirus pandemic being felt across the local, state and national economy, people are being laid off.

Numbers from the Texas Workforce Commission show new unemployment claims between March 15 and March 18 were 11 times higher than the same period a year ago — 5,623 in 2019 vs. 61,541 in 2020.


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(Image by Lisa Kettyle)

How Has The Coronavirus Changed Your Daily Life? We Want To Hear From You.

By Marfa Public Radio

As part of our coverage on the coronavirus and its impact to the Big Bend region and the Permian Basin, we want to hear from you.

We’ve set up a Google voicemail line that you can call and tell us about how you’re doing. Are you’re staying at home? Are you by yourself or with family? What are you’re doing to stay busy? What you’re most concerned about? Let us know, call 432-242-1896.


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Resources for West Texans During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Permian Basin Grocery Store Senior Hours, Food Pantries, and more

Marfa Public Radio is compiling resources for residents of the area. If you are offering services and would like to be included on this list of resources, please email diana@marfapublicradio.org.(Last updated Thursday, March 26, 2020)

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Resources for West Texans During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Big Bend Grocery Store Senior Hours, Food Pantries and more

Marfa Public Radio is compiling resources for residents of the area. If you are offering services and would like to be included on this list of resources, please email diana@marfapublicradio.org. (Last updated Monday, March 30, 2020)

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Gage Hotel Owner Sues Brewster County Judge and Commissioners Over Order To Close Hotels To Prevent Spread Of Coronavirus

By John Waters, Big Bend Gazette

J. P. Bryan, owner of the Gage Hotel in Marathon, is suing Brewster County Judge Eleazar Cano and Brewster County commissioners over the county’s recent declaration to close hotels and short-term rentals, an unprecedented measure instigated in the interest of public health, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Midland Waits For Test Results As More Patients Are Being Monitored For COVID-19

By Mitch Borden

As the coronavirus spreads through Midland, residents aren’t getting tested fast enough, according to local health officials. So far, roughly 150 tests have been administered but Midland Memorial Hospital has only received the results of seven—one of which showed a positive result for COVID-19.

In response, the hospital has set up a coronavirus ward, where they’re currently treating the 60-year-old patient who tested positive for the virus along with 15 others who are monitored.

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Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Says A Failing Economy Is Worse Than Coronavirus

By Abby Livingston, Texas Tribune

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, chiming in to support President Donald Trump’s new focus on the economy over fierce warnings from public health officials, suggested on Fox News on Monday night that he would rather die from the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus than see instability in the American economic system.

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