All of the Texas Observer’s Coronavirus Coverage
Here’s everything we’ve written about the coronavirus pandemic. Find our full data tracker here.
Editorial: Texas Wasn’t Prepared for the Statewide Vaccine Rush
My elderly parents’ experience getting the COVID-19 vaccine highlights problems with Texas’ overall pandemic response.
As COVID-19 devastates workers unable to stay home, families are left struggling for justice.
Deaths in ICE Custody Skyrocketed During the COVID-19 Pandemic
A new report shows Texas lead the nation with seven deaths among immigration detainees from 2018-2020.
Lege in the Time of Coronavirus
An uncontrolled pandemic. An economic crisis. A bruising loss for Democrats. The Texas Legislature is back in session.
‘Being A Prisoner During COVID Is A Death Sentence’
Death row exoneree Anthony Graves reflects a decade after his release.
Federal Regulators Have Fast-Tracked Review of Disinfectants That Claim to Kill COVID-19
How one Texas company seized a pandemic-sized opportunity.
How We Got Here
Texas’ health system has been underfunded, understaffed, and unprepared for years. Here, COVID-19 found the perfect place to spread.
Eye on Texas: Essential Women
A portrait series by Sarah Wilson explores how women deemed essential workers stay safe during the pandemic.
I Left My Friends in Prison in a Pandemic. Here’s What It’s Like For Them.
COVID-19 has spiraled out of control in the Texas prison system.
State Officials Tried to Cut Women’s Health Care During a Pandemic.
It’s a clear reflection of priorities.
As Schools Reopen, Some Families Face Potentially Life-Threatening Options
Texas has the widest digital divide in the nation.
5,000 People Contract COVID-19 While In ICE Custody
ICE officials have released some medically vulnerable detainees, but one woman is struggling to get her sick husband out of ICE detention.
Death in Dalhart
After a farmworker in the rural Texas Panhandle died of complications from COVID-19, his family and federal investigators want answers.
Mexico Turns To Television And Radio For Remote Learning
The countrywide plan is meant to reach students with limited internet connectivity.
Portraits of the Pandemic
Stories of how ordinary Texans are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Five Months Later, the State’s Unemployment System is Still Broken for Many Texans
Unemployed Texans are still struggling to get—and keep—their benefits.
Texas Already Lacked Affordable Child Care. Then COVID-19 Hit.
The coronavirus has temporarily or permanently closed almost half of all child care providers in the state.
The Coronavirus Pipeline
U.S. deportations of migrants have exported COVID-19 to Guatemala and prompted fear, chaos, and a collapse of already fragile health services.
One of Texas’ Biggest Nursing Home Operators Beset By COVID-19 Cases and Deaths
New data released by the state health agency provides a glimpse into Texas nursing homes.
Open and Shut
The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the future of the barbecue joints, taco trucks, bánh mì shops, and country cafes that make up Texas cuisine.
Telehealth Could be Great, if Texans Had Access to It
Remote health care has the potential to connect patients to doctors safely during shelter-in-place. So why do so many Texans remain disconnected?
Texas Nursing Home Residents Were Already at Risk. Then COVID-19 Hit.
“We’ve known that infection control has been a problem.”
COVID-19 is Surging in Rural Texas, Threatening to Overwhelm Local Hospitals
ICU beds are limited and medical providers are falling sick.
From a doctor stranded in Ciudad Juárez to a shelter closed after an outbreak, COVID-19 is hitting hard along the Texas-Mexico border.
As Cases Surge, Some People Remain Behind Bars After Making Bail
Electronic monitoring companies refuse to touch coronavirus-positive inmates.
Texas Relaxed Environmental Enforcement During the Pandemic, State Data Show
TCEQ pursued 20 percent fewer violations of environmental laws than in 2019.
Promising Results for COVID-19 Patients Treated with Plasma Therapy in Texas
About 20,000 people received plasma treatments nationwide in April, May, and early June.
The Pandemic Is Just the Latest Threat Refugees in Abilene Face
As workers return to the new normal, they worry about keeping their jobs.
COVID-19 Has Delayed Programs That Texas Prisoners Need to Get Out
At least 10,500 people have been approved for release but remain in prison.
In Rural Texas, COVID-19 Contact Tracing is Largely Up to Local Officials, If It Happens at All
“We’re kind of stuck.”
‘Heroes’ No More: Grocers Are Already Clawing Back COVID-19 Worker Benefits
Kroger revoked its “Hero Pay” in May.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins on Battling COVID-19, and the Governor, as Texas Reopens
Jenkins is “hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.”
Feeding Refugees on the Texas Border Has Been Tough. Now There’s COVID-19.
The pandemic has made food delivery considerably more complicated.
Home Wasn’t Safe. Then COVID-19 Made It Seem Like the Only Option.
Some domestic violence shelters are seeing a “disturbing” decrease in clients and callers.”
Is Texas Inflating Its COVID-19 Testing Numbers by Including Antibody Tests?
Experts say this muddies the data.
In the COVID-19 Economy, Texas’ Commercial Fishermen Are Barely Treading Water
The tradition of small-scale fishing is at stake.
How COVID-19 Upended Texas Prisons
Governor Greg Abbott has mostly ignored the pandemic inside the Texas prison system.
COVID-19 Has Infected Workers at a Tyson Beef Plant in Amarillo, Employees Say
One plant employee has died, workers say.
DSHS is Excluding Some Prisoners From COVID-19 County Totals
The numbers mask the prevalence of the virus in some rural areas.
Air Pollution Was Already Killing Us. Then Came the Coronavirus.
By refusing to strengthen particulate matter standards, the EPA is putting more people at risk.
Will Grocery Workers Still Be ‘Heroes’ When COVID-19 Subsides?
In Texas, grocery employees labor for low wages and few benefits.
In Rural Counties, COVID-19 Cases are Likely Undercounted
Governor Greg Abbott wants to reopen them anyway.
Demand for Plasma Therapy Far Outpaces Donations
Texas blood banks and the Red Cross are actively recruiting donors but remain thwarted by a lack of antibody tests.
Field Hospital Begins Construction in Matamoros Migrant Camp
Medical aid volunteers prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.
COVID-19 Cases are Growing Rapidly in Areas With Limited Medical Resources
It’s likely that cases may be going untested.
Mapping the Number of COVID-19 Cases in Texas per Doctor
Many counties with limited medical resources now have COVID-19 cases.
State Employees Criticize Texas’ Uneven Approach to Worker Safety Amid COVID-19
A slow, patchwork response has jeopardized worker safety.
COVID-19 Cases Now Tied to Meat Plants in Rural Texas Counties Wracked with Coronavirus
DSHS has offered few details of its investigation.
Abbott Puts Billionaire Donors, Industry Lobbyists in Charge of Restarting Texas’ Economy
Critics say it’s reckless pay-to-play politics.
Texas Had a State Office That Could Have Investigated Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Cases
Lawmakers defunded it three years ago.
ICE Isn’t Reporting All Of The People in Its Facilities Who Have Tested Positive
ICE says it doesn’t have to report contractors.
Houston Is Ground Zero for a Potentially Lifesaving COVID-19 Treatment
A lack of tests remains a roadblock.
From Jail to the Streets: One Texan’s Story During COVID-19
The homeless are 11 times more likely to be incarcerated than the rest of the population.
Greg Abbott’s Power Grab on Bail Reform
State officials are fighting on several fronts to restrict who judges can let out.
COVID-19 Has Made a Mess of Texas’ Open Government Rules
Government agencies now have carte blanche to operate in secrets.
Gene Wu on the Coronavirus
How comments from Trump, Cruz, and Cornyn inflame deep-seated prejudices against Asian Americans.
What One Texan Had to do to Get an Abortion During the Pandemic
Texas is using the COVID-19 pandemic as the latest strategy in their anti-abortion playbook.
‘I’m in Limbo Here’
Out-of-work Texans are coming face to face with an overwhelmed and antiquated state unemployment system.
Lessons on the Long Game from Goose Island’s Whooping Cranes
Facing the century’s first global pandemic, cranes might be the sort of collective totem we need.
Shuttered by the Coronavirus, Texas Art Museums Are Moving Online
The digital world is letting museums flourish.
A ‘Stay-at-Home’ Order by Any Other Name
As public health experts warned, the time to shut down is before there are confirmed cases.
‘I Think I’m Gonna Die’
In the Valley, about one in three people have diabetes. They’re at higher risk for COVID-19, but those who rely on dialysis can’t stay home.
Peter Hotez: Vaccine Development is ‘Critical to the Security of Our Nation’
“It’s every bit as critical as having a military.”
Migrants Call to Close Detention Centers as COVID-19 Spreads
“What happens next will be determined by actions we take now.”
Families of Sick Prisoners Plead for Compassionate Release
COVID-19 poses a particular threat to prisoners whose health is already failing.
In a Pandemic, Poor Defendants Could Pay With Their Lives
COVID-19 lays bare the fundamental inequalities that a cash bond system creates.
How to Help Your Fellow Texans Endure the Pandemic
Give to your local food bank, donate blood, or support an emergency housing fund.
Texas Republicans’ Pandemic Performance Is True to Form
Patrick performs for Fox News; Abbott dithers; and Cornyn defiantly refuses to log off.
COVID-19 Reveals the Urgent Need to House the Homeless
For myriad reasons, the homeless are likely to suffer severe cases of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is Lurking Along the Texas-Mexico Border
Mexican border cities Matamoros and Juárez both have at least one confirmed case of the virus.
COVID-19 Could Be a ‘Double Whammy’ for Those in Pollution Hotspots
The Houston area is a particular hotspot.
Loneliness in the Age of Coronavirus
As a single parent, I was already struggling with loneliness. Then the coronavirus hit.
The COVID-19 Crisis Points the Way Toward a Better Texas
Once the virus passes, there’s no reason to let the powerful return peacefully to business as usual.
Abortion Access in the Age of COVID-19
Abortion clinics in Texas rely on traveling doctors. Coronavirus is keeping some of them home.
Texas Democratic and Republican Parties Spar Over How to Hold Elections During a Pandemic
Primary runoffs are two months from now.
The Coronavirus Pandemic Exposed Abbott’s Hypocrisy On Local Control
State intervention could be too little, too late.
How Is COVID-19 Impacting the Immigration System?
Migrants on the U.S. border say they are more afraid of staying in Mexico than COVID-19.
Some Texas Officials Want to Divert People from Jail Amid Coronavirus Scare
Reformers have been pushing this step for years.
Coronavirus is Exposing the Faulty Foundations of the Texas Fracking Industry
The oil and gas sector was already having problems.
Seven Austin Workers on How They’re Scrambling After the SXSW Cancellation
Gig workers reported more than $2 million in lost wages after the festival was called off.
With Paid Leave Policies, Cities Tried to Prepare for COVID-19
Too many Texas workers can’t stay home when they’re sick. Two years ago, a movement tried to change that.
Tough Decisions Ahead for School Leaders in Rural Texas
Officials must weigh the health of their students against the health of their communities.