Coronavirus Updates

  Fully-vaccinated people can gather without masks, CDC says

Officials say a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine

  Spring-break partying falls victim to COVID-19 crisis

  103-year-old man who survived 1918 pandemic and Holocaust receives COVID-19 vaccine

  Stores to require masks in states without mask mandates

  Protesters burn masks at Idaho Capitol rally against COVID-19 rules

  Study finds mask mandates, dining out influence virus spread

  Gregg County educators receive COVID-19 vaccine

Continued Coverage

  With virus aid in sight, Democrats debate filibuster changes

Veterans receive Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination in Lufkin

  Senate OKs $1.9T virus relief bill that includes stimulus checks

  Highlights of the $1.9T COVID bill nearing final passage

  Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Dalai Lama receives coronavirus vaccine

  Senate Dems strike jobless aid deal, relief and stimulus checks bill OK in sight

Eight Democrats voted against the proposal, suggesting that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and other progressives vowing to continue the fight in coming months will face a difficult fight.

Week 13 COVID-19 vaccine allocation sites in East Texas

The state has released its list of COVID-19 vaccine allocation sites for the week beginning March 8.

Huntington ISD keeps mask requirement, awaiting end of month board meeting

Huntington ISD will retain its policy requiring mask use.

  WHO head wants virus vaccine patents waived to boost supply

Pharmaceutical companies that took taxpayer money from the U.S. or Europe to develop inoculations at unprecedented speed say they are negotiating contracts and exclusive licensing deals with producers on a case-by-case basis because they need to protect their intellectual property and ensure safety.

State reports over 3,700 COVID-19 cases in Texas public schools for week

Texas National Guard medics administer vaccines at Cass County clinic

  NY officials removed fuller tally of nursing home deaths

  When will COVID vaccines be available for children?

Local news COVID coverage categories

  US job growth likely rose in February in rebound from slump

Texas Tech student government passes vote recommending to maintain mask policy

The Texas Tech Student Government Association will vote at 6 p.m. Thursday to recommend the university keep its current mask and social distancing policy.

  Fauci presents his personal virus model to Smithsonian

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History asked Dr. Anthony Fauci to contribute a personal artifact to mark the pandemic, and he chose the lumpy blue and orange ball that he used to explain the complexities of the virus in dozens of interviews.

Longview ISD to continue mask use, may revise COVID-19 protocols this summer

Despite Gov. Greg Abbot’s order rescinding a statewide mask mandate, Longview ISD will retain its current COVID-19 safety protocols — including mask use — for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

Second dose Pfizer vaccine clinic set for Friday-Saturday in Tyler

NET Health’s “second dose” clinic for the Pfizer vaccine will take place on Friday and Saturday at Harvey Convention Center in Tyler. However, please note, only persons eligible for their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine will be admitted.

UIL leaves decision with school systems on mask requirements

The UIL, (University Interscholastic League), updated their guidelines following the governor’s announcement to lift the mask mandate with an executive order.

Cass County to hold two vaccine clinics

Cass County Texas leaders are preparing for their first COVID-19 vaccine clinic for those 65 and older, or those with underlying health issues.

  WATCH: ABC’s Dr. Jennifer Ashton says state rollbacks of COVID-19 restrictions risk undoing progress made

Dr. Ashton said the recent rollbacks on COVID-19 restrictions by some states show the situation to be a complicated issue of idealism versus realism.

  Heart problems may be rare in pro athletes after COVID-19

The research involved U.S. professional athletes who play football, hockey, soccer, baseball and men’s and women’s basketball.

  ‘Falling through cracks’: Vaccine bypasses some older adults

An untold number of older people are getting left behind in the desperate dash for vaccine shots because they are too frail, overwhelmed, isolated or poor to navigate a system that favors healthier individuals with more resources.

Three of Gov. Greg Abbott’s four coronavirus medical advisers say they weren’t directly consulted before he lifted mask mandate

One adviser said he thinks it’s too soon for the state to stop requiring masks in public.

  Boy, 12, creates website to help elderly New Yorkers book vaccine appointments

The 12-year-old hits refresh for hours a day, searching for COVID-19 vaccine appointments for elderly people in the New York metro area.

What we know about the 6,578 active cases of COVID-19 in East Texas

The latest on COVID-19 cases across East Texas.

  East Texas hospital leader worries lifting restrictions could trigger ‘comeback’ in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

“We were honestly dismayed in the health care field,” said Dr. Tom Cummins, Chief Medical Officer for UT Health East Texas.

Angelina County health officials encourage residents to continue to wear masks

KTRE’S T’Ebonie Tanner spoke with the Angelina county health administrator about what you should do when the mask mandate ends next week, plus, vaccination efforts.

East Texas schools respond to Gov. Abbott’s lifting of mask mandate

For the time being, face coverings and other preventative measures will continue to be required at Longview ISD campuses and facilities.

  States rapidly expanding vaccine access as supplies surge

Cities and states are rapidly expanding access to vaccines as the nation races to head off a resurgence in coronavirus infections and reopen schools and businesses battered by the pandemic.

State allowing schools to have local control on mask policies

The Texas Education Agency has updated its guidance on face coverings in schools, allowing local school boards to determine policy.

Texas school, child care workers now eligible for vaccine

The Texas Department of State Health Services Wednesday notified all vaccine providers that they should immediately include school and child care workers in vaccine administration.

Brookshire Grocery Company keeps employee mask requirement

BGC will strongly encourage customers and require employee-partners and vendors to wear face masks while in our stores.

  Abortion concerns prompt archdiocese warning on vaccine

While not disputing the church officials’ contention that an abortion-derived cell line is used in the production, Johnson & Johnson issued a statement Tuesday stressing that there is no fetal tissue in its vaccine.

  Debate simmers over spreading out shots for two-dose vaccines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says two doses offer better protection from coronavirus variants which are believed to be more contagious.

  Report: Virus cases in nursing homes drop 82%

Officials say vaccination efforts in nursing homes and long-care facilitates are responsible for the decline.

  Tyler businesses have mixed reactions to mask order being lifted

After Gov. Abbott relaxed his mask mandate, some businesses will have the option to opt out of requiring masks beginning March 10. Businesses can also allow 100 percent capacity.

H-E-B says customers still strongly encouraged, employees required, to wear masks in stores

The Texas grocery store chain H-E-B, which has locations in Lufkin, Carthage, and Crockett, released a statement following Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement about the mandate being lifted on March 11.

East Texas business owners react to news of reopening

Texas Gov. Greg Abbot announced the state will be 100% reopening, meaning no mask mandate and no more capacity restrictions. This is the news most business owners have been waiting for for nearly a year.

  Texas becomes biggest US state to lift COVID-19 mask mandate

The Republican governor has faced sharp criticism from his party over the mandate, which was imposed eight months ago, and other COVID-19 restrictions. It was only ever lightly enforced, even during the worst outbreaks of the pandemic.

  Dr. Ed Dominguez discusses governor’s decision to remove mask mandate

Dr. Ed says there were 5,000 new cases of COVID-19 in Texas yesterday, 60 deaths, and 5,600 people in the hospital fighting the virus. So is it wise to let our guard down?

  Nacogdoches customer service workers react to mask order being lifted

After almost a year of following a governor order to enforce masks to prevent the spread of covid-19, businesses will no longer have to ask customers to put on their masks come March 10. Nacogdoches customer service workers react to the his decision.

  ‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

Dolly Parton has written hundreds of songs over her decades-long career and it turns out her tune “Jolene” is the just right one for getting her COVID-19 vaccine.

  Biden vows enough vaccine for all US adults by end of May

The announcement comes as the White House looks to speed the production of the single-dose J&J vaccine and accelerate the nation’s plans to reach “herd immunity” in the U.S. and begin restoring normalcy after the pandemic.

  SFA Athletics keeping COVID-19 guidelines, hope to return to normal in the fall

SFA athletics will still require masks and social distancing at events even after the state relaxes COVID-19 policies.

  Texas and other states ease COVID-19 rules despite warnings

U.S. cases have plunged more than 70% over the past two months from an average of nearly 250,000 new infections a day, while average deaths per day have plummeted about 40% since mid-January.

  Florida nurse returns home after being paralyzed from rare COVID-19-related infection

A Florida nurse is back home after a rare infection left him paralyzed.

  Biden to prioritize vaccinating school teachers

President Biden said his goal is for every pre-kindergarten through 12th grade educator, school staff member and childcare worker to receive at least one shot by the end of March.

  CDC to release guidance for people vaccinated against COVID

A CDC official says the agency will put out the details once they’re finalized later this week.

  NET Health gives update on COVID-19 hospitalizations, vaccinations

Erin Wides spoke with NET Health about a decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the last week, as well as how the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will impact Smith County and the ability to vaccinate more people.

  3rd vaccine rolls out, new boosters being developed

Even as more shots become available, the three companies with vaccines on the U.S. market are working on a booster to help better protect against the virus variants.

Vaccines for veterans coming to Lufkin

Veterans 50 years and older who get their healthcare from the VA, can get a COVID-19 vaccine this Saturday, March 6 at the Charles Wilson VA Clinic.

  COVID-19 pandemic fuels attacks on health workers globally

A new report by the Geneva-based Insecurity Insight and the University of California, Berkeley’s Human Rights Center identified more than 1,100 threats or acts of violence against health care workers and facilities last year.

  ‘It’s truly a miracle’: Man, 25, with COVID-19 survives near-death 3 times

Doctors say the young man's case should serve as a warning. He had no pre-existing health concerns but suffered serious complications from COVID-19.

  Twitter cracks down on COVID vaccine misinformation

It will start using a “strike system” to remove accounts that repeatedly violate its rule.

  States easing virus restrictions despite experts’ warnings

Nearly 20% of the nation’s adults — or over 50 million people — have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 10% have been fully inoculated.

  Watch for vaccination sign-up scams

Federal regulators warn more consumers will soon hear from crooks calling about vaccines while impersonating an insurance company or health department.

  Counties of Panola, Shelby among first round for vaccinating homebound seniors

The Texas Division of Emergency (TDEM), the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and the Texas Military Department (TMD) today announced 26 counties participating in the first week of the Save Our Seniors vaccination initiative.

Governor Abbott launches first week of Save Our Seniors Initiative in 26 counties

The Governor announced the Save Our Seniors program in Corpus Christi last week to ensure more seniors are vaccinated throughout the state.

Avinger ISD switches to virtual learning due to COVID-19

The school district announced on Facebook that the students would be learning virtually starting on Monday, March 1 until Friday, March 5.

  Why you should consider the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose shot was given the green light over the weekend, but some health experts worry Americans may turn up their noses at this latest vaccine.

Second dose vaccine clinics re-scheduled for this week in Tyler

Anyone who received their first Moderna vaccine at the Harvey Convention Center in January can return this Tuesday, March 2 to receive their second Moderna vaccine.

  Nearly 4M doses of J&J virus vaccine on way to states

The White House is encouraging Americans to take the first dose available to them, regardless of manufacturer.

  Elderly couple who found love during COVID-19 get vaccinated before wedding

In the midst of a tough winter, the love between two 94-year-olds in New York blossomed, and they recently became engaged.

  Pharmacist drives through snow to deliver COVID-19 vaccine to disabled woman, family

For five weeks, the mother of a disabled woman in Pennsylvania searched for a vaccine appointment, reaching out to state and local leaders with no luck.

  J&J’s 1-dose shot cleared, giving US 3rd COVID-19 vaccine

The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two.

  Mo. girl finds parents dead in bed reportedly from COVID-19

St. Louis County police say the 11-year-old made the discovery on Thursday.

  Plunging demand for COVID-19 tests may leave US exposed

U.S. testing hit a peak on Jan. 15. Since then, the average number of daily tests has fallen more than 28%.

State reports 461 COVID-19 cases in Texas public schools for week

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 461 cases of COVID-19 on public school campuses in last week’s report.

  US advisers endorse single-shot COVID-19 vaccine from J&J

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to quickly follow the recommendation and make J&J’s shot the third vaccine authorized for emergency use in the U.S.

  Dr. Ed Dominguez, Dr. Theresa Patton answer viewer questions about COVID-19 vaccines

The doctors answer viewer questions about COVID-19.

Rapid COVID-19 tests coming to some east Texas businesses

The Texas Division of Emergency Management is working to protect public health during the coronavirus pandemic by making sure businesses have access to rapid COVID-19 tests — free of charge.