Coronavirus Updates

Local news COVID coverage categories

The City of Tyler and Smith County are subject to the governor’s guidelines. Most businesses are allowed to open with 25 percent capacity.

What we know about the 5,671 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in East Texas

COVID-19 Tracker: Check out the latest on test results around the country

  July 4 weekend fuels worries about skyrocketing virus cases

Man in famous 9/11 photo dies from COVID-19 in Florida

Trump signs extension of COVID-relief fund for businesses

  Debates turn emotional as schools across US decide how and if to open

Dodgers pitcher Price won’t play this year because of virus

Gov. Abbott, DSHS distribute additional cases of antiviral drug to 5 East Texas hospitals

Continued Coverage

  Virus doesn’t stop annual hot dog eating contest

  US holiday weekend adds to virus worries as case counts grow

  English pubs reopen but little normal elsewhere in the world

  Governors stress ‘personal responsibility’ over virus orders

  Trump pushes racial division, flouts virus rules at Rushmore

Kimberly Guilfoyle, Trump campaign official and Donald Trump Jr.‘s girlfriend, tests positive for coronavirus

  Texas public mask wearing mandate underway

The large surge in COVID-19 cases in Texas has led the governor to announce a mask wearing mandate for most of its counties while in public. We spent some time in east Texas where we heard mixed reactions to the change.

  Where East Texas counties stand on enforcement of Gov. Abbott’s face-mask order

Several East Texas counties are pushing back against Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent directives that require most Texans to wear facial coverings in public spaces and ban groups of 10 or more people.

  Local medical professionals say a few medical conditions may prevent people from wearing masks

"Yes, there are situations which makes it difficult. Please, work around it,” said Dr. Binusha.

COVID-19 testing sites in East Texas

Here are some of the upcoming COVID-19 testing sites in East Texas for early July.

Jimmie Johnson 1st NASCAR driver to test positive for virus

A look at state hospital data for Tyler, Longview and surrounding counties

  July Fourth weekend will test Americans’ discipline

  New outbreaks push inmate coronavirus cases past 50,000

Disney suspends college internship program amid pandemic

  How California went from success story to virus hot spot

  Gov. Abbott issues statewide mask requirement

Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions.

  WATCH: Hospitality Health ER-Tyler sponsoring blood drive at Classic Toyota

Because of the critical shortage in East Texas’ blood supply, Hospitality Health ER-Tyler will be sponsoring a blood drive at Classic Toyota on Monday, July 6.

  WATCH: East Texas officials give thoughts on governor’s mask order

The East Texas News spoke to several officials around the region about their thoughts on the governor’s mask order.

  Walmart turning 160 parking lots into drive-in theaters

Walmart is transforming 160 of its store parking lots into drive-in movie theaters starting in August.

  Coronavirus cases rise in 40 states; Texas issues mask mandate

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. climbed to an all-time high of more than 50,000 per day on Thursday, with the infection curve rising in 40 out of 50 states in a reversal that has largely spared only the Northeast.

Coronavirus concerns freeze Vanilla Ice show

The 1990s rapper with the hit single "Ice Ice Baby" had been scheduled to play a lakeside concert just outside Austin on Friday, but on Thursday he announced it was being postponed.

Gov. Abbott, HHSC secure $2.67B in funding for Texas hospitals

Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) today announced that $2.67 billion in federal funding has been approved to support Texas hospitals that provide care for people receiving Medicaid.

  US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway

U.S. employers added a substantial 4.8 million jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1%, as the job market improved for a second straight month yet still remained far short of regaining the colossal losses it suffered this spring.

  Better East Texas: COVID-19 playbook

It has always been said that Texas is like its own country and that may have never been truer – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  The Next Normal: Parking areas set up to ensure social distancing at Longview’s Fourth of July fireworks show

KLTV’s Jamey Boyum talks with City of Longview spokesperson Shawn Hara about the changes to this year's event.

  Does wearing a mask pose any health risks?

In areas where COVID-19 is spreading, health experts agree that wearing masks or other face coverings in public helps reduce the risk of spreading the virus when people can't socially distance by staying 6 feet apart.

  Closing bars to stop coronavirus spread is backed by science

Authorities are closing honky tonks, bars and other drinking establishments in some parts of the U.S. to stem the surge of COVID-19 infections — a move backed by sound science about risk factors that go beyond wearing or not wearing masks.

  Trump plans huge July 4 fireworks show despite DC’s concerns

The Trump administration is promising one of the largest fireworks displays in recent memory in Washington on July Fourth.

  Cases spike in Sunbelt, other states back off on reopening

The run-up in cases — blamed in part on "knucklehead behavior" by Americans not wearing masks or obeying other social-distancing rules — has raised fears that many states could see the same phenomenon if they reopen too, or that people from the South and West could spread the virus to other regions.

  FEMA discusses hurricane season changes amid COVID-19 crisis

The Atlantic hurricane season is already breaking records with several storms named so early this year. With parts of the U.S. battling the wrath of the coronavirus pandemic, experts urge you not to delay in preparing.

City of Galveston closing beaches for holiday weekend

Galveston beaches will be closed and parking will be blocked on both sides of Seawall Boulevard over the holiday weekend in response to recent increases in cases of COVID-19, and health and safety concerns for our residents and visitors.

  Gregg County health official: Face masks worked in 1918, will work in 2020

To mask or not to mask is a big question. Some people swear by it, some people swear at it, but according to an article on there is evidence mask usage flattened the infection rate during the 1918 flu pandemic.

  The Next Normal: Adopting a pet

Pets Fur People in Tyler is making some changes to the traditional adoption process to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

5 things to watch for in Thursday’s jobs report for June

Economists have forecast that employers added 3 million jobs in June and that the unemployment rate dropped to 12.3% from 13.3% in May.

  Dems: Government’s ‘deadly delay’ devastated nursing homes

Wednesday's report finds a lack of coordination among government agencies hindered access to coronavirus testing and protective equipment, among other problems.

  Little evidence that protests spread coronavirus in US

If the protests had driven an explosion in cases, experts say, the jumps would have started to become apparent within two weeks.

  Titus County judge says mask wearing ‘small price to pay to conduct business, live a relatively normal life’

Titus County Judge Brian Lee reports new cases of COVID-19 among his county’s residents, and is asking them to cooperate to help curtail the spread.

  Study: Children can transmit COVID-19 like adults

A new study suggests children may be able to transmit coronavirus similar to infected adults.

  ‘Friday the 13th’-like villain stars in PSA for mask wearing

A New York public service announcement to get people to wear masks during the pandemic stars a character who looks like Jason from ‘Friday the 13th.’

  Health officials look to pool testing as new approach to trace coronavirus

Experts are now considering a new approach: pool testing. Many say it's the necessary next step in testing and tracing COVID-19.

  Bandana is least effective form of face mask, study says

Scientists at Florida Atlantic University are experimenting with different non-medical masks to find the most effective face covering to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

  Health experts slam US hoarding of only licensed virus drug

Health experts on Wednesday slammed the U.S. decision to hog nearly the entire global supply of remdesivir, the only drug licensed so far to treat COVID-19, warning that type of selfish behavior sets a dangerous precedent for attempts to share scarce treatments amid the pandemic.

State Department resumes processing previously submitted passport applications

As conditions continue to evolve overseas and here in the United States, the Department looks forward to resuming routine passport processing across the country, according to a State Department official.

  Hollowed out public health system faces more cuts amid virus

The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and lacks the resources to confront the worst health crisis in a century.

  Senate extends small business coronavirus relief program

About $130 billion remains of $660 billion approved so far for the subsidy program, which provides direct subsidies to businesses harmed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Baseball’s minor leagues cancel 2020 seasons

Baseball's minor leagues canceled their seasons Tuesday because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the head of their governing body said more than half of the 160 teams were in danger of failing without government assistance or private equity injections.

  Republicans, with exception of Trump, now push mask-wearing

In Republican circles -- with the notable exception of the man who leads the party -- the debate about masks is over: It’s time to put one on.

  Hall-of-Famer Pudge Rodriguez video encourages wearing face masks for safety

Pudge Rodriguez helps out the governor by making a PSA about wearing face masks.

COVID-19 survivor barely recognizes himself after 25 days in a coma

Ahmad Ayyad went from peak physical condition and competing in obstacle races to losing 60 pounds after being hospitalized due to the coronavirus.

  Sunbelt states rush to line up hospital beds, not barstools, amid virus surge

States such as Florida, Arizona, Texas and California have reversed course, closing or otherwise clamping down on bars, shutting beaches and rolling back restaurant capacity.

  ‘Identity of Gilmer’: City manager talks about decision to cancel Yamboree

Hutson said canceling the Yamboree fireworks and the festival is in the best interest of public health and safety — especially since more than half the population in Gilmer is 55 and older.

  WEBXTRA: June 30 is deadline for business owners to apply for Paycheck Protection Program

East Texas News’ Blake Holland spoke with Day Shelmire, director of the UT Tyler-Longview Small Business Development Center.

Nacogdoches city, county issue voluntary mask-wearing proclamation

This voluntary compliance goes into effect at 12:00 a.m. on July 1, 2020 and expires when terminated or on July 8, 2020--whichever comes first.

  FDA approves an at-home breast cancer treatment

The Food and Drug Administration has approved an at-home breast cancer treatment called Phesgo.

  WEBXTRA: Gregg County health official discusses public COVID-19 testing

KLTV'S Jamey Boyum has more.

  Fauci: US ‘going in wrong direction’ in coronavirus outbreak

States such as Texas, Florida and California are backtracking, closing beaches and bars or rolling back restaurant restrictions in some cases.

TWC delaying work search requirement for unemployment benefits

“Due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Texas, TWC has decided to pause the return of work search requirements at this time,”

  Paycheck Protection Program coming to an end

The program is credited by government officials for saving millions of jobs, with more than 4.8 million small business owners tapping into the funds, for more than $519 billion in loans.

  WEBXTRA: Free COVID-19 testing in Tyler this week

WEBXTRA: Free COVID-19 testing in Tyler this week

  Free COVID-19 Testing returns to East Texas for several days

KLTV’s Jamey Boyum gives us a look at the testing site in Longview.

  Pediatrics group strongly encourages return of in-person school

The American Academy of Pediatrics encouraged schools to have the goal of “having students physically present in school” despite the rising tide of COVID-19 infections nationwide.

  Trader Joe’s shopper rants on camera after being told to wear a mask

Video from a Trader Joe’s in California shows a shopper throwing a tantrum after she was told to wear a face covering inside the store.

Gov. Abbott halts elective surgeries in 4 more counties

Under the Executive Order, the Governor directs all hospitals in these counties to postpone surgeries and procedures that are not immediately, medically necessary.

How risky is flying during the coronavirus pandemic?

Flying can increase your risk of exposure to infection, but airlines are taking some precautions and you can too.

  Serious coronavirus-linked condition hit 285 US children, studies say

The studies show most children recovered after intensive-care treatment, but many had heart complications. The potential for long-term or permanent damage is unknown.

  Family of Fla. deputy who died of COVID-19 denied line-of-duty insurance claim

While Florida statutes do classify certain health conditions as “accidental and caused by employment,” the AIG insurance company says that doesn’t technically include COVID-19.

  Survey finds confusion among public about pandemic news

For a story that has dominated the news for four months, a survey out Monday illustrates the difficulty that many Americans have in finding information that they trust about the coronavirus pandemic.

  States reverse openings, require masks amid virus resurgence

The United States on Monday reported 38,800 newly confirmed infections, with the total surpassing 2.5 million.

  AP FACT CHECK: Actually, 20% of US lives in a virus hot spot

The White House has repeatedly cited the low county tally, and Pence reaffirmed the point in a televised interview Sunday.

Where to find COVID-19 mobile testing in East Texas

Henderson, Mineola, Quitman, Grand Saline, Wills Point add testing locations

  UT football coach Tom Herman featured on governor PSA to promote COVID-19 fight

The Office of the Governor and University of Texas Head Football Coach Tom Herman today released a new public service announcement (PSA) titled, “The Power of Teamwork.”

Gov. Abbott extends deadline for federal food benefit program

Eligible families include those with children who lost access to free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) due to school closures.

UT regents approve campus plans for all 8 locations

The University of Texas System Board of Regents unanimously approved plans Monday for the system’s eight UT academic institutions to offer in-person, online and hybrid courses in the fall, while taking numerous and extensive measures to protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.