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1:30 p.m. Leo DeCapua works from the last houses he planned to rent – when bad news comes.
“Sorry,” the text reads. “Investors just don’t want this loan.”
Investors have over the last few weeks begun to withdraw from the type of customer government programs have been formed to support, said several Houston area mortgage brokers.
Prospective home buyers who are pursuing Federal Housing Administration loans, which only require a 3 percent down payment, or VA loans, which do not require a down payment, find the minimum credit score requested increases.
1:20 p.m. COVID-19 and home insulation reduced the use of Houston buses to two. Now, Metro has cut the bus in two reduce the risk of spreading the disease.
Metropolitan Transit Authority workers have netted hundreds of buses over the past few days to separate drivers and drivers.
Passengers began to ride from the back door of the bus on March 23, with Metro encouraging people to place themselves in all vehicles and limit close contact with others.
Still, Metro spokesman Jerome Gray said, many drivers gathered near the driver or flew to ask questions. The net will help keep everyone back, he said, while providing space in front of the bus for elderly and disabled passengers who need to use the front door.
1:05 p.m. Employees at the Texas Children’s Hospital receive salaries of up to $ 500 during the COVID-19 outbreak, hospital president Mark A. Wallace announced Tuesday.
Full time employees will do it receive a $ 500 check this Friday, while part-time employees will receive $ 250. More than 12,000 hospital workers will receive benefits, said Jenn Jacome, a spokesman for the Texas Children’s Hospital.
The money, which comes from operating reserves, is distributed regardless of whether they work from home or are still at the forefront of medical care.
1 pm With the price of oil deflated and most Texans sheltered at home, the state economy has it all but surely falling into recession, Financial watchdog Glenn Hegar said Tuesday.
“You don’t have the data but it’s quite clear that a large part of the world is closed,” Hegar, a state tax collector, said in a direct interview with the Texas Tribune. “You don’t know how bad that will be.”
Financial monitors have warned of a slowdown for days now, but his statement Tuesday seems to be his first public acknowledgment that the country is now in upheaval. Texas is battling a coronavirus pandemic and is reeling from a global price war in the oil sector that has cut profits.
Hegar said officials would not have their first real view on a slowdown until June, but early indicators showed a significant decline. Unemployment claims have skyrocketed in the past two weeks, hotel occupancy rates have dropped to historic lows, and most local businesses no longer collect sales tax – the single largest source of state tax revenue.
12:20 p.m. Two Texas prison units are in complete lockdown after a large part of their prisoner population was placed under medical restrictions for possible COVID-19 exposure, a Texas Department of Justice spokeswoman confirmed.
The Rufe Jordan unit, a men’s prison in Pampa, was locked after 993 inmates were placed under medical restrictions on Monday. TDCJ did not update the figures Tuesday. The maximum capacity of the unit is 1,008, according to the TDCJ website.
The Lane Murray Unit, a women’s prison in Gatesville, was locked up after 1,147 inmates entered medical restrictions on Monday. The maximum capacity of the unit is 1,341.
On Tuesday, all inmates in the units were confined in their cells, said spokesman Jeremy Desel.
12:10 p.m. Texas can finally see the additional $ 600 authorized by Congress for increase their unemployment checks next week, Director of the Texas Labor Commission, Ed Serna said during a conference call with the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.
After the signing of the CARES Act became law nearly two weeks ago, unemployment benefits were significantly expanded, adding $ 600 per week above state benefits.
However, countries have struggled to spend money quickly, because the country’s unemployment agents must first sign an agreement with the Department of Labor and wait for the funds to be accessed. Responding to a question on the phone, Serna said Texas residents should expect their additional benefits to start appearing in their checks, “within the next week or so.”
12 am Raymond Scholwinski may have caught the corona virus on March 16, his wife Rynda Scholwinski believes, but no one knows for sure.
On that day, sergeant Harris County Sheriff, 70, met a deputy who did not realize he was sick and was later tested positive for COVID-19, a disease caused by the coronavirus virus.
Fever arrived a few days later. Initially mild symptoms. Low fever. Fatigue. But such symptoms are not uncommon for Scholwinski, who has scarring which sometimes makes him cough. And he seemed to ignore it, until Monday, March 23.
“We have great hopes,” Rynda said. “But that night, the fever reappeared.”
Now, her husband is fighting for his life in a bed at the ICU at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Woodlands. He was one of the first thousands of respondents who were sick by COVID-19 nationally, including dozens in Harris County.
-St. John Barned Smith
11:05 a.m. COVID-19 deaths in New York City have surpassed deaths due to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, according to one Related press reports.
More than 3,202 in the city have been killed by coronaviruses, in contrast to the 2,977 who died during the terror attacks.
10:40 a.m. US Senator Ted Cruz wants the federal government to start distributing blood tests to find out who has been infected with the corona virus – potentially without knowing it – and identify parts of the country that are heading for herd immunity so people can get back to work as soon as possible.
Texas Republican urged Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar to enter the Strategic National Stockpile and begin distributing serological tests to look for the presence of coronavirus antibodies.
A positive test result can mean the patient has corona virus and is recovering or has recovered. These patients can donate blood to help find treatment for COVID-19, and the test can help find parts of the country where population plots develop immunity to disease, Cruz wrote in a letter to Azar this week.
10:30 a.m. In an effort to continue playing the regular season, Major League Baseball has discussed playing all games in one central location, but stressed on Tuesday it “hasn’t made that choice or developed a detailed plan.”
The league statement follows a the ESPN report late at night which suggested MLB and its Players Association were “increasingly focused” on plans to play all regular season matches without fans in Phoenix.
The plan, according to ESPN, received support from “high federal public health officials.” Commissioner Rob Manfred said last month he hoped the sport could “get ready” in May. The ESPN report on Monday said the training camp could begin as early as May, but acknowledged that the opening day of June was more realistic.
10:25 in the morning A free shuttle to downtown Houston may be available transporting his last passenger, victims of stop-and-go traffic in the central district, as well as changes in the way residents and visitors move around the city.
GreenLink, transportation that goes up and down at the Metropolitan Transit Authority bus stop along various roads in the downtown district, stops March 23 when transit and downtown district officials reduce service due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The time can accelerate what has been planned as a service stop on May 31, said Bob Eury, executive director of the Houston City Central Management District, which has transportation that began to surround the city center in mid-2012, which is operated by Metro with funds from the downtown district.
– Dig Begley
10:20 a.m. Coronavirus has stopped live music and, in turn, has financially destroyed musicians. Now, a pair of Houston people do something about that.
The Houston Music Foundation, launched Tuesday, is a crisis relief fund started by talent buyer Mark Austin and his wife Rachel Austin, who own Hometown Social, a digital advertising company and PR company. This will provide some financial assistance for local musicians who are currently out of work.
Professional musicians in Harris County will be eligible to receive a one-time emergency aid grant of $ 500. Applicants must be working musicians who can prove they live within the boundaries, are 18 years or older and experience job loss due to COVID-19.
10:15 a.m. University of St. Thomas is offers empty dorm rooms for medical and health professionals who work on the front lines to fight Coronavirus.
With its proximity to the Texas Medical Center, the Catholic private university offers its main student hostel, Guinan Residence Hall, which holds 150 rooms, for four different hospital systems to be used for employees who want to protect their families from possible exposure to the virus.
“So many nurses, doctors and other care providers call UST ‘home’ because they graduated from here,” President St. Thomas Richard Ludwick. This is an opportunity for us to share a sense of togetherness with all who sacrifice a lot for the good of all. “
10:10 AM A Harris County patrol officer who is the first district to be tested positive for Coronavirus has returned to duty.
“You beat Covid-19 like a champion!” Harris 2 Sheriff’s District Office 2 Captain Mike Koteras wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
“Looks good!” Koteras said about photo from Deputy Troy Vaughn.
10 a.m Easter will look different this year amidst a coronavirus pandemic.
“We have experienced disasters in the past,” said Rabbi Ranon Teller of Congregation Brith Shalom. “But this is all other things.”
He decided to try something new – Seder Zoom, to reach congregations who take refuge in places but still want to connect with their synagogues.
Then the question arises which Haggadah to use.
9:40 a.m. Harris County will do it consider a $ 10 million loan program to help small businesses affected by Coronavirus.
Commissioner Court is ready to approve a $ 10 million fund on Tuesday for an interest-free loan, up to $ 25,000 for small businesses that are harmed by the pandemic.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, who proposed the program, said he hoped Harris County would be able to provide assistance more quickly than the federal government. Since Friday, hundreds of thousands of small businesses have applied for loans funded by stimulus packages approved by Congress in March, and banks have them struggle to deal with volume of requests.
Garcia said if approved by the Court of Commissioners on Tuesday, the program would be aired Wednesday and cut checks to businesses within 30 days.
9:20 a.m. Exxon Mobil on Tuesday cut oil exploration and production expenses by $ 10 billion in response to an oil accident.
Irving, a Texas-based oil and gas producer on Tuesday reduced the 2020 capital budget to $ 23 billion, down 30 percent from $ 33 billion. The main oil company will also cut operating costs by 15 percent.
Most of Exxon’s capital expenditure cuts will be done in the Permian Basin, slowing drilling and completion of wells until market conditions improve.
More than 50 oil and gas companies said they would cut capital spending by more than $ 37 billion. The company also reduced dividends, cut executive compensation and leave workers. Global capital expenditure in this industry is expected to drop to $ 100 billion this year, according to Norwegian energy research company Rystad Energy.
9:15 in the morning Texas State Park will be closed to the public because Covid-19, the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife announced Tuesday.
“Given the various challenges and high risks in operating the park today, we believe this is the best course of action currently in order to meet the health and safety expectations the state has set for Texas residents,” said Carter Smith, Executive Director of TPWD. “All state parks will be temporarily closed until community health and safety conditions improve. During closure, staff will continue to look after and maintain the park to ensure they can be reopened to visitors in a timely manner. “
Texas has more than 90 parks which are historic sites.
State park officials said on Tuesday they had difficulty ensuring compliance with social distance, were facing problems in maintaining adequate supplies and struggling to keep the park facilities adequate sanitation.
9:10 AM “We reinvent ourselves. We are reinventing the industry. We are reinventing photo journalism. “
In the latest episode of the “Coronavirus Chronicle” podcast, Houston Chronicle photojournalist, Marie De Jesús illuminates the balancing act between keeping a safe distance and capturing intimate and human moments that reveal how profoundly life in Houston has changed during the pandemic.
Listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts or here.
9:00 a.m. After several miscarriages and failed in vitro transfers, Kelly Matthews wanted to try for another child one last time.
He prepared to start treatment. But last week, he got a call from his doctor, stop those plans.
“I’m out for a week,” he said. “And they say that they have to postpone the transfer.”
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) issued new guidelines on March 17 in response to the coronavirus crisis. These requirements stop all new fertility treatments – including ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and egg freezing.
Matthews was frustrated to learn that he entered the deferred category. “This will be our rainbow,” he said.
Matthews is one of a number of women who are worried about the restrictions. The guidelines have left many patients, who will start the treatment cycle or in the middle of one, asking questions.
8:50 a.m. At 10 o’clock on Monday, the Camden Property Trust property owner launched a $ 5 million prize in which tenants struggled financially due to the coronavirus pandemic could submit up to $ 2,000 per apartment to help with living expenses.
Sixteen minutes later, the money is gone.
Around 2,520 online requests were made by residents of Camden’s entire portfolio of 56,107 units before a message appeared that the money was being used and the program was closed.
“We are surprised it went that fast, but for this reason,” Ric Campo, CEO of Camden based in Houston, said Monday afternoon.
8:45 a.m. ‘Alex Bregman joins the call’ flashed across Chris Rootes’s computer screen on Saturday night, when he and his classmates at St. High School Thomas celebrated their prom virtually through Zoom. Moments later, Lance McCullers’s face also appeared on the video conferencing application.
“Everyone was kind of surprised, because they jumped randomly and no one knew that would happen,” said Rootes, 18, from prom-crashers winning the World Series. “We asked how their quarantine was, but honestly I don’t remember what we talked about. I was too disturbed. “
An understandable response given the situation.
8:30 a.m. A Galveston County nursing home that houses one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks in the Houston area has now become a testing ground for experimental treatments.
Governor Greg Abbott said Monday, 30 Resort residents in Texas City who tested positive for the corona virus were being treated with hydroxychloroquine, usually used to treat malaria and lupus. In total, 83 residents at the facility were initially stated positive, and so far, one person has died; Local officials had to rush to test more than 100 after a nursing home employee fell ill with a confirmed COVID-19 case.
This drug is not officially approved to treat COVID-19 – there is no vaccine or treatment for this disease. However, small preliminary studies have suggested this drug can help prevent new coronavirus from entering cells and might help patients clear the virus more quickly. But they have shown mixed results, and there are no controlled clinical trials.
According to the Texas Tribune, Nursing Home Medical Director is a leading GOP activist and successor to the Trump campaign.
8:15 a.m. Investors have for the past few weeks starting to withdraw from the type of customer the government program has formed to support, said several Houston area mortgage brokers.
Increasingly stringent credit requirements are a response to shocking job losses and an emergency policy that was put in place to limit foreclosures because the new coronavirus sent the economy into disappointment.
8 am Some Texas prisoners will remain busy this week making thousands of fabric masks for Texas Department of Justice employees and lawbreakers, quarantine announced.
The move comes after the Disease Control and Prevention Center last week recommended that everyone wear a face mask that is difficult to maintain. AFSCME Texas Corrections, a union representing TDCJ employees, last month also called for increased protective measures for staff, said executive director Jeff Ormsby.
On Monday, 28 TDCJ employees or contractors were tested positive for COVID-19, along with 19 violators.
7:45 a.m. A local costume designer is donating a mask, made from fabrics not used from theater productions, to hospital staff who lack resources.
Donna Southern Schmidt, a costume designer for Main Street Theater Houston, has donated 40 masks to Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, where medical staff have struggled with a shortage of hospital-level masks.
“My plan is to make 50 per week,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt first heard from a friend, Dr. Dana Oldham from LBJ Hospital, said that medical workers use disposable N95 respirators – masks designed to protect the wearer by filtering in airborne particles – for days, even weeks.
7:30 a.m. Houston residents hope to stay in shape has made a run on sports equipment, flocking to fitness shops to assemble impromptu gyms to help them wait at home the restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the corona virus and the disease, COVID-19, it causes. The national chain began to close on March 16 and Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order which temporarily closed the gym at the end of the week.
At Fitness Unlimited, 5911 Westheimer Road, store manager Andy DeGroff said he sells free weights of six to eight months a week. Customers take more than 12,000 pounds – six tons – barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells, DeGroff said.
“That’s too much,” he said. “As soon as the fitness center is closed, the incoming wave begins.”
For the latest tracking of the spread of the new corona virus in Texas, visit houstonchronicle.com/coronavirus.
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