Stories by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Austin congressman wants to give local governments the ability to expand Medicaid

Democratic U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin is introducing legislation that would allow local governments in Texas to expand Medicaid to more of their low-income residents. During this year’s legislative session, Texas lawmakers again refused to expand the program statewide.…

Friday, April 16, 2021 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Both of Austin’s Covid-19 vaccine ‘hub’ providers are struggling to fill appointments

UT’s Dell Medical School (along with UT Health) and Austin Public Health are reporting issues getting people signed up to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Both organizations were designated by the state as “hub” providers. The state created the hub model…

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Here’s what you should know as more people in Austin get vaccinated against Covid-19

As vaccinations ramp up a year into the coronavirus pandemic, there finally seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. But we’re not in the clear yet. Morning Edition host Jennifer Stayton talked with KUT’s health care…

Tuesday, March 9, 2021 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Austin Public Health to start opening Covid-19 vaccine appointments every Monday evening

Starting yesterday, Austin Public Health will be releasing appointments every Monday evening for first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Prior to this, officials were opening appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays, somewhat sporadically. The specific days and the number of these appointments…

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Central Texas counties vaccinate 3,000 people in test run for mega site at Circuit of the Americas

Lee esta historia en español. More than 3,000 people were vaccinated against Covid-19 this past weekend at Circuit of the Americas. Officials from Travis, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell counties are working to open a drive-thru mass vaccination site there that…

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Texas won’t be getting its Covid-19 vaccine shipments until weather conditions improve, state officials say

Snowstorms across the state are expected to affect Texas’ effort to vaccinate people this week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “has put vaccine shipments on hold” due to dangerous conditions created by the storm, the Texas Department of…

Thursday, January 14, 2021 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Travis County officials say infusion center for Covid-19 antibodies is struggling to keep up with demand

The demand for monoclonal antibodies to treat Covid-19 is “far outstripping supply,” officials said at a news conference Wednesday. “We are working hard to expand the capabilities at the infusion site to performing 75 infusions a day,” Dr. Jason Pickett,…

Tuesday, December 22, 2020 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

‘Stay home and don’t travel,’ public health officials advise Austinites

Lee esta historia en español. People should take the rising number of Covid-19 cases into consideration as they weigh their holiday plans this week, the interim health authority for Austin-Travis County said. “Our best advice is stay home and don’t…

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Early voting has begun in Texas. Here’s when and how your vote will be counted.

First things first: Most votes don’t get counted until Election Day. To be even more clear, those votes aren’t counted until the polls close that evening. That includes all types of ballots cast during the election – mail-in ballots, in-person…

Thursday, October 1, 2020 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Travis County officials plan to fight governor’s order limiting drop-off sites for mail-in ballots

Travis County officials say they plan to fight Gov. Greg Abbott’s order limiting the number of locations where voters may hand-deliver their mail-in ballots. Abbott announced the order Thursday, the same day local election officials opened the four drop-off sites.…

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Census changes could take political power, funding from Texas Latinos already hit hard by Covid-19

Texas’ growing Latino population is poised to be significantly undercounted in this year’s census, following a slew of recent Trump administration moves. Advocates say that means Latinos could face a decade of diminished political power and underfunding for essential government…

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Texans head to the polls amid spike in Covid-19 cases

Lee esta historia en español. Early voting for Texas’ primary runoff began Monday ahead of the July 14 election. Local officials are urging voters to take extra precautions during in-person voting as Covid-19 cases have been rising in the state.…

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Gov. Abbott says Texas has enough hospital beds to handle increase in Covid-19 cases

There’s no reason to panic over a recent uptick in hospitalizations due to Covid-19, Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday. Although Texas has had a record number of people being hospitalized for Covid-19 in the past several days, Abbott said during…

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

The pandemic is making it harder for college students in Austin to get counted in the 2020 census

College students in Austin are at risk of being severely undercounted in the 2020 U.S. Census, which could put federal funding and political power for young people at risk for the next decade. The census – a national headcount that…

Thursday, May 21, 2020 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Federal appeals court temporarily halts expansion of mail-in voting in Texas

An expansion of Texas’ vote-by-mail program during the pandemic is on hold, again. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday temporarily blocked a lower court ruling from a day earlier that opened up mail-in voting to people under…

Friday, May 15, 2020 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Court order that opens up mail-in voting in Texas stays in effect for now, appeals court rules

Voters who don’t want to risk exposure to the coronavirus may use mail-in ballots during upcoming elections as a legal battle moves through the courts, a Texas appeals court ruled Thursday. The 14th Court of Appeals ruled a trial court…

Thursday, April 16, 2020 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Travis County judge says he will open up mail-in voting during Covid-19 pandemic

A Travis County district court judge said Wednesday he will clarify that voters fearful of contracting Covid-19 will be allowed to use mail-in ballots during elections in July and November. The Texas Democratic Party sued state and local election officials…

Thursday, April 9, 2020 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Austin officials plan for backup facilities if hospitals become overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases

City officials are preparing to increase the number of hospital beds in the area in case there is a surge of Covid-19 patients overwhelming existing hospitals. Dr. Mark Escott, Austin’s interim medical director and health authority, said the city has…

Monday, April 6, 2020 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Texas officials try to clarify who can vote by mail, but they might not be able to just say everyone

The Texas Secretary of State’s Office sent local election officials an advisory Thursday that was meant to give them guidance on how to handle elections during the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, they tried to tackle an issue voting rights groups…

Friday, February 14, 2020 by Ashley Lopez, KUT

Austinites are not at higher risk of getting coronavirus after first confirmed case in Texas

Austin health officials say the threat of coronavirus has not gotten any worse now that the first case has been confirmed in Texas. Dr. Mark Escott, the interim medical director of Austin Public Health, said there is “virtually a zero-percent…

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