ROUNDUP: Projected job losses reach 250,000 and 9 other Houston coronavirus stories from this week

Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper
Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper

Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper

Here are some of the major coronavirus updates Houston readers should know about from the past week.

Gov. Greg Abbott announces plan to reopen Texas economy, creation of business strike force

Texas is the first state with set dates to lift certain COVID-19 restrictions as of April 17 when Gov. Greg Abbott announced three executive orders to restore more jobs while keeping Texans safe.

Here’s what to expect when getting tested for COVID-19 in the Houston area

The Houston Health Department is now conducting 1,000 coronavirus tests per day at sites throughout the region. Antibody testing, which can detect if a person has been previously infected with the coronavirus, is also being offered at a private clinic.



Houston kicks off ‘Take Us to Your Table’ restaurant support campaign

Boosted by a $100,000 donation from ExxonMobil, the city of Houston’s campaign urges residents to support local restaurants by placing takeout orders.

MAP: 198 places to find food for delivery, takeout in Cy-Fair

Residents of the Cy-Fair area can select from one of hundreds of restaurants available for pickup and delivery orders.

Texas now dispersing $600 weekly unemployment payments from federal stimulus, agency says

Texans who have filed for unemployment benefits due to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus began receiving an additional $600 from the Texas Workforce Commission this week thanks to the federal government’s economic stimulus package.

Here’s a breakdown of 4 financial relief programs aimed to save small Texas businesses

Representatives from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office hosted a webinar April 15 to explain the four different loan programs being offered to small-business owners.

Patrick Jankowski ups Houston-area job loss projections to 250,000 in March, April

Regional economist Patrick Jankowski increased his estimate for total job losses in the Houston area from 150,000 through the end of the year to 250,000 for March and April alone.

HELP WANTED: These companies are currently hiring in the Greater Houston area

Workers in the Houston area who have been furloughed or laid off amid the economic fallout of the coronavirus can check this list for companies still hiring.

Local birth centers, midwife services see increase in interest from expectant mothers

Birthing centers in Spring, Klein and Cy-Fair are seeing an increase in demand as pregnant women seek to avoid the perceived risks and increased restrictions at hospitals.

Area primary care physicians adapt, struggle during pandemic

The owner of Step Pedriatrics in The Woodlands said he has had to shift his operations to keep his office running despite losing about half of his patients.

Adriana Rezal, Emma Whalen, Danica Smithwick, Daniel Houston, Ian Pribanic, Hannah Zedaker and Andrew Christman contributed to this report.



MOST RECENT

Houston City Hall in rainbow lighting
Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce celebrates five years of service

The organization is open to all and serves members throughout the Greater Houston area.

A coronavirus vaccine is given at Memorial Hermann's mass vaccine clinic Feb. 26. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Memorial Hermann closes out 2nd round of vaccines with 7,000 distributed among 2 clinics

The clinic will continue operations through 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27.

The "grocerant" opened Feb. 26. (Courtesy Lindsay Nichols)
GALLERY: Take a peek inside newly opened Harvest Market 'grocerant' in Woodforest

The two-level “grocerant” features a full dining experience and a grocery store.

The median price of homes sold in ZIP code 77306 saw the greatest percent increase year over year in January. (Community Impact staff)
Check out this month's featured neighborhood, Crighton Ridge in Conroe

Crighton Ridge, located in Conroe, includes parks, a playground and a pond for residents to enjoy.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

Keith Luechtefeld spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about some of the short-term and long-term repercussions of the storm as well as some of the reasons why so many homes saw burst pipes during the freezing weather. (Community Impact staff)
Q&A: Greater Houston Builders Association President Keith Luechtefeld discusses power, plumbing, frozen pipes after Winter Storm Uri

Keith Luechtefeld spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about some of the short-term and long-term repercussions of the storm as well as some of the reasons why so many homes saw burst pipes during the freezing weather.

Winter Storm Uri led to closures across the Greater Houston area during the third week of February. (Courtesy Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County)
‘It’s been a rough year for us’: Expert explains economic effects of winter storm, ongoing pandemic in Houston region

“It's been a rough year for us economically; it's been a rough year for us public health wise. It's just been a rough year for us psychologically—first the coronavirus and then the freeze," said Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of research with the Greater Houston Partnership.

The $560 million central processor, which is part of the new Mickey Leland International Terminal, will replace the parking garage for terminals D and E. (Courtesy Houston Airport System)
Parking garage at George Bush Intercontinental Airport to be demolished to make way for new Mickey Leland International Terminal

The international central processor, which is part of the new Mickey Leland International Terminal, will replace the parking garage for terminals D and E.

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic. (Courtesy Qygen, Wikimedia Commons)
Fry's Electronics calls it quits after nearly 36 years in business

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic.

A lone runner jogs on a snow-covered road in Austin. Transportation projects across the city were briefly paused due to Winter Storm Uri. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT: Texas power system was less than 5 minutes from collapse during winter storm

ERCOT's CEO offered details into what led to the massive blackouts that left millions of Texans in the cold last week.

Emerging technology and alternative energy sectors could help ease the blow of an oil and gas industry downturn in Houston caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a Houston-area economist said. (Courtesy Visit Houston)
Greater Houston area could see economic relief from pandemic around mid-2021, economist says

Emerging technology and alternative-energy sectors could help ease the blow of the downturn in Houston's oil and gas industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Montgomery ISD trustees adopted a resolution calling for the state to prioritize school district employees in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process, according to a release from the district. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery ISD trustees urge state to prioritize educators in vaccine distribution

"Since day one of this challenging school year, our teachers and school district staff have been heroes for our students,” Board President Matt Fuller said in the release.