Jason Garza for The Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune: 

Three Texas love stories ended in July.

Ricardo Ramos died on Independence Day.

Ramon Fuentes III passed five days later.

By the end of the month, Andres Arguelles was gone, too.

They were all 45. Loving husbands. Strangers who died with the coronavirus in neighboring South Texas cities.

A year in, pandemic picture unclear due to holes in data

Mar 18, 2021
Data from the City of Lubbock

When the coronavirus reached Lubbock in the middle of March last year, the city’s public health director Katherine Wells and her team started a spreadsheet. 


“A spreadsheet that was literally, like, a basic line listing,” she recalled. “Name, age, date of birth.”



Contact tracers added notes in one box. Had the person traveled? How long were they instructed to quarantine? 

“That spreadsheet just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger,” Wells said.


Sarah Self-Walbrick/Texas Tech Public Media

From The Texas Tribune: 

Texans age 50 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 15, state health officials announced Wednesday.

Sarah Self-Walbrick/Texas Tech Public Media

Gov. Greg Abbott announced this week that he is lifting the mask mandate in Texas and allowing all businesses to fully reopen, a decision drawing mixed reactions from residents in the city where he shared the policy changes.



Abbott was at Montelongo’s in Lubbock Tuesday when he made the announcement. In recent weeks, Lubbock’s COVID-19 cases have significantly decreased and hospitalization restrictions were lifted last month since those numbers were down, too, after being over 15% for more than 100 days. 

'It is now time to open up Texas 100 percent,' Gov. Greg Abbott says

Mar 2, 2021
Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he's lifting statewide executive orders that limit occupancy for businesses and require Texans to wear masks in public spaces.

"Effective next Wednesday, all businesses of any type are allowed to open 100%," Abbott said.


The governor said businesses can limit capacity or "implement additional safety protocols" if they wish and that counties can restrict occupancy if COVID-related hospitalization rates rise above 15% for seven straight days.