Texas Standard For August 20, 2021

Some jaws drop at the Capitol as a handful of Texas Democrats end the walkout and return a quorum to the lower chamber. AND: 70% vaccination rates, room in ICU units and more. Is there something El Paso’s doing that the rest of the state could learn from? Also: Claims and questions about cloth masks amid the spread of the Delta variant: what makes a safe mask? Plus: A civil rights complaint that Port Arthur residents hope will clear the air. Those stories and much more on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardAugust 20, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Friday, August 20, 2021.

El Paso COVID Response

El Paso is a standout in the fight against COVID-19. More than 70% of its residents are fully vaccinated, about 25% more than the statewide average. Its ICU capacity doesn’t appear as overwhelmed as other larger cities in Texas. What might El Paso teach the rest of Texas? We’re asking El Paso health authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza.

Lubbock Hispanic Community Hesitant to COVID-19 Vaccine

As a new wave of COVID cases surges in Texas, efforts to get Lubbockites vaccinated have ramped up. But after a year of misinformation, not everyone is lining up to get their shot. Texas Tech Public Media’s Jayme Lozano reports on efforts there to reach the Hispanic community.

Universities Back To School

Universities are welcoming back faculty and students amidst the turmoil of another surge in COVID-19 cases, and schools are taking different approaches. UT Austin is requiring a negative COVID test for all students on campus. At Baylor University in Waco, students will be tested weekly. In Abilene, KACU’s Dana Glover checked in with the presidents of that city’s three private universities, and has this report on their plans.

Mask Effectiveness

The debate over mask requirements is as intense right now as it’s ever been during the pandemic. But what about the science behind which masks are most effective? The efficacy of masks is what Texas Tech University Professor Seshardri Ramkumar has been testing. We’ll speak with the professor today.

Port Arthur EPA Investigation

Since 1970, the Clean Air Act has helped rid the air of 78% of six common pollutants, including sulfur dioxide. But in Port Arthur, residents fed up by long term sulfur dioxide emissions from a nearby plant are taking a different tack from Clean Air Act compliance: they’re calling for a civil rights investigation. Here to tell us more is Katie Watkins of Houston Public Media.

Documentary “Missing in Brooks County”

Through stirring images recorded on the Texas-Mexico border, the documentary short “Missing in Brooks County” conveys the struggle for migrants and the challenges for law enforcement, letting its characters tell their own story. We’ll speak to co-director Jeff Bemiss in this extended Q&A.

Typewriter Rodeo

The Week in Texas Politics, with The Texas Tribune

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Michael Marks with the talk of Texas.

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