Texas Standard for January 13, 2022

Harris County is once again at its highest COVID-19 threat level. We’re talking to County Judge Lina Hidalgo about why and what she wants the community to know. And: With high COVID-19 positivity rates across the state, many Texans are desperate for tests. How to make sure the at-home variety give you the most accurate results. Meanwhile, at a time when hospital systems are overwhelmed, one is facing a potential financial crisis that could shut it down. We’ll look at why. Also: We’ll introduce you to a folk rock duo that describes their sound as “Southern and Garfunkel.” All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJanuary 13, 2022 9:30 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Thursday, January 13, 2022.

What will SCOTUS decide on vaccine mandates?

The Supreme Court is still mulling whether the Biden administration can impose vaccination or testing requirements for large private businesses and health facilities that take federal funds like Medicare and Medicaid. To help us understand the stakes, we’re joined by Seth Chandler, health law professor at the University of Houston.

Lina Hidalgo on COVID in Harris County

With case counts spiking, Harris County has raised its COVID threat level to red again. And although some health experts expect this wave to peak soon, hospitals could remain strained for weeks to come. Joining us with more from the Houston area is Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.

How to avoid a false negatives with at-home COVID-19 tests

More people are using rapid antigen tests at home to see if they have COVID-19, but sometimes those tests can give a false negative result – saying you don’t have the virus when you actually do. KERA’s Bekah Morr talked to an expert about how to get the most accurate results with at-home tests.

Airport plan to store jet fuel within 500 feet of homes faces pushback

Officials at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport want to store millions of gallons of jet fuel just a few hundred feet from homes. As KUT’s Nathan Bernier reports, neighbors have opposed the plan and Austin’s city council has slowed down the process.

The AP’s getting into NFTs

One very old school company is getting into blockchain-backed NFTs in a big way. The Associated Press –a news agency that’s been around since 1845 – plans to sell unique digital renderings of some of its most famous photographs. Our tech expert Omar Gallaga is here to tell us about it.

Conversation with roots duo, Jamestown Revival

Texas folk duo Jamestown Revival has made steady strides in their musical careers since their debut album, “Utah,” in 2014. But, as it has for countless other musicians, the pandemic has posed a challenge. On their newest album “Young Man,” the duo addresses isolation, aging and bonds with family and friends. Jamestown Revival’s Zach Chance and Jonathan Clay join us today to talk about their latest album, which comes out tomorrow.

Can these Houston hospitals survive without Medicare dollars?

A hospital system in Houston is on the brink of a financial crisis. Federal health authorities have canceled their Medicare contract with United Memorial Medical Center, after the system failed multiple inspections. That means those hospitals will no longer be reimbursed by the government for treating medicare patients – and without those federal dollars, the health system may not be able to survive. Houston Chronicle reporter Rebecca Carballo brings us the story.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.

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