Texas Standard For August 18, 2021

As the governor announces he has tested positive for COVID-19, his ban on mask mandates remains in place – we’ll have the latest. And: One school system in West Texas hits the pause button on classes as the delta variant spreads, but what about others confined to smaller spaces for hours at a time, potentially exposed to the fast-spreading coronavirus? We’ll hear about growing concerns for nursing homes and long-term-care facilities for older Texans. Also: As the longest war draws to an end in Afghanistan, for many Afghans, a new life may be just beginning in Texas – resettlement plans, the challenges ahead and much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardAugust 18, 2021 9:18 am

Here’s what’s on Texas Standard for Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021.

Delta Variant In Texas Nursing Homes

Texas nursing homes are seeing a significant increase in COVID-19 cases among residents as the delta variant continues to spread across the state. Here to tell us more is Alexa Schoeman, deputy state ombudsman within the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program for Texas Health and Human Services.

Nursing Homes And Staffing

Dr. Michael Krol knows first hand about the devastation COVID-19 has caused in nursing homes. He’s an assistant professor at UT-Austin’s Dell Medical School, and the medical director for Austin Geriatric Specialists and multiple nursing homes in the Austin area. When we last spoke to Dr. Krol in December, he had just received vaccines for his patients. We’re checking back in to see how nursing homes are faring during the delta variant surge.

School Closings Due To COVID-19

The start of the school year in Texas coincides with another rise in COVID-19 cases across the state – rural Texas included. On Monday, Iraan-Sheffield Independent School District, about 80 miles south of Midland, announced that its schools would pause for two weeks so that students and staff could quarantine. For more on the situation we now bring in the district superintendent, Tracy Canter.

‘I Like Austin, But I Love San Antone’

I like Austin but I love San Antone. That’s not an official Texas Standard endorsement, mind you: it’s the title of a new song from a Texas musician hailing from Alamo City. Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan reports not only does the song have a little fun with the small rivalry between the two Central Texas cities, it’s also a barn burner building on some well-trod themes in Texas music.

Afghan Refugee Resettlement In Texas

After the rapid collapse of Afghanistan’s U.S. backed-government to the Taliban, Texas is getting ready to settle potentially thousands of Afghan refugees. The Pentagon says it’s preparing up to 22,000 spaces for refugees at Fort Bliss in El Paso and another military camp in Wisconsin. Private groups, like Refugee Services of Texas, are also preparing to resettle hundreds of Afghan refugees. Ashley Faye, development director for Refugee Services of Texas, joins us today.

50th Anniversary Of Quetzalcoatlus Discovery

It’s the golden anniversary of the discovery of Quetzalcoatlus. 50 years ago,a University of Texas geology student discovered the pterosaur in Big Bend National Park. Today, the remains of the massive winged creature he discovered lives at the Texas Memorial Museum, housed on the UT-Austin campus. Associate museum director Pamela Owen joins us today to talk about the legacy of quetzalcoatlus, the challenge of museum funding in the time of COVID and more.

Afghan Mountain Climbing Girls In Trouble

For the past six years, an American non-governmental organization called Ascend has helped Afghan girls train to become mountain climbers. These girls defied societal norms and expectations to climb some of the country’s highest mountain peaks. To many, they represented a new hope for women in Afghanistan. Now the NGO is working desperately to help them evacuate the country. Texas Public Radio’s Dan Katz reports.

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

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