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After a year of isolation from loved ones and lack of physical contact with their families in some cases, Texas nursing home residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are now allowed unlimited visits — and hugs — from their loved ones as long as the facility permits it, according to new rules announced Tuesday by state health officials.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick hastily convened a session of the Texas Senate on Monday as members suspended their own rules and took highly unusual steps to immediately push through a bill that would force the state’s utility regulator to reverse billions of dollars in charges for wholesale electricity during last month’s winter storm.

The number of people in Texas hospitalized with COVID-19 has declined more than 28 percent in the past month, according to the Texas Department of Health Services. As of Feb. 7, Texas hospitals were treating 9,957 COVID-19 patients, down from nearly 14,000 a month ago. The number of new cases in the past week was 123,239 — a 22 percent drop from the record high of 158,922 the week of Jan. 10, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University.

Texas will get nearly 600,000 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for next week, allowing the state to distribute the vaccine to the largest number of counties so far. The vaccines will be shipped to 563 providers in 230 counties across Texas, including 84,240 doses for large vaccine clinics in Harris, Dallas and Tarrant counties supported by the federal government, according to the Texas Department of State and Health Services.

AUSTIN—Senator Joan Huffman (R - Houston) announced today that the Texas Senate Redistricting Committee will hold a series of regional hearings to solicit testimony from the public about the upcoming redistricting process. In a first for the Texas Senate, these regional hearings will allow m…

After a rugged and seemingly endless 2020, we are beginning to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. We are not done yet, but with vaccination programs ongoing and the disease and effective treatments better understood, we should be able to establish a new normal at some point in …

The unemployment rate in Texas rose to 8.1 percent in November, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday. That’s an increase from the state’s October rate of 6.9 percent as Texas, whose businesses have been battered by the coronavirus pandemic, experienced another surge in infections. But the n…