Good morning! Here is what's on Good Day Lubbock this morning 5-9 a.m. on FOX34.
Cloudy morning, then cloud cover pushes east during the late morning. High near 75, a few storms might pop up east of I-27 during the afternoon. The rest of us under a Red Flag Warning with drier air and wind speeds increasing 20-30 mph from the west. A weak front overnight keeps our lows in the lower 40s and upper 30s, sunny Tuesday with highs just a few degrees cooler.
Stay-at-home order in Lubbock now in effect
Lubbockites are now under a stay-at-home order with the number of coronavirus cases spiking over the last few days. The order runs through Friday night, and could be extended beyond that. You're only supposed to leave the house for necessities like groceries or doctors appointments. All the essential businesses that were allowed to operate under the last disaster declaration will stay open. The order bans any public or private gatherings. City parks remain open, but you need to maintain social distancing of six feet or more. People who are sick must stay home. The city reported 10 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total for Lubbock county to 51. Many of the cases are asymptomatic, a pretty dangerous situation because they feel fine and are moving around, not knowing they are carrying the virus and are highly contagious. Lubbock also had its first COVID-19-related death over the weekend - a man in his 60s with underlying health conditions.
Classes resume for Texas Tech today after an extended spring break and they are moving online
President Lawrence Schovanec says on-campus housing payments will be refunded from the end of spring break to the end of the spring term. Unused dining dollars and prorated meal plans will roll over to the next term. Graduates will get a refund for any unused money. The in-person commencement for graduates in May is canceled. It may happen in August.
Lubbock ISD and other districts in our area also resuming instruction online today
And one school is ahead of the curve in teaching students remotely. Sharp Academy started distance learning in early March. It collaborated with others schools within the international dyslexia association to formulate the best distance learning plan for its students. The school is using "Zoom" - a remote conferencing service. The academy is also still allowing enrollment. You can find a link to more info in the FOX34 news app.
Texas Tech is one of the CD's laboratories responding to the COVID-19 crisis
The lab recently came online, as testing increases state-wide. The testing center is run by the Institute for Environmental and Human Health at the Reese center and is serving 67 counties. To get a lab up and running, it usually takes about four to six months, but this testing center was ready to go in just one week. President Lorin Rice-Spearman also says, there are more tests being given the ok, meaning their capabilities are expected to expand in the near future.
New restrictions for travelers from Louisiana
Governor Abbott announced an update to his executive orders that will further restrict travel into Texas from areas hard hit by the coronavirus in the United States. People driving in from Louisiana will have to self-quarantine for 14 days, though there are exceptions for commerce and healthcare. DPS troopers will check drivers at the border.
Busy Bee power-washing is donating time and services to help combat COVID-19 in our city
The company has been going around to playgrounds to rid possible traces of the virus - free of charge. The company's Facebook page is tracking the "Make America Clean Again" campaign across Lubbock, Tahoka, Post and many other towns in our area. When asked if sales were increasing in light of the company's charity, co-owners say they just want to do good and are not concerned with reward.
Gun stores re-opened for business across the state, following Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's released opinion
Initially, gun shops were deemed non-essential businesses in some areas. This left many Texans feeling concerned for their safety and whether their second amendment rights were being violated. Lubbock Rep Dustin Burrows asked Paxton to take a look at the issue. Sharp shooters in Lubbock will adhere to CDC guidelines and is only letting five shoppers in at a time.
The coronavirus is further disrupting the 2020 census
The census bureau says it's extending its suspension of fieldwork until April 15th, 2 weeks longer than originally planned. That means a freeze on hiring and training of tens of thousands of workers for the largest phase of the census canvassing millions of homes that haven't responded. The delay also affects door-to-door census deliveries to about 10 million homes, mostly in rural areas or where residents don't get home mail delivery. The process, originally scheduled to end July 31st, is now set to end August 14th. That's so census officials can meet a legal deadline requiring results by the end of the year.
President Trump's hope of having things get back to normal by Easter Sunday with churches filled - won't happen
He's extending the social distancing guidelines through April 30th. The United States has the most COVID-19 cases in the world - more than 139,000 as of last night, with the number of deaths growing exponentially. Tut the nation's top infectious disease expert says the social distancing guidelines are making a difference. The administration expects the number of cases in the U.S. to peak mid-April.
Look Around Lubbock: Starting some spring planting
Meredith Aldis has some tips on getting started with a bit of gardening.
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