Good morning! Here is what's on Good Day Lubbock this morning 5-9 a.m. on FOX34.
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Hot and dry today
A breezy west-southwest wind 12-22 mph is leaving our area under an elevated wildfire risk. Be cautious with anything that could cause a spark in dry grass as a fire could spread quickly. High near 101, dropping to 60s and low 70s tonight. Back to the 100s Wednesday with a calmer wind, then a drop in highs by the weekend.
The loss of the county's largest drive-in screening for coronavirus at UMC is leaving big shoes to fill for the city
Lubbock's only city-run testing site at the Patterson branch library has expanded to 5 days a week, 9 am to noon. The clinic can give about 30 tests an hour and paramedics from Lubbock fire rescue helping to make this possible. Appointments must be made ahead of time with the health department, but the testing itself is free. For the next 3 weeks, the state will offer testing at both Hodges Elementary and Rodgers Park on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 am to 4 pm no appointment needed.
Covenant is offering testing in multiple communities throughout the South Plains
You must set an appointment for every location. You have to bring an ID and an insurance card but there's no co-pay for the initial screening. You can also schedule an antibody test to determine whether you've already had and beaten the infection. There are three locations in Lubbock, two for adults, one for kids. Anyone can get a test weekdays at the Plainview campus. In Levelland, you can ask your doctor for a screening ad if you qualify for a test, they'll schedule you. We have times and locations in the FOX34 news app.
A coalition of children's hospitals, including Covenant, reports it has enough capacity to care for kids during the pandemic
The Children's Hospitals Association of Texas wants you to know it's safe to bring your kids in for illnesses that aren't COVID-19. Doctors worry if you avoid going, the sickness may get worse. To compensate for the spike in hospitalized patients, these hospitals have developed "surge plans" to make space if it's needed. Covenant Children's CEO, who chairs the board says they're all ready and able to serve. Doctor Amy Thompson emphasized the hospitals' tele-medicine programs and their stocks of PPE. All staffers are screened and tested rigorously to provide safe care.
For a third day, Lubbock shows a downward trend in newly confirmed COVID-19 cases
It's also the first time in weeks the number of active cases decreased. The city reported 54 new cases of the coronavirus. It also confirmed 58 new recoveries. Since the county started tracking in mid-March, it reports a total of 2095 cases. The overall positivity rate stands at more than 7%.
A group of bar owners in Texas is suing the state over Governor Abbott's orders to close
It calls that decision, irresponsible and shameful. The Texas Bar and Nightclub Alliance has urged its bar owners to violate the order and remain open. The alliance hopes for a temporary restraining order to block the governor's mandate. That would allow the bars to stay open while the lawsuit goes through state and federal courts. If the TABC finds a bar in violation of the closing order, agents can suspend the bar's license. The governor's order does close bars for patrons inside while allowing the bar to provide take-out or delivery.
Early voting is underway for the next three weeks
The extra week is intended to keep crowds down at the polls. Curbside voting is available and poll workers are using disposable and sanitized tools to keep everyone safe. If you do go inside, the booths will be further spaced apart and there will be markers for social distancing. These are the run-offs from the party primaries earlier this year. You can vote at any United location in Lubbock and many other places throughout the county. It runs from 8-8, except for this Friday and Saturday to observe Independence Day.
Levelland mayor apologizes for social media post, faces calls to resign
Levelland Mayor Barbra Pinner has issued an apology for a Facebook post she recently shared. The now-deleted post claims to be written by an 83-year-old black man from Ferguson, Missouri named William G. Lillas. It purports to explain the difference between a Black person and someone who is the n-word. The post uses the slur repeatedly, urging young black people to stay away from crime and mischief.
On Facebook Pinner wrote she thought the post she shared was "well written, but apparently several people have taken offense." She wrote she is "not racist in any way, shape or form," and was sorry if she offended anyone.
Texas Tech K-12 online program
As Texas plans to open schools amid the surge in COVID-19 cases, some parents are concerned about sending their children back into school buildings. One option may be Texas Tech's fully-approved K-12 program, which started in 1993. The program is fully online, tuition based and students work with Texas certified teachers. More details here.
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