Reporting Texas
News and features from UT-Austin's School of Journalism

COVID-19 Infections in Pregnancy Rise as Vaccination Rate Stays Low

Pregnant people are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. In recent months, health officials have been raising alarms that the group needs to urgently get vaccinated.

Lewis, 34, said she suffered from every symptom on the list when she got COVID-19 after reluctantly attending an in-person work meeting. It took her a month to recover, and she had to take blood thinners for the remainder of her pregnancy to prevent blood clots, which pregnant women are more at-risk from when they contract COVID-19.

“I did not start to feel better until Thanksgiving,” said Lewis, who was exposed on Nov. 5, 2020. “I remember the day we were sitting there for Thanksgiving dinner and I mean, that was the first time I was really able to eat.”

The highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in pregnant people in a single month of the pandemic was reported in August 2021, according to a Sept. 29 health alert from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates only about 31% of pregnant people are fully vaccinated. This number is even lower for Black pregnant people, at 15.6%.

After Initially Settling in Texas, Buhtanese Refugees Increasingly Leaving the State

About 85% of the more than 100,000 displaced Bhutanese refugees came to the U.S. since 2006, with Pennsylvania and Texas receiving the largest shares, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  But Bhutanese refugees and their advocates say many of them are leaving Texas due to lack of access to affordable health care, affordable housing and limited job advancement opportunities.


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Before QAnon, Satanic Panic Gripped Central Texas

Thirty years ago, Oak Hill daycare owners Dan and Fran Keller were convicted and sentenced to 48 years in jail — a likely death sentence for Dan, 50 at the time, and Fran, then 42. Their supposed crime: sexually abusing children during satanic rituals. The Kellers were accused of forcing children to drink blood-laced Kool-Aid and to watch Dan and Fran dismember people with a chainsaw. Today, the claims are believed to have been false memories planted in children’s minds by the suggestive questioning of parents, law enforcement and therapists. But the damage was done.

Texas Remains Reluctant to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use

Texas has had a puzzling past with marijuana. While the state refuses to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana, it has made small strides in recent years to legalize CBD, hemp and medical marijuana. As the laws become more confusing, some cities — like Austin — have chosen to decriminalize misdemeanor amounts of marijuana. Of the 50 bills pertaining to marijuana introduced during Texas’ 87th legislation — only HB 1535 made it to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. This bill expands the number of people eligible for medical marijuana as well as the concentration amount they can have. Bills dealing with penalty reduction or recreational legalization died.

ACL Music Fest Marks Return of Major In-Person Events in Austin

Survivors and Seeking Help: Suicide Prevention and Recovery

Texas Lawmakers Want to Make Single Eyewitness Testimony No Longer Grounds for Death Penalty

Austin Sumo Wrestlers Prepare for National Competition