Nicole Cobler
Jan 4, 2023 - COVID

COVID cases rise after holiday gatherings

Illustration of a pattern of covid cells.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Travis County wastewater monitoring shows a jump in new COVID cases, following predictions from health officials that holiday gatherings could spread the virus.

By the numbers: Although the CDC lists Travis County's community level as low, the county's seven-day positivity rate was just above 20% and COVID hospitalizations had increased by 65% week over week, as of the end of the year, the latest data available.

Nicole Cobler
Dec 6, 2022 - News

COVID-19, flu and RSV cases rise in Austin area

Illustration of a thermometer shaped like an upwards arrow, with the mercury rising.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Texas hospitalsalready vulnerable from the COVID-19 pandemic — are again being inundated as the flu and other respiratory diseases spike across the state.

Driving the news: The number of patients visiting Travis County clinics for influenza-like symptoms surged in October. It's the earliest the flu season has started since at least 2018.

Nicole Cobler
Dec 1, 2022 - News

Increasing number of Texas hospitals at risk of closure, report finds

Illustration of a question mark with a dot shaped like a medical cross

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

While the coronavirus pandemic often feels like it's in the rearview mirror, Texas hospitals are still grappling with its aftermath.

Driving the news: Nearly twice as many Texas hospitals, or almost 1 in 10, are at risk of closure since before the pandemic, a new report from the Texas Hospital Association reveals.

COVID absent from campaign messaging in Texas

Illustration of a combination word balloon and covid particle, with the covid prongs retracting.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Texans are still testing positive for the coronavirus, but candidates up and down the ballot are staying far away from talking about masks, vaccines and other pandemic topics that were a staple of campaigning over the last two years.

The big picture: Dwelling on COVID could seem out of touch with an electorate that is now more concerned about the rising cost of groceries than about mask wearing.

Nicole Cobler
Sep 28, 2022 - COVID

Long COVID is costing Texans thousands of dollars

A nurse tends to a patient in a hallway at the Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital in August 2021. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Long COVID is costing Texans thousands of dollars more than the rest of the country, according to new data from health care company Nomi Health.

The big picture: Long COVID symptoms can vary and include brain fog, fatigue, organ damage, chest and joint pains, loss of senses of smell and taste, cough, headache, and gastrointestinal and cardiac issues.

Asher Price
Sep 27, 2022 - News

Return-to-work stagnates

Data: Kastle; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Two-and-a-half years since the start of the pandemic, return-to-work numbers appear stagnant in Austin.

  • Figures are way up from a nadir in the early days of COVID, but still far off pre-pandemic heights.

Ascension Seton nurses vote to unionize

Illustration of hands in medical gloves holding red picket signs, forming a red cross symbol.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

More than two-thirds of nurses at Ascension Seton Medical Center voted to unionize this week, becoming the largest private-sector hospital in Texas to do so.

Why it matters: Against a backdrop of global economic unrest, the clash between workers and bosses is now coming to an ER near you.

Asher Price
Sep 22, 2022 - News

Austin's 24-hour diners meet match in COVID

Illustration of a clock with chef's knives for hands.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

In the long fallout from COVID, we've mourned that some Austin round-the-clock eateries — long among the most popular spots in town — have been shortening their hours … or closing down altogether.

Why it matters: Dining out is about community, and the 24-hour spots represented something vital about Austin, where students, musicians and cops could reliably break bread together — or at least in adjacent booths.


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