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5 things for Houstonians to know for Monday, Feb. 22

Here are things to know for Monday, Feb. 22:

The U.S. stood Sunday on the brink of a once-unthinkable tally: 500,000 individuals lost to the coronavirus.

A year into the pandemic, the operating complete of lives lost was about 498,000 — roughly the inhabitants of Kansas City, Missouri, and simply shy of the dimensions of Atlanta. The determine compiled by Johns Hopkins University surpasses the quantity of people that died in 2019 of power decrease respiratory ailments, stroke, (*22*)’s, flu and pneumonia mixed.

“It’s nothing like we have ever been through in the last 102 years, since the 1918 influenza pandemic,” the nation’s high infectious illness knowledgeable, Dr. Anthony Fauci, mentioned on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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The variety of deaths in Texas due to the sickness brought on by the coronavirus elevated by greater than 200 on Saturday whereas the variety of individuals hospitalized with the virus declined, in accordance to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

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There have been an extra 227 COVID-19 deaths, greater than 4,900 new instances and seven,535 hospitalizations, a decline of 222 individuals hospitalized, the division reported.

Texas has had greater than 2.5 million coronavirus instances for the reason that pandemic started, and greater than 42,000 deaths due to COVID-19, the third highest loss of life depend within the United States, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University.

The seven-day rolling common of latest instances has fallen from practically 18,980 per day to practically 5,041 and the typical of every day deaths had dropped from 305.7 per day to 127.3, in accordance to the Johns Hopkins information.

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Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday mentioned energy ought to quickly be absolutely restored throughout the state and that grocery shops can be restocked for Texans within the wake of an enormous winter storm that left many with out energy for days.

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Abbott, talking in San Antonio whereas flanked by different state and native leaders, mentioned roughly 13,000 Texans nonetheless didn’t have energy due to points with native energy suppliers. At its top, greater than 4 million Texans have been with out electrical energy.

He mentioned energy must be absolutely restored throughout the state Sunday night time or Monday.

Abbott additionally mentioned meals provide shortages at grocery shops would quickly be resolved, now that highway situations are secure for deliveries. Abbott mentioned he suspended state rules to get extra supply vehicles on roads to assist ship meals and provides at a quicker rate.

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Congresswomen from two totally different states got here collectively Saturday to present reduction of Texans impacted by the winter storm.

U.S. Representatives Sylvia Garcia and Shelia Jackson-Lee of Texas, together with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York joined forces Saturday morning. The elected officers met on the Houston Food Bank to pack bins of meals and share their plan to assist Texans hit exhausting by this week’s lethal climate occasion.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez introduced that she helped to elevate $3.2 million. The New York congresswoman mentioned 100% of the donations can be break up amongst 5 to ten organizations, which incorporates the Houston Food Bank. The chosen organizations both present meals assist, elder care, or shelter help.

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After uncommon icy climate left thousands and thousands of Texans with out energy, some are going through one other disaster: Sky-high electrical energy payments.

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The surge in pricing is hitting individuals who have chosen to pay wholesale costs for their energy, which is often cheaper than paying fastened charges throughout good climate, however can spike when there’s excessive demand for electrical energy. Many of those that have reported receiving massive payments are prospects of electrical energy supplier Griddy, which solely operates in Texas.

Wholesale electrical energy costs fluctuate primarily based on demand. Because pure fuel pipelines and wind generators froze up in Texas, there was much less energy accessible, however excessive demand for electrical energy, inflicting wholesale costs to shoot up, mentioned Joshua Rhodes, an power analysis affiliate on the University of Texas.

Wholesale costs are usually as little as a few cents per kilowatt-hour however spiked to $9 per kilowatt-hour after the storm.

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