COVID-19

Poll workers are vital to the protection of our democracy

By | Lauren Banister
Democracy Associate

Poll workers are a critical component for keeping polling locations open. Without adequate numbers of election workers, polling locations will be forced to close suddenly, resulting in confusion and longer wait times. With a high voter turnout expected in November, counties must find new ways to recruit poll workers to avoid the issues seen in July. 

What went wrong with the first COVID-19 shutdown?

By | Matt Wellington
Director, Public Health Campaigns

In the spring, we shut down our lives and our economy in hopes of reducing the spread of COVID-19 enough to be able to manage it through widespread testing and contact tracing. In spite of that shutdown, today the virus is raging virtually uncontrolled. We didn’t stick with it until the job was done.

News Release | TexPIRG | COVID-19

TexPIRG statement on Gov. Abbott’s reopening announcement

AUSTIN -- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he is slowing the reopening of non-essential businesses because the positivity rate of COVID-19 infection across the state is still too high. 

In response, TexPIRG Director Bay Scoggin released the following statement:

“For almost a month now, we’ve been calling on Governor Abbott to Shut down, start over, and do it right. Fifty health professionals from Texas have joined our call, along with more than 1,000 nationwide. We’re pleased to see the governor at least acknowledge that we’re not where we should be. But he is wearing rose-colored glasses if he thinks the virus will fade away deep in the heart of Texas without taking much bolder steps to contain it. 

News Release | COVID-19

TexPIRG tells Gov. Abbott it’s time to shut down, start over and do it right

TexPIRG is calling on Governor Abbott to hit the reset button on the state’s response to containing the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as cases surge to concerning levels. More than 1,000 health professionals nationwide, including 43 from Texas, have now signed an open letter to America’s decision makers urging them to shut it down, start over, and do it right this time to contain COVID-19 and save lives.

Disinfecting your home or building safely during COVID-19

Whether you operate a business, a church, a school or another building, you’re probably thinking about ways to disinfect your space to protect people from COVID-19. Likewise, consumers may consider large-scale cleaning if they’re moving into a new home or apartment.

We’ve seen a sudden rise in companies offering these services with the promise of a deep clean. Some have been in the business for a long time; others, like some pest control operators, are newcomers. Companies such as these rely on their spraying equipment to disinfect large areas.

News Release | TexPIRG | COVID-19

TexPIRG Statement: Gov. Abbott extends early voting for November election

Gov. Greg Abbott has extended in-person early voting for this fall’s presidential election by one week, starting on Tuesday, October 13. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, large public gatherings, like those often seen at polling places, create opportunities for the virus to spread. Expanding early voting opportunities is one way that states can reduce crowding at the polls on Election Day.

Many states have expanded vote-by-mail opportunities in response to the pandemic. Texas still requires that voters have an approved excuse to get a mail-in ballot, and COVID-19 is not among the approved excuses.

In response, TexPIRG Director Bay Scoggin made the following statement:

“Governor Abbott kicked a field goal when what we needed was a touchdown. The governor’s decision to extend early voting is good for the health of Texans and the health of our democracy, but it doesn't go far enough to limit the dangerous choice between our constitutional right to vote and our health."

News Release | TexPIRG | COVID-19

Top healthcare professionals to Gov. Abbott: time to shut down, start over and do it right

Amid uncontrolled spread of the novel coronavirus in Texas, TexPIRG and top health experts delivered a letter Wednesday to Governor Abbott, calling on him to shut back down, start over with new policies to thwart COVID-19 and do it right.

Resource | COVID-19

Open Safe Texas

COVID Exit Strategy (www.covidexitstrategy.org), a nonpartisan group of public health and crisis experts, has been tracking the progress states have made towards containing COVID-19. Texas is failing 2 out of 3 critical benchmarks Texas PIRG has been tracking, indicating that the spread of the virus has reached levels that cannot be contained through a test and trace strategy. TexPIRG recommends the state return to a full lockdown, closing non-essential businesses state-wide, until the spread of the virus can be brought under control again.

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