AUSTIN — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday to prohibit any entity, including private business, from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on workers and called on state lawmakers to pass a similar ban into law.

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North Texas Medical Center is hosting a bus blood drive Thursday. The buses will be in the front parking lot of the hospital, 1900 Hospital Blvd. in Gainesville, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. To schedule an appointment, go to

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Gov. Greg Abbott announced an executive order Wednesday banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates regardless of a vaccine’s approval status with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine Monday, a milestone that could boost public confidence in the shots and spur more companies, universities and local governments to make vaccinations mandatory.


News broke this week that Gov. Greg Abbott has contracted COVID-19. We, of course, are hoping for his speedy recovery. The state needs his leadership now, as it appears the coronavirus isn’t nearly done with us.

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Gainesville ISD students returned to class this week, some with masks and others without. District officials reported a smooth first day, with no plans to implement any mask policy that clashes with Gov. Greg Abbott's prohibition on such local order.


Effective June 1, Gainesville Independent School District students and staff will no longer be required to wear masks.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — In a move to send the country back toward pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday eased indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to safely stop wearing masks inside in most places.

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COVID-19 vaccines finally are headed for more kids as U.S. regulators on Monday expanded use of Pfizer’s shot to those as young as 12, sparking a race to protect middle and high school students before they head back to class in the fall.

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its guidelines Tuesday on the wearing of masks outdoors, saying fully vaccinated Americans don't need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.

State health officials asked Texas vaccine providers to pause their use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine early Tuesday after U.S. health officials recommended that states temporarily stop distributing the vaccine “out of an abundance of caution.”


As the state's widened vaccine eligibility goes into effect today, Monday, March 29, Cooke County has opened its COVID-19 vaccine waiting list up to all residents ages 18 and up, officials announced.


By Karen Brooks Harper, The Texas TribuneAll Texas adults will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine regardless of age, occupation or health status starting on March 29, state health officials said Tuesday.The Texas Department of State Health Services is still asking providers to prioritize a…


Wednesday, March 17, will mark one year since former Cooke County Judge Jason Brinkley declared a local public health emergency for the county in response to the emerging coronavirus pandemic. And what a year it’s been, says Cooke County Judge Steve Starnes.


The passage of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill today means some Cooke County residents could soon be on the receiving end of yet another stimulus check or perhaps even some tax relief with an extended child tax credit.

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By Shawn Mulcahy, The Texas TribuneTexans age 50 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 15, state health officials announced Wednesday.“Expanding to ages 50 to 64 will continue the state’s priorities of protecting those at the greatest risk of severe outco…

By Jolie McCullough, The Texas TribuneStarting Monday, Texas inmates will be able to resume in-person visits with family and friends for the first time since the governor declared a public health disaster a year ago, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.In the last year, Tex…


NEW YORK (AP) — Fully vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing, according to long-awaited guidance from federal health officials.

Cooke County Judge Steve Starnes said today, Wednesday, he will consult with the county’s local health authorities should the area’s hospital region climb back to a 15% coronavirus-related hospitalization rate for seven days.

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