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Here are 9 things to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Saturday

Doctors in Texas and around the country are experimenting with a new treatment based on an old technique — injecting antibody-rich plasma from people who have recovered from the new coronavirus into people who have severe cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Antibodies are proteins in blood that fight specific bacteria and viruses.

In the absence of a novel coronavirus vaccine, doctors and Houston News scientists are looking to so-called convalescent plasma because they consider it low risk and because it has been effective during past epidemics. But they aren’t sure yet if it will be effective on COVID-19.

Two small studies found that COVID-19 patients in China improved after receiving convalescent plasma transfusions. Researchers plan to find out if that success can be replicated with COVID-19 patients in the U.S.

Harris County invests $11 million for emergency healthcare facility at NRG park
Harris County and Houston officials said the region is ready for the potential worst-case scenario if the healthcare system becomes overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic.

So far, officials said the healthcare system has remained within capacity. Officials created the pop-up medical shelter at NRG Park to serve as a back-up if the hospitals’ surge capacity is exceeded.

“Let us hope that we don’t need that,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said at the press conference Saturday afternoon.

Galveston County confirms 14 new coronavirus cases
Galveston County Health District announced 14 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the county’s case total to 355.

The county also reported one new recovery, a female between 51 and 60 years old.

To date, more than 4,000 Galveston County residents have been tested for coronavirus.

Majority of qualified Americans will receive stimulus check by Wednesday
A senior Treasury official says many Americans who are eligible to receive a stimulus check can expect a direct deposit to hit their bank account by April 15, Fox News first reported.

According to the report, the official said the U.S. Department of the Treasury is transmitting payments to the Federal Reserve for distribution to financial institutions to be deposited into Americans’ bank accounts.

By the middle of the week, tens of millions of Americans who qualified for aid will have received their payment from the federal government.

Ahead of Easter Sunday, Texas churches prepare with different approaches
[5 a.m.] Christian Texans, faith leaders and local officials are preparing in myriad ways for an Easter holiday that falls in the middle of a pandemic the scale of which almost no one has encountered.

Texas churches have the governor’s blessing to hold services Press Release Distribution Service In Houston for the holiday thanks to Gov. Greg Abbott's announcement last week that churches are an essential service and can remain open during the pandemic — as long as they follow health guidance to keep patrons 6 feet apart.

Some churches praise Abbott’s order and are willing to change their structure according to health guidelines as long as members can still gather Sunday. Others, still worried about the growing spread of the virus that causes the disease COVID-19, are opting to continue with virtual services despite the major holiday.

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