Stories by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Austin health officials say boosting Central Texas vaccine rates will ease the stress on local hospitals

The rolling average for new daily Covid-19-related hospital admissions has been on the decline for more than three weeks. Still, with an average of 57 admissions as of Tuesday, Austin-Travis County remains at the highest level of Austin Public Health’s…

Thursday, August 26, 2021 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Save Austin Now sues city, saying it isn’t fully enforcing ban on camping in public

The political action committee Save Austin Now and four business owners have filed a lawsuit against the city of Austin alleging it hasn’t been fully enforcing the ban on camping in public. Voters passed Proposition B in May. The petition-led initiative, organized…

Wednesday, August 25, 2021 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Austin area sees jump in Covid cases as students return to classrooms

Lea esta nota en español New coronavirus cases in the Austin area have increased this week as students, teachers and staff head back to in-person classes. The city’s medical director, Dr. Desmar Walkes, told a joint meeting of Travis County…

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Austin health officials recommend masking up indoors as Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations spike

Austin Public Health is recommending everyone – including those who are vaccinated – wear a face covering indoors as Covid-19 cases continue rising in Austin and Travis County. Local Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes told a joint session of Travis…

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Austin-Travis County health officials say Covid vaccine data shows there’s still work to be done

More than three quarters of people age 65 and older in Austin-Travis County are fully vaccinated, public health officials said Tuesday. For the entire eligible population – that’s people 12 years and older – the number is more than 54…

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Covid-19 rates in Austin fall below 5% across all races for the first time, health officials say

The Covid-19 positivity rate in Austin and Travis County continues to fall as more people in the area are inoculated against the virus. Dr. Jason Pickett, deputy medical director for the city, said positivity rates for people of all races…

Wednesday, May 19, 2021 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Austin, Travis County move down to stage 2 risk level of coronavirus restrictions

Lea esta nota en español The chief medical director for the city of Austin said Tuesday the area is now at stage 2 of Austin Public Health’s risk-based guidelines. The change is effective immediately. Dr. Mark Escott said the decision…

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Removing barriers to vaccine a top priority as supply exceeds demand through Austin Public Health

Austin Public Health is hosting a walk-up Covid-19 vaccine clinic at the Delco Activity Center this Thursday and Friday from noon-7:30 p.m. or until all its vaccines are administered. Vaccines will be available to all residents age 18 and older.…

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Austin’s top doctor says possible Covid surge unlikely to overload area hospitals

New Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in the area are declining, but they are still well within the threshold to keep Austin and Travis County at stage 3 of Austin Public Health’s risk-based guidelines. The city’s interim medical director previously had…

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Alternate care site opens in Austin as area hospitals reach capacity

The Covid-19 alternate care site at the Austin Convention Center is now open as the county’s interim health authority warned overwhelming the area’s hospital system is “inevitable” at this point. “Patients will be referred here directly from hospitals; this is…

Thursday, December 10, 2020 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Health officials say vaccinations could begin in Austin next week once FDA gives approval

Austin Public Health’s interim authority said he’s “extremely impressed with the efficacy and safety” of the Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. The vaccine’s overall efficacy is 94.6 percent, Dr. Mark Escott said during a news conference Wednesday, and for people…

Friday, November 20, 2020 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Austin area moves to Stage 4 Covid-19 risk guidelines

Lee esta historia en español. Austin is now under Stage 4 coronavirus risk guidelines, interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott announced Thursday, following an increase in hospitalizations and cases. Under these guidelines, the public is urged to avoid…

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Austin’s top doctor warns November Covid surge could be worse and last longer than the first

There is a 100 percent probability that the coronavirus epidemic is growing in the Austin metro area, according to modeling from the University of Texas Modeling Consortium. As other areas across Texas – most notably El Paso – experience new…

Thursday, October 15, 2020 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Travis County judge won’t let bars reopen at 50 percent capacity

Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe said he’s not going to allow bars to reopen at 50 percent capacity Wednesday, citing a memo from the county’s top doctor saying Covid-19 “continues to be a threat.” “In the past ten days, Travis…

Monday, September 21, 2020 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Austin Public Health official says governor relaxed capacity rules too soon

Lee esta historia en español. Austin Public Health’s interim health authority says he would have rather waited a few more weeks before easing capacity restrictions for businesses in the area. On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that many businesses, including…

Monday, June 15, 2020 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Austin-area Covid-19 hospitalizations hit one-day record, seven-day average now tops 20

A record of 30 new Covid-19 hospital admissions was reported in the Austin area Sunday evening. The seven-day moving average of new admissions increased to 20.6. Austin Public Health has been warning that the average – which has been rising…

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Tower Girl, UT’s resident falcon, has laid eggs again. Will one hatch this year?

Tower Girl, the peregrine falcon who has made the UT tower home for a few years, has laid three eggs in her nest as of Sunday. This is the fifth time the falcon has laid eggs in the tower, but…

Thursday, February 20, 2020 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

As contract negotiations drag, Cap Metro bus drivers symbolically protest

Some Capital Metro bus drivers wore black makeup or a black sticker under their eyes Wednesday in a symbolic “Black Eye” protest of drawn-out labor negotiations between their union and a Capital Metro contractor. Capital Metro awarded a $1.4 billion…

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Austin Public Library is checking out whether to stop charging for overdue materials

The Austin Library Commission is looking into eliminating overdue fees for all materials in the city’s public library system. The Austin Public Library stopped charging fees on overdue materials checked out for kids in 2018. Now the commission has created…

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 by Jerry Quijano, KUT

Got guns or ammo you don’t want anymore? Austin police will take them, ‘No questions asked’

Residents with unwanted firearms and ammunition can turn them over to the Austin Police Department on Tuesday at the first of a series of no-questions-asked gun surrender programs. The point of the program is to prevent weapons from ending up…

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