Stories by Marisa Charpentier

Monday, October 26, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

Austin Public Health launches coalition to prepare for future Covid-19 vaccine distribution

Austin Public Health is gearing up for when a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available. The health authority announced Friday the launch of the Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution Coalition, a group of health care and community partners that will help APH develop strategies…

Thursday, October 22, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

Austin Public Health official says there’s a 96% chance the Covid-19 epidemic is growing in the area

Austin’s top doctor said Wednesday there’s a 96 percent chance the Covid-19 epidemic is growing in the area, up from about 90 percent the day before. “This is not an Election Day gimmick. This is real,” Dr. Mark Escott, interim…

Thursday, October 15, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

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…

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

SXSW will have online events in 2021. A physical festival in Austin is still a possibility.

South by Southwest will host an online event next year, but plans for a physical one are still in the works, the organization announced Tuesday. The annual series of conferences and festivals, which attracts hundreds of thousands to Austin each…

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

As Central Health prepares budget during pandemic, eastern Travis County residents seek more care

Central Health announced it was buying land for a new health and wellness center in southeast Travis County at the end of August, marking another step in the health care district’s efforts to improve access to care in the underserved…

Friday, August 28, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

Buses will take Hurricane Laura evacuees back home Friday, Austin says

Some Hurricane Laura evacuees who came to the Austin area can return home, Central Texas officials said just after 4 p.m. Thursday. Many evacuees in the area came from Galveston, which is no longer under a mandatory evacuation order. Evacuation…

Sunday, July 26, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

Austin police release two people who fired handguns in deadly incident during protest

Both people who opened fire during an incident that led to the death of a man at a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Austin on Saturday night have been released after questioning. Both shooters reported themselves to police, according…

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

District Attorney Margaret Moore concedes after José Garza’s commanding early lead

Incumbent District Attorney Margaret Moore has conceded after a commanding lead in early voting and mail-in votes in support of challenger José Garza. The Democratic primary runoff for the office pitted the embattled incumbent against a self-described progressive who says…

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

Austin Public Health could push for more restrictions as Covid-19 hospitalizations surge

Austin surpassed a crucial threshold for Covid-19 hospitalizations Tuesday, which could signal possible restrictions on businesses and nonessential travel. The seven-day average of new Covid-19 hospital admissions hit an all-time high of nearly 75, according to numbers out Tuesday evening.…

Thursday, July 2, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

Gov. Abbott issues order requiring Texans to wear face coverings in public

People in Texas counties with more than 20 COVID-19 cases will be required to wear face coverings when in public starting Friday — and those who don’t could be fined. Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order Thursday mandating people…

Thursday, June 18, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

With Abbott’s green light, Austin will require businesses to enforce mask rules

While the governor has said Texans can’t face penalties for not wearing face coverings, cities and counties can apparently mandate that businesses require their customers to wear masks. Austin Mayor Steve Adler issued an order Wednesday requiring businesses to start…

Monday, June 15, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

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…

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

Water parks, adult sports programs, mall food courts can reopen this month

Water parks, recreational sports programs for adults, driver education programs and food-court dining areas in malls can reopen this month with certain occupancy restrictions and health protocols, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday. Water parks can open at 25 percent occupancy…

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

Texas attorney general warns some Austin-Travis County Covid-19 orders are ‘unlawful’

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter to Austin Mayor Steve Adler and outgoing Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt on Tuesday saying some of the requirements in their local public health orders are unlawful and “likely to confuse residents.”…

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

Gov. Abbott says Texas salons and barbershops can reopen Friday

Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons and tanning salons may reopen starting Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced. Gyms, nonessential manufacturers and businesses that work out of office buildings will be allowed to reopen May 18, with certain restrictions. “Our ability to…

Monday, April 27, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

Officer-involved shooting in Southeast Austin spurs investigation and protests

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office and Austin’s Office of Police Oversight are investigating an officer-involved shooting that took place Friday night in Southeast Austin. Local organizations have deemed the shooting, which resulted in the death of a 42-year-old man,…

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

Abbott orders statewide limits on nonessential activity, but won’t call it a ‘stay-at-home’ order

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order Tuesday requiring Texans to limit personal interactions that could lead to the spread of Covid-19. The order states schools will remain closed until at least May 4. People may still leave their homes to…

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

Austin Public Health is setting up two facilities to house nursing home residents with Covid-19

Austin Public Health announced Monday that its new nursing home task force is setting up sites to house nursing home residents who test positive for Covid-19. The city says these isolation facilities will give Covid-19 patients who don’t need hospitalization…

Thursday, January 30, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

Austin to look for new Zilker Zephyr operator as current one steps down

The company that runs the Zilker Zephyr, the miniature train that runs through Zilker Park, will stop operating the ride. But the Austin Parks and Recreation Department says it’s looking for another company to run it. The family-run business Texas…

Monday, January 27, 2020 by Marisa Charpentier

Austin to spend up to $4 million to tackle zebra mussel problem

Austin City Council has approved spending up to $4 million over the next five years on a liquid compound to remove zebra mussels from water intake systems. Zebra mussels are small invasive mollusks that can clog the pipes that pull…

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