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Public Health

County holds virtual meet-and-greet for county executive candidates

Travis County is hosting a virtual meet-and-greet tomorrow from 5:30 to 7 p.m. to present the final three candidates for the new Health and Human Services county executive position. Juan Duarte is currently the executive director for the Office of…

Austin/Travis County require businesses to post whether they require masks, Covid-19 tests or vaccinations

Starting Monday, businesses in Travis County and the city of Austin will have to post a sign indicating whether employees and customers need to wear a mask, show a negative Covid-19 test or be vaccinated against the virus. City of…

County seeks to expand mental health care for those facing incarceration

Nearly 20 percent of inmates booked into Travis County jails in September 2021 needed mental health treatment, but a month after their incarceration, only a third of them were receiving the needed treatment. That was the conclusion reached by Dr. Steve Strakowski,…

City urges high-risk people to avoid gatherings as Austin moves to Stage 5 Covid precautions

Lee esta historia en español. Austin and Travis County are back at the highest stage of Austin Public Health’s Covid-19 community risk guidance as the omicron variant of the coronavirus has caused a surge of new infections and hospitalizations. The…

Researchers at Dell Med are studying psychedelics as treatment for severe depression, anxiety and PTSD

The Dell Medical School at UT Austin is launching a research center focused on studying the therapeutic effects of psychedelics, which are drugs that affect an individual’s state of consciousness, including psilocybin, MDMA, ibogaine and ayahuasca. Researchers say the center’s…

County renews agreement for substance use treatment services

On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court approved and ratified an amendment to the substance use disorder managed services agreement for the 2022 fiscal year. The interlocal agreement between the city, the county and Integral Care is aimed at contracting…

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Council extends masking rules to June

After hearing from Dr. Desmar Walkes, health authority for Austin-Travis County, at a joint meeting with the Travis County Commissioners Court Tuesday, City Council voted to extend the current health authority rules until June 10, 2022. Commissioners also acted to…

New collaborative hopes to address equity gaps in Austin's response to homelessness

Austin has consistently struggled to get people living outdoors into homes. Part of that failure lies in the city’s unprecedented real estate boom and affordability crisis over the last 10 years. Another reason is that people of color, who are overrepresented among…

Equity study attempts to mitigate long-standing health disparities

A new report by a city-appointed firm found that local medical and emergency service providers could do more to help address sharp health disparities in East and West Austin.  The equity study, which was completed this summer by Public Consulting Group,…

Resilience hub initiative continues to evolve

Winter Storm Uri, the extreme weather event that left an unknown number of Austin residents dead last February, inspired the initiative to create resilience hubs across the city that would act as a public resource in times of crisis. The initial…

Council votes to protect rights of intersex children

Austin is one of the first cities in the South Central U.S. to pass a resolution formally condemning non-consensual and medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex children. “There is an ‘I’ in LGBTQIA – it stands for intersex,” Mayor Pro-Tem Natasha…

Austin moves down to Stage 3 of Covid-19 guidelines as local hospital admissions and cases slow

Lee esta historia en español. Austin Public Health is moving down to Stage 3 of its Covid-19 guidance, as cases and hospitalizations continue to decline. “We’ve had a decline in the number of cases, and we are seeing a gradual…

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