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Public Health

County gets creative to counter 'staggering' number of fentanyl deaths

In the first half of this year, from January to June, 118 people in Travis County died from an overdose of fentanyl. This equaled the number of fentanyl-related overdoses from the entirety of last year. The outsized opioid-overdose figures spurred…

Travis County puts millions toward food access

On Tuesday, Travis County commissioners unanimously approved a series of contracts with local nonprofits and community groups, totaling $3.1 million, to help at-risk residents access healthy and fresh food. “The organizations receiving these funds will use the money in various…

Travis County secures nearly 10,000 doses of life-saving overdose drug naloxone

Travis County has secured a bulk order of the life-saving drug naloxone in an effort to prevent opioid deaths. The shipment comes after the county issued an emergency declaration triggered by a record-high number of overdoses related to fentanyl last year. At…

Austin Public Health expands eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine

Austinites at risk of contracting monkeypox are now eligible for the vaccine, health officials said Monday. Previously, the vaccine was limited to people directly exposed to the virus or diagnosed with the disease. “We are really just classifying anyone at…

Featured Collection: Austin Energy 2022 rate case

Austin Energy ramps up outreach for proposed rate changes

Austin Energy has entered the public hearing phase of its base rate review process, following its proposal to raise service costs. The monthslong dialogue with stakeholders and city staff, slated for resolution by City Council in November, has surfaced predictable…

County hears calls to center voices of people impacted by overdose crisis

Last week, the Travis County Commissioners Court received a monthly update on the opioid overdose crisis, which the county declared a public health emergency in May. A lot of the conversation focused on the testimony of Aaron Ferguson, a local…

Travis County DA's vow not to prosecute abortion crimes likely won’t make a difference, expert says

Texas’ so-called trigger law went into effect Thursday. The law, which the Legislature passed in 2021, was designed to be ready should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade and make abortion no longer a constitutional right. While the law makes it…

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Update shows slow but steady rise of monkeypox in Travis County

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, there are just over 15,000 confirmed cases of the monkeypox virus in the United States, and about 1,280 of those cases are in Texas. Travis County currently has 76 presumptive cases…

County acknowledges lag on monkeypox vaccine supply

As of yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control is reporting 992 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Texas, 88 of which are in Travis County (nine confirmed and 79 “presumptive”). On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court voted to approve a…

Austin Police Department Budget, 2012-2022

During the 2020-21 budget process, City Council cut $31.5 million from APD’s budget, citing the protests and “community outcry against the disproportionate impact of police violence on Black Americans, Latinx Americans and other non-white ethnic communities,” according to the approved…

Cap Metro expands free rides to cooling centers. Advocates for homeless Austinites push for more.

Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority said Tuesday it will give free rides to cooling centers on days when a heat advisory is in effect – that is usually when the temperature hits 103 degrees or higher. Previously, the transit agency offered…

Austin-Travis County officials issue emergency order in response to monkeypox outbreak

Local leaders issued an emergency order Tuesday in response to the monkeypox outbreak in Austin-Travis County. Since the first case in Travis County was reported on June 23, the number of monkeypox infections has risen to 68, including nine women…

Austin officials expect more doses of the monkeypox vaccine after U.S. declares a health emergency

Austin health officials say they expect more monkeypox vaccine doses to head to Central Texas after the Biden administration’s declaration of a public health emergency Thursday. Medical Director Desmar Walkes said Austin Public Health anticipates the extra doses next month.…

Texas has an official death count from the 2021 blackout. The true toll may never be known.

In Minal and Rajeeta Shah’s backyard, there once stood a cedar tree. The tall, broad canopy provided shade for the sisters’ garden below, a garden with sunflowers and tulsi and lemongrass. It’s a garden their mother, Manjula, pruned and nurtured…

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