Tag Archives: COVID-19

Friday, August 7, 2020 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD’s school year delayed until Sept. 8, first eight weeks could be online-only

The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees voted to delay the start of classes for the school year until Sept. 8. Virtual classes were supposed to begin Aug. 18, but the board wanted to give teachers more time to…

Friday, August 7, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin joins national pilot program exploring how to safely reopen music venues

Austin has signed up as a pilot city for a national effort to establish guidelines for music venues looking to reopen safely once the public health threats from the Covid-19 pandemic are lessened.Today the city will announce its partnership with…

Friday, August 7, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

UT incubator takes the lead in health care consortium targeting Covid-19 and future pandemics

The University of Texas’ Austin Technology Incubator is leading a new consortium of more than 50 health care organizations from around the state working to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and prepare for future widespread disease outbreaks.The Texas Global Health Security…

Thursday, August 6, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

Council needs federal and state help to stabilize child care industry

Furthering its efforts to shore up the local child care industry, City Council passed three resolutions last week changing the criteria for the city’s Childcare Support Fund. In addition, Council directed City Manager Spencer Cronk to develop recommendations and take action…

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Travis County expands public health orders to unincorporated areas, fines up to $500

The Commissioners Court unanimously approved an order Tuesday making Austin Public Health’s Health Authority Rules enforceable in unincorporated areas of Travis County. Individuals who do not abide by the local health authority’s pandemic mitigation plan may face fines of up…

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

SAFE Alliance reports escalating domestic violence is ‘another public health pandemic’

Between April and June, the SAFE Alliance recorded a 25 percent increase in calls to its 24/7 SAFEline compared to the same time period in 2019. This spike in calls coincides with a reduction in visits from survivors of sexual…

Friday, July 31, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

With stages silent, Austin’s music venues need help to stay open

In his role as spokesperson for the cluster of live music venues concentrated on Red River Street, Cody Cowan relies on a graphic visual to convey the reality of those businesses’ prospects of surviving the Covid-19 pandemic.Now fully closed since…

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioners approve allocations for remainder of Covid-19 relief funding

Nearly three months to the day since Travis County received Covid-19 relief funding from the federal government under the CARES Act, Travis County commissioners approved an outline for the allocation of the $33.8 million in aid that remained unspent.County staff…

Thursday, July 23, 2020 by Chad Swiatecki

Austin music venues seek $20 million from city to prevent closures

Austin’s Music Venue Alliance plans to ask the city to provide $20 million in aid specifically for music venues that have been closed since mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.The Music Venue Preservation Fund request was discussed at Wednesday’s Music…

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

City prepares to launch second round of rental assistance in August

City Council’s Housing and Planning Committee heard an update Tuesday on the city’s next round of Covid-19 rental assistance, known as the RENT program. The Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department hopes to help even more households and cover a…

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

County to identify funding source for implementing permanent teleworking

Following a successful emergency rollout of teleworking capabilities in response to Covid-19 this spring, the Travis County Commissioners Court voted in May to make the digital work environment permanent for 75 percent of eligible county employees.On Tuesday, commissioners took the…

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Some Covid-19 economic recovery programs see progress while others stagnate

While six of the city’s 11 Covid-19 economic recovery programs have received or are about to receive applications for their grants and loans, the rest have yet to move on from the development stages.Austin’s economic recovery programs are designed to…

Monday, July 20, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

Austin Energy Covid rates could revert as soon as November

During an Austin Energy budget presentation on Friday, the Electric Utility Commission learned that the rate cuts the utility put into place this spring as part of its Covid-19 recovery efforts will expire at the end of this fiscal year.The…

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Austin Transportation announces plans for three new Healthy Streets for safe active mobility

Over the next two weeks, the Austin Transportation Department will set up sawhorses and signage for three new Healthy Streets corridors for the second batch of the program, adding to the city’s five existing street segments for socially distanced active…

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Economic Development Department to update progress on CARES Act relief funding programs

As of June 29, five of the eight grant programs approved by City Council to provide economic relief to Austin’s economic sectors through the CARES Act had not yet passed the development stages in their funding allocation plans.The Economic Development…

Monday, July 13, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioners Court considers allocating relief dollars to Baylor Scott & White

Baylor Scott & White Health is the largest not-for-profit hospital system in the state of Texas, and like many other businesses, it has been footing the bill for unanticipated Covid-19 related expenses since March. Jay Fox, the president of Baylor…

Friday, July 10, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

City prepares ordinances to tap brakes on reopening and slow virus spread

City Council approved two ordinances Thursday intended to bring local businesses into compliance with regulations near to Phase 1 of Gov. Greg Abbott’s reopening plan.“We can’t take the foot off the gas – we are not clear of this yet,”…

Friday, July 10, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

City evaluates rental assistance program, prepares for round two

Back in May, the city’s Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants program disbursed $1.2 million in emergency rental assistance to 1,680 families across the city. This week, the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department, in conjunction with the Housing Authority of…

Thursday, July 9, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Council seeks to add teeth to virus regulations

Mayor Steve Adler is proposing two ordinances: one would authorize the city health authority – in this case Dr. Mark Escott – to adopt rules protecting people from Covid 19 and create a class C misdemeanor with a fine of…

Thursday, July 9, 2020 by Claire McInerny

‘This is an issue of health’: Teachers union demands Austin ISD offer only online classes in August

The union for Austin Independent School District employees is asking the district and the state not to send employees back to school buildings in August. Union members say it is unsafe for employees and children to be in classes together.During…

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