Headlines / Quote of the Week
Brace for Impact: As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to surge, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on July 2 making face coverings in public mandatory in Texas. Locally, Austin Convention Center is being prepared as a field hospital and will open July 20.
APH Expands Testing: In order to better serve communities who have been impacted the most by COVID-19, Austin Public Health opened two new neighborhood testing sites earlier this week: Southeast Branch Library (5803 Nuckols Crossing) and Little Walnut Creek Branch Library (835 W. Rundberg). A third site at Givens Park (3811 E. 12th) will open July 13.
"Disabled, Not Disposable": On Saturday, ADAPT of Texas held a vigil outside St. David's South Austin Medical Center for Michael Hickson, a 46-year-old Black man with disabilities who died there last month after being admitted for COVID-19. Hickson's wife alleges doctors and his court-appointed guardian, Family Eldercare, decided to discontinue treatment because of his disabilities, despite her opposition.
UT Restructures Response to Sexual Misconduct: In a July 8 letter to the UT-Austin community, interim President Jay Hartzell said UT has accepted consulting law firm Husch Blackwell's second set of recommendations for how it responds to sexual misconduct.
Eyes Up, Buckle Up: Austin Transportation Department's Vision Zero program has identified 13 High-Injury Roadway sections to receive myriad safety improvements, including design initiatives, improved signage, and targeted enforcement on dangerous driving behaviors.
Austin FC Signs First Player: Major League Soccer team Austin FC announced its first player signing this week, Paraguayan forward Rodney Redes, who will join from Club Guarani in Paraguay's Primera Division. Austin FC's debut season is slated for next spring.
Back to School: The Texas Education Agency announced on Tuesday updated health guidelines for schools when they reopen this fall, including a mandatory mask requirement for students and staff. Daily on-campus learning will be available for all students who want it; however, parents may request remote learning options for their children at any point.
Statesman Southside Shuffle: The Austin American-Statesman has leased a new office space at MetCenter, a business park near the Austin-Bergstrom Airport. Interestingly, it was the Austin Business Journal, not the Statesman, that broke the story Tuesday afternoon (the daily paper confirmed the news later that evening in an article announcing the move).
Quote of the Week
"It's up to all of us. We don't necessarily need to turn things off for people to stop going to places. We don't need to turn things off if we, as a community, decide to turn things down on our own and take action to prevent further spread."
– Austin Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott.