Headlines / Quote of the Week
Back It Up Now, DSHS: Austin Public Health reported 350 new cases of COVID-19 in Travis County on Tuesday, an almost 100-case increase from numbers reported the day before. APH said the increase in cases started last week when APH received backlogged laboratory data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
RENT Relief Open: On Wednesday, Austin opened applications for the city's Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) grants, a lottery rent-relief program for Austinites who have lost income because of COVID-19. See p.11 for eligibility requirements.
Pandemic Pigskin: Longhorn Athletics Director Chris Del Conte said UT-Austin is finalizing plans to hold football games at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium at 25% capacity, according to an email to season ticket holders. With DKR's full capacity being 100,000, that means up to 25,000 fans could potentially be seated in the stadium.
AISD Mobile App: Austin ISD has launched a free app that will allow students, staff, and families to receive notifications from the district and any schools for which they wish to subscribe. The app also features a COVID-19 self-screening tool for users to complete before coming to and leaving school. It's available on Apple and Android devices.
Beanbag rounds – which law enforcement agencies call "less lethal" munitions – can cause serious injuries and should not be used for crowd control, wrote a group of Dell Medical School surgeons in a letter published in The New England Journal of Medicine last week. Their opinion is based on their experiences treating patients injured by beanbag rounds fired by APD during two days of protests earlier this summer.
Nothing New Here: The Austin Police Department announced this week that video evidence of APD's use of force at protests earlier this summer won't be released until the Travis County District Attorney's Office decides whether the cases will be presented to a grand jury. Last month, APD delayed releasing the videos within the standard 60-day time frame.
Austin's Solar-Powered Future: Construction began this week on the Pflugerville Solar Project, a utility-scale solar project with 144 megawatts of capacity. With this latest addition, Austin Energy is expected to become 52% renewable in 2021.
Wide Open Spaces: Happen to own or manage a facility that's at least 1,500 square feet, is up to code under the Americans With Disabilities Act, and has accessible parking and wide hallways? Well, Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir would like you to consider using your digs as a voting center for November elections. Fill out the interest form at VoteTravis.com by August 21.
Quote of the Week
"Stick with the facts ... with Austin Public Health as your source of information. We have no other agenda than your health."
– Austin Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott, warning against COVID-19 misinformation propagating on social media