Headlines / Quote of the Week

Coach Jahmal Fenner speaks during a send-off celebration for LBJ High School's football team on Thursday, Dec. 16, ahead of the team's Dec. 17 game against Stephenville for the state championship in Arlington. LBJ lost 38-21. This marked the first time LBJ had ever advanced to a state championship game, and the first time since 1973 that any Austin ISD school football team played for a title. (Photo by John Anderson)

COVID-Cautious Christmas (Again): Austin Public Health updated the staging threshold of its COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines based on new reports from the COVID-19 Modeling Consortium at the University of Texas at Austin on the potential impact of the Omicron variant. For Stage 3, the new thresholds for the seven-day moving average of new hospitalizations is 15-24 (previously 15-29) and 25-50 for Stage 4. As of Tuesday, Dec. 21, Austin is in Stage 3.

In Other COVID News: Austin's community transmission rate has jumped to 113.6, which is considered high. Health officials are urging Austinites to mask up.

The Football Fam: Earlier this week Austin FC announced the recruitment of Ethan Finlay. With a decade of experience in Major League Soccer, Finlay last played for Minnesota United. Finlay's first six seasons were with the Columbus Crew under majority owner Anthony Precourt. Read more.

New Ways at Greenway: Jesús Aguirre has been named the new chief executive officer of Waterloo Greenway. Aguirre, who begins his new role next month, previously served as the superintendent of Seattle's Department of Parks and Recreation. Interim CEO Kathy Miller will stay on through the remainder of January to assist the transition process.

How We Roll: The city's Transportation, Public Works, and Watershed Protection departments announced the completion of the Anderson Mill Road regional mobility project last week. This is the first regional mobility project to be completed from design through construction using funds under Austin's 2016 mobility bond.

Promise of Psychedelics: Researchers at UT-Austin's Dell Medical School have launched the Center for Psychedelic Research and Therapy – the first center of its kind in Texas – to study psychedelics to treat severe mental health conditions. The center will initially focus on military veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder, adults experiencing prolonged grief disorder or depression, and those who have experienced childhood trauma.

Deep Eddy Pool will be closed beginning Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, and is expected to resume normal operating hours on Sat., Jan. 8, once repairs to a well pump are complete. In the meantime, Barton Springs, Bartholomew, Stacy, and Springwoods pools are open.

Work in Progress: The deadline to complete development applications and permits with the city has been extended to March 1 of next year. The extension applies only to projects set to expire between March 17, 2020, and March 1, 2022. Some projects may be eligible for further extensions upon request.

Image via AustinTexas.gov

Quote of the Week

"We cannot let our health care workers down; we cannot let our system of hospitals fall victim to another surge."

– Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes urging Ausinites to help curb the spread of COVID by masking up, testing, and getting vaccinated

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