There is nearly nothing Texas loves more than its Saturday game days, and according to Texas Athletic Director Chris Del Conte, Longhorn fans can plan to pack the stands again in 2021—pending herd immunity.
As the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 rolls around, a hopeful fan reached out to Del Conte on Twitter this week and asked if the University of Texas is planning for full stadium capacity when the season starts, "assuming the majority of the country is vaccinated."
Del Conte responded with an optimistic "That's our plan," flashing a hook 'em emoji.
Texas plans to open the season on Sept. 4 against Louisiana—a start date that is still more than 190 days away. During the 2020 season, stadium capacity was limited to 25%—or about 25,000 attendees. Other sports were limited as well.
With medical professionals projecting that the U.S. will return to some degree of normalcy this year—Dr. Marty Markay predicting normalcy by April and Dr. Anthony Fauci predicting a much later timeline of the end of 2021—Texas Football celebrations might be in the future.
However, Austin Public Health has previously said relaxing COVID safety measures—such as capacity restrictions at events—the county would need to establish herd immunity—which occurs when 70% to 75% of the population is immune to the disease. Currently, only 11% of the age 16 and older Travis County population is vaccinated with at least one dose. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration on Friday; the availability of a third vaccine could speed up the process of achieving herd immunity. And COVID cases continue to decline.
All in all, UT started collecting deposits for season tickets three weeks ago, inviting fans to become part of the #AllGasNoBrakes era of Texas Football led by new Head Coach Steve Sarkisian, saying the athletic department plans to return to normal on its website.
"Texas Athletics is currently planning for attendance at 2021 home games to be at 100% seating capacity. We will continue to monitor local COVID-19 health and safety conditions in coordination with NCAA, Big 12, University, state, and local medical partners," the website reads.
Texas is starting the spring season a little later than normal this year, planning to start the first practice on March 23 and first game pending on April 24. In his weekly newsletter, Del Conte encouraged fans to come out for the first game, saying "you'll definitely want to plan to be in Austin for that one."
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Austin police are investigating the killing of Moriah "Mo" Wilson after she was found with gunshot wounds inside an East Austin home.
Wilson, a gravel and mountain bike racer, was visiting Austin from Colorado in preparation for the Gravel Locos race on Saturday taking place in Hico, a small town 2 hours from Austin.
On Wednesday, her roommate came home and found Wilson unresponsive with "a lot of blood near her,” police said, on Maple Avenue near East 17th Street. Officers and EMS performed life-saving measures before she was declared deceased at 10:10 p.m.
The Travis County Medical Examiner's office conducted an autopsy and determined the official cause of death to be multiple gunshot wounds, and the manner of death was a homicide. It is being investigated as a suspicious death and as of Saturday, police said they have a person of interest.
Wilson, 25, recently had become a full-time biker after winning a slew of races in the past year.
This story was updated on May 15 to include that police have determined a person of interest.
Some of your favorite Instagram filters can’t be used in Texas anymore and Austinites are sounding off on social media.
Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, announced on Wednesday that certain filters would no longer be available in Texas.
The change is a result of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against Meta, alleging the company uses facial recognition technology that violates laws in Texas. A release from Meta says it stopped using facial recognition tech in November 2021 and denies Paxton’s allegations.
Some Austinites bemoaned the shift, saying some of their favorite filters were now unavailable.
This was my FAVORITE filter on @instagram and they done removed it cause I’m in Texas ! Like wowwwwww pic.twitter.com/uX60hdIC0Q
— Pinkyy Montana (@inkstar_pinkyy) May 11, 2022
i heard that instagram filters got banned in texas? what the actual fuck y’all better give me my favorite filter back
— lia 🤍 (@liatootrill) May 11, 2022
loved this stupid filter sm i hate texas pic.twitter.com/DXr9mmUc64
— birthday boy jeno 🎂 (@beabtox) May 12, 2022
But more often than not, locals joked about the ban.
Texas women seeing the filter ban on IG pic.twitter.com/yDMcP3Qtsr
— Christian (Anabolic) Flores (@christian_flo24) May 11, 2022
So, the state of Texas has banned filter use on IG? THE END IS NEAR. 😂
— THE FRANCHISE! Франшиза (@NYCFranchise718) May 12, 2022
And some in-between chose to show off some natural beauty.
I live in Texas, but no filter needed. 😉 pic.twitter.com/A6teRgYMKn
— bad and bruja (@starseedmami) May 11, 2022
filter, no filter..texas women still reign supreme.
— 🎍 (@_sixile) May 11, 2022
Finally, some are trying to cash in on the opportunity.
Texas IG users- if you want to filter your picture cashapp me $1.50 $ErvnYng
— Gemini (@ervn_y) May 11, 2022
Meta said it plans to create an opt-in system for both Texas and Illinois residents, who are facing the same issues.