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escott
(City of Austin)

Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott was joined by local health care workers at a virtual press conference on Wednesday.

Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said he will recommend a second shutdown if the current surge of COVID-19 cases in Travis County is not contained.


"If the situation doesn't improve in the next week to two weeks—I'm going to have to make a recommendation to the mayor and the [county] judge that we shut down," he said at a virtual press conference earlier today. "And I don't want to do that."

Though Escott can make the recommendation, local jurisdictions have little authority to actually implement a shutdown.



Dr. Escott was joined by local health care professionals at the event, who echoed his pleas to Austin residents that they stay home, when possible, in addition to wearing masks and socially distancing when they are out.

"The lid's off," he said. "We've got to put it back on."

Modeling from researchers at the University of Texas at Austin shows Travis County's caseload could double—jumping to 13,000 from the current estimate of 6,600—in the next 18 days.

At that rate, the five-county region could see its hospital capacity overwhelmed, Dr. Escott said.

Dr. John Abikhaled, president of the Travis County Medical Society, said Austin residents have risen to this challenge before.

"During the lockdown, we did something amazing. We proved that we can control the virus and flatten the curve," he said. "But then we got tired. We got a little stir crazy. And we lowered our guard."

New local orders took effect yesterday, requiring businesses to mandate masking among employees and customers after a protracted back-and-forth with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

While Abbott encouraged Texans to wear masks and stay home in a statement issued yesterday, he has also said that he does not plan to pull back on the state's reopening for the time being.

Dr. Christopher Ziebell, chief of emergency medicine at Dell Seton Medical Center, asked residents to stay home as much as possible and wear a mask in public, even if it feels like an infringement on personal liberty.

"While you are free to do the wrong thing, you are also free to do the right thing," he said.

St. David's Emergency Care Specialist Dr. Ann Buchanan said area hospitals have been planning for a surge for months and are prepared to respond to one. But her colleagues added that it is a worst-case scenario.

"We do not want to provide care for you at the Austin Convention Center," said Dr. Kirsten Nieto, an internal medicine and pediatric hospitalist at Dell Children's and Dell Seton. "We want you to stay home."

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Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation


🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway