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Travis County sees largest ever daily spike in COVID-19 cases as thousands seek free testing
(Emma Freer/Austonia)

Protestors gathered at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin on Sunday.

Travis County reported 118 new COVID-19 cases last night—its largest day-to-day spike so far—bringing the local caseload total to 3,815.


Amid the spike in cases, thousands of residents have also flocked to the city's free testing sites. Between Saturday and Monday morning, 3,187 people were tested through Austin Public Health. This represents nearly 20% of those tested since the city's public service debuted on April 24.

Despite the sharp uptick in testing—which followed mass protests against police violence—the overall positive rate hasn't changed much. Since APH began offering free testing, on April 24, 5.83% of tests have returned a positive result. Of those tests conducted since June 4, the positive rate is nearly the same—5.26%—but not all results are in yet.

APH data shows an uptick in COVID-19 testing enrollment following recent police protests.

On Friday, ahead of Austin's second weekend of protests, APH opened its free service to asymptomatic residents. While the enrollment form asks if residents have any symptoms of COVID-19, 5,563 users have responded that they do not have any.

Tens of thousands of people gathered at Huston-Tillotson University and marched to the Capitol on Sunday. While nearly everyone was wearing a mask, social distancing was impossible.

APH declined to comment for this story, but in a media call last week, Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said he is concerned that protests, in conjunction with the state's reopening plan, will lead to an increase in cases.

Health officials continue to encourage residents who have attended the protests—or are otherwise unable to practice social distancing—to get tested as a precaution.

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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