The Texas super crisis continues amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, delaying vaccine shipments and leading to cancelled appointments. However, Austinites can expect delayed allocations and appointments to resume early next week, followed by an increased weekly allocation, according to the Texas Department of Health Services. Around 25% of this week's allocation remains in out-of-state warehouses awaiting shipment due to the inclement weather; the doses are expected to ship out in the first half of next week, followed by next week's allocation.
Twenty-seven providers in Travis County will receive a total of 31,250 vaccine doses for the week of Feb. 22 as part of the 11th weekly allocation, with the bulk going to hub provider Austin Public Health, whose COVID testing sites and vaccine clinics have been closed since last Saturday due to inclement weather.
- Austin Public Health (12,000 doses)
- DSHS Central Pharmacy Warehouse (6,100 doses)
- UT Health Austin (5,850 doses)
- Seton Medical Center (3,000 doses)
- Austin Ear Nose and Throat Clinic (500 doses)
- WellMed Ben White (400 doses)
- CommUnityCare Rundberg (300 doses)
- CommUnityCare ARCH (200 doses)
- CommUnityCare Sandra Joy Anderson (200 doses)
- CommUnityCare William Cannon (200 doses)
- CommUnityCare Hornsby Bend Health Center (200 doses)
- CommUnityCare North Central (200 doses)
- CommUnityCare South Austin (200 doses)
- Lone Star Circle of Care at El Buen Samaritano (200 doses)
- Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation (200 doses)
- Refugee Services (200 doses)
- CommUnityCare Southeast Health and Wellness Clinic (200 doses)
- CommUnityCare Del Valle (200 doses)
- Fresenius Medical Care (100 doses)
- Carousel Pediatrics William Cannon (100 doses)
- Lone Star Circle of Care at Collinfield (100 doses)
- Lone Star Circle of Care at Ben White (100 doses)
- Lone Star Circle of Care Family Care Center (100 doses)
- People's Community Clinic (100 doses)
- Encompass Health of Austin (100 doses)
- Victory Medical and Family Care (100 doses)
- Manor Pharmacy (100 doses)
As of Friday, most health care providers remain severely constrained by the power crisis, water crisis or both.
APH does not yet know when vaccine operations will resume, but the department will reach out to those whose appointments have been canceled with a new time, date and location. The department also tweeted out that it would be working on a larger scale than before once operations restart with extended hours.
Currently, second dose appointments are the priority. "While they may be several days between the time your appointment is canceled and your new appointment information is sent, it is important to remember that there is flexibility allowed between doses without losing effectiveness," Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said in a statement Thursday. The CDC recommends that providers administer the second dose as close to the recommended interval as possible (three weeks for Pfizer, four for Moderna), but in cases where that is not possible the agency advises it may be given up to six weeks after the first shot.
UT Health Austin, the clinical wing of Dell Medical School and the other hub provider in Travis County, canceled vaccine appointments through Friday and are asking appointment holders to return next week during specific times according to the schedule listed below:
(UT Health Austin)
People with vaccine appointments at UT Health Austin next week should arrive as planned.
CommUnity Care East Austin also canceled appointments through Friday due to the inclement weather. "We will reach out to you to reschedule any appointments missed," the community clinic network tweeted Friday.
Although the remaining providers may have doses to administer next week, many are limiting their supply to existing patient waitlists or reaching out to eligible candidates directly. View a list of providers with a waitlist here. Note that the DSHS Central Pharmacy Warehouse does not serve the general public.
With this latest allocation, Travis County will have received 186,975 doses overall. Local public health officials estimate that there are 285,000 area residents who fall in the 1A and 1B priority groups.
As of midday Friday, 109,252 Travis County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 48,327 residents have received both doses, according to Texas Department of State Health Services data.
DSHS will allocate 591,920 initial doses of the COVID vaccine to 563 providers across the state this week, focusing on hub providers capable of widespread community distribution as well as smaller providers serving older adults. This represents a 45% increase compared to last week's allocation and includes 84,240 doses for large-scale FEMA vaccine clinics in Harris, Dallas and Tarrant counties.
In addition to the first shot allocations, Texas has ordered 364,830 doses intended for second shots. DSHS advises Texans waiting for their second dose to "rest assured" knowing that their appointments will be rescheduled. "Even if they receive the second dose outside of the recommended six-week time frame, they will get the full protection of the second dose and will not need an additional booster shot," according to a Friday DSHS press release.
- Everything we know about Austin's COVID vaccine rollout - austonia ›
- UT professor played role in Pfizer and Moderna's COVID vaccines ... ›
- A 'handful' of ineligible people got the COVID vaccine in Austin ... ›
- Austin healthcare offering COVID-19 vaccine waitlists - austonia ›
- Complete guide to 5-county Austin-area COVID vaccine providers - austonia ›
- COVID-19 vaccines resume in Austin after weather emergency - austonia ›
- Travis County to vaccinate 3k at COTA drive-thru event - austonia ›
- Will the US reach herd immunity by April? Experts disagree - austonia ›
- Austin Public Health will release 4k COVID vaccine slots - austonia ›
- Austin Public Health will release 4k COVID vaccine slots - austonia ›
- Austin Public Health will release extra COVID vaccine slots - austonia ›
If you are a committed, grunge-wearing resident of the Pacific Northwest, it is easy–almost automatic–to look at Texas as an extraordinarily dry, hot and culturally oppressive place that is better to avoid, especially in the summer. Our two granddaughters live with their parents in Portland.
Recently we decided to take the older girl, who is 15, to Dallas. Setting aside the summer heat, a Portlander can adjust to the vibes of Austin without effort. So let’s take Texas with all of its excesses straight up. Dallas, here we come.
Our 15-year-old granddaughter and her sister, 12, have spent summer weeks with us, usually separately so that we could better get to know each individually. In visits focused on Austin and Port Aransas, the girls seemed to be developing an affection for Texas.
Houston and Dallas are two great American cities, the 4th and 9th largest, each loaded with cultural treasures, each standing in glittering and starchy contrast to Austin’s more louche, T-shirts and shorts ways.
Three hours up I-35, Dallas loomed before us as a set of gray skyscrapers in a filmy haze, accessed only through a concrete mixmaster of freeways, ramps and exits. I drove with false confidence. Be calm, I said to myself, it will all end in 10 minutes under the hotel entrance canopy. And it did.
The pool at the Crescent Court Hotel in Dallas. (Crescent Court Hotel)
We stayed three nights at the Crescent Court Hotel ($622 a night for two queens), a high-end hotel in Uptown, patronized by women in white blazers, business people in suits, and tall, lean professional athletes, their shiny Escalades and Corvettes darting in and out, and other celebrities like Bill Barr, the former attorney general who shoe-horned his ample self into a Toyota.
Each morning as I walked to Whole Foods for a cappuccino, a fellow identified by a bellman as Billy the Oilman arrived in his Rolls Royce Phantom. Where does he park? “Wherever he wants to. He likes the Starbucks here.”
We garaged our more modest set of wheels for the visit. We were chauffeured for tips by Matt Cooney and Alfonza “The Rev” Scott in the hotel’s black Audi sedan. They drove us to museums, restaurants and past the enclaves of the rich and famous. In Highland Park, The Rev pointed out the homes of the Dallas Cowboys' Jerry Jones and Troy Aikman along with the family compound of the Hunts, oil and gas tycoons.
The Dallas Museum of Art’s “Cartier and Islam” exhibit (until Sept. 18) attracted an older crowd; the nearby Perot Museum of Nature and Science was a powerful whirlpool of kids’ groups ricocheting from the Tyrannosaurus Rex to the oil fracking exhibit. Watch your shins.
A Geogia O'Keeffe oil painting called "Ranchos Church, New Mexico" at the Amon Carter Museum of Modern Art. (Rich Oppel)
For us, the best museum was the Amon Carter Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth, a 50-minute, madcap drive away via a 75 mph toll lane along I-30. Don’t try it during rush hour. The Carter has an exquisite collection of Remington paintings and sculptures and an excellent array of 19th and 20th-century paintings as well. Pick one museum? The Amon Carter. Peaceful, beautiful, uncrowded, free admission and small enough to manage in two hours.
The Fort Worth Stockyards, a place of history (with a dab of schmaltz), fun and good shopping, filled one of our mornings. The 98 acres brand the city as Cowboy Town, with a rodeo and a twice-daily (11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.) cattle drive. We shopped for boots, drank coffee and watched the “herd” of 18 longhorns. So languid was their progress that if this were a real market drive the beef would have been very tough and leathery before it hit the steakhouse dinner plate.
The cattle drive at the Fort Worth Stockyards. (Rich Oppel)
But we could identify: the temperature was 97. “I saw a dog chasing a cat today,” said the emcee, deploying a very old joke. “It was so hot that both were walking.”
With limited time, we chose three very different restaurants:
- Nobu, in the Crescent Court Hotel; Jia, a modern Chinese restaurant in Highland Park; and Joe T. Garcia’s in Fort Worth. Nobu’s exotic Japanese menu set us back $480, with tip, for four (we had a guest), but it was worth it.
- Jia was an ordinary suburban strip mall restaurant, but with good food and a reasonable tab of $110 for four.
- Joe T.’s is an 85-year-old Fort Worth institution (think Matt’s El Rancho but larger), a fine Mexican restaurant where a meal with two drinks was $115.
Sushi at high-end restaurant Nobu. (Crescent Hotel)
It was all a splurge for a grandchild’s visit. Now we will get back to our ordinary road trips of Hampton Inns, where a room rate is closer to the Crescent Court’s overnight parking rate of $52. And to corner cafes in small towns.
Did Dallas change our 15-year-old’s view of Texas? “Yes. I think it’s a lot cooler than I did. The fashion, the food.” So, not only Austin is cool. Take Texas as a whole. It’s a big, complex, diverse and wonderful state.
Giga Texas, the massive Tesla factory in southeast Travis County is getting even bigger.
The company filed with the city of Austin this week to expand its headquarters with a new 500,000-square-foot building. The permit application notes “GA 2 and 3 expansion,” which indicates the company will make two general assembly lines in the building.
More details about the plans for the building are unclear. The gigafactory has been focused on Model Y production since it opened in April, but the company is also aiming for Cybertruck production to kick off in mid-2023.
While there is room for expansion on the 3.3 square miles of land Tesla has, this move comes after CEO Elon Musk’s recent comments about the state of the economy and its impact on Tesla.
In a May interview with Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, Musk said the gigafactories in Berlin and Austin are “gigantic money furnaces” and said Giga Texas had manufactured only a small number of cars.
And in June, Musk sent a company wide email saying Tesla will be reducing salaried headcount by 10%, then later tweeted salaried headcount should be fairly flat.
- Grand opening of Giga Texas faces push back from the community ... ›
- Giga Texas may start production of Model Y's this week - austonia ›
- Tesla hosts Cyber Rodeo grand opening party for Giga Texas ... ›
- Musk: Recently opened Giga Texas is a gigantic money furnace ... ›
- Elon Musk is spotted driving a Cybertruck through Giga Texas ... ›
- PHOTOS: Peek inside the Tesla Gigafactory producing Model Ys in ... ›
- Cyber Rodeo: what we know about the Giga Texas opening party ... ›
- Excitement over Giga Texas grand opening continues at Tesla Con ›
- Tesla's mileage range on new Model Y lowers - austonia ›