Fifty-six Travis County providers are set to receive nearly 50,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, a decrease of nearly 30,000 doses compared to last week's allocation.
For the first time since being designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services as one of two hub providers in Travis County, Austin Public Health will not receive any doses. As vaccine eligibility has expanded, the department and some other local providers have reported declining demand, prompting more community outreach and a shift to walk-up clinic models.
Seton Medical Center, which provides doses to the Central Texas Vaccine Collaborative's weekend drive-thru clinic at the Circuit of the Americas, and the University of Texas at Austin, Travis County's second hub provider, will receive the largest allocations next week: 11,700 and 5,850 doses, respectively.
The local providers due to receive the largest allocations, after Seton Medical Center and UT Austin, are:
- Austin Diagnostic Clinic Travel Clinic (1,170 doses)
- South Austin Medical Clinic (1,170 doses)
- Vina Pharmacy (1,170 doses)
- Walgreen Pharmacy on Wells Branch Parkway (1,170 doses)
- Walgreens Pharmacy on William Cannon Drive (1,170 doses)
- Walgreens Pharmacy on West Anderson Lane (1,170 doses)
Providers for this week's allocation include area private practices, medical clinics and pharmacies, which will receive 100 to 1,170 first doses apiece. A full list of Travis County recipients and how many vaccines they are receiving can be found here. A list of local providers offering appointments to 16- and 17-year-olds can be found here.
On Friday, vaccine advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted to recommend resuming use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, whose use federal agencies paused after six recipients—out of more than 7.2 million—developed blood clots, including one case in Texas.
"With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine again recommended for use in the United States, the federal government is expected to make doses of that vaccine available to states as early as this weekend," according to a DSHS press release. If this happens, the state health department could see its allocation increase.
With this latest allocation, Travis County will have received 884,315 initial or single doses. As of early Friday afternoon, more than half of the county population 16 and older had received at least one dose and nearly one-third were fully vaccinated, according to DSHS.
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By Jonathan Lee
The Planning Commission was split Tuesday on whether to help save an eclectic lakefront estate from demolition by zoning it historic amid concerns over tax breaks and the likelihood that a previous owner participated in segregation as a business owner.
The property in question, known as the Delisle House, is located at 2002 Scenic Drive in Tarrytown. The main house, with Spanish and Modern influences, was built in 1923 by Raymond Delisle, an optician. A Gothic Revival accessory apartment was built in 1946. The current owner applied to demolish the structures in order to build a new home.'
Historic preservationists, for their part, overwhelmingly support historic zoning, which would preserve the buildings in perpetuity. The Historic Landmark Commission unanimously voted to initiate historic zoning in July, citing architectural significance, landscape features and association to historic figures. City staffers recommend historic zoning, calling both structures one-of-a-kind examples of vernacular architecture.
Tarrytown neighbors have also banded together to stop the demolition. Many have written letters, and a few spoke at the meeting. “How could anyone buy this property with the intent of destroying it?” Ila Falvey said. “I think it’s an architectural treasure.”
Michael Whellan, an attorney representing the property owner, said that the claims made by preservationists are shaky. The buildings are run down, he said, and have had substantial renovations. A structural engineer hired by the owner said any attempt at preservation would involve tearing down and rebuilding – an undertaking Whellan said would likely cost millions.
Whellan also argued that any historical significance derived from the property’s association with Delisle and longtime owner C.H. Slator is dubious. “These men are not noted for any civic, philanthropic or historic impact,” he said.
What’s more, according to Whellan, Slator likely participated in segregation as the owner of the Tavern on North Lamar Boulevard between 1953 and 1960.
A city staffer, however, said she found no evidence to support the claim. “We would never landmark a property where a segregationist lived, or there was a racist person,” Kimberly Collins with the Historic Preservation Office said.
Commissioner Awais Azhar couldn’t support historic zoning in part due to lingering uncertainty about Slator. “Focusing on that factor is not here to disparage an individual or family. It is not about playing the race card. This is an important assertion for us to consider as Planning commissioners,” Azhar said.
Commissioner Carmen Llanes Pulido said that allegations of racism should come as no surprise. “We’re talking about white male property owners in the 1950s, in Austin, on the west side – and of course they were racist,” she said. But she argued that allowing the house to be demolished based on these grounds does nothing to help people of color who have been harmed by racism and segregation.
The question of tax breaks was also controversial. Michael Gaudini, representing the property owner, said that the tax breaks associated with historic zoning would exacerbate inequality by shifting property tax burdens to less affluent communities. City staffers estimate that the property, appraised at $3.5 million, would get either a $8,500 or $16,107 property tax break annually, depending on whether a homestead exemption is applied.
Commissioner Grayson Cox preferred the commission focus not on tax breaks but on whether the structures merit preservation. “To me, nothing in the historic preservation criteria lists, is this person deserving of a tax break or not?”
Azhar, on the other hand, said he plans to propose a code amendment getting rid of city property tax breaks for historic properties.
The commission fell one vote short of recommending historic zoning, with six commissioners in support and three opposed. Azhar and commissioners Claire Hempel and Greg Anderson voted against.
The odds of City Council zoning over an owner’s wishes are slim. Nine out of 11 members must vote in favor, and there have only been a handful of such cases over the past several decades.
What's new in Austin food & drink this week:
- Nau's Enfield Drug closing after losing their lease. Did McGuire Moorman Lambert buy the building, with its vintage soda fountain?
- Nixta Taqueria Chef Edgar Rico named to Time Magazine's Time 100 Next influencer list, after winning a James Beard Award earlier this year.
- Question: From what BBQ joint did pescatarian Harry Styles order food this week?
- Austin Motel is opening the pool and pool bar Wednesday nights in October for Freaky Floats.
- Vincent's on the Lake closing due to "economic conditions and low water levels [at Lake Travis]."
- Cenote has closed its Windsor Park location. The East Cesar Chavez location remains open.
- The Steeping Room on N. Lamar has closed.
- Local startup It's Skinnyscored new financing for its gluten-free pasta business.
- P. Terry's opened a new location in Kyle, at 18940 IH-35.