Directors of the Austin Public Library as well as heads of the parks and recreation, animal services and code departments discussed the phased approach during a virtual press conference earlier today. Plans will be assessed every 28 days and may be subject to change, depending on the course of the pandemic.
Starting Monday, the parks department will reopen certain facilities that have been closed since the start of the pandemic. Three pools will reopen Monday, with six more to follow, but there is not yet a date to reopen Barton Springs or Deep Eddy. Splash pads will also remain closed.
Austin Public Library will also reopen its book drops. Returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours, Director Roosevelt Weeks said. On June 15, APL will begin offering curbside service—where residents can pick up books and other items—at select locations, including the Central Library downtown.
The Austin Animal Center will resume in-person adoptions, within certain guidelines, on Monday. Interested residents will be required to schedule appointments in advance, have their temperature checked upon arrival and wear masks. Two appointments will be allowed per hour.
The code department is reopening its cashiers office. Two weeks later, its licensing and registration office will follow suit. Interim Assistant Director Daniel Word encouraged residents to continue using the electronic options available on the city's website.
As the reopening process continues, city officials asked residents to continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing while returning to these venues in an effort to keep city employees and other essential workers safe. "The safety of our employees and the community that we serve are always on our mind," Deputy City Manager Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde said.
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Beloved movie chain, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has filed for bankruptcy after a tough year for the film industry as theaters remained closed for months.
The filing comes as an asset purchase agreement with Altamon Capitol Partners and Fortress Investment Group, which is the financial backer of Gannett, the parent company of the Austin American Statesman.
The theater has said that operations will remain normal, however, some locations are closing down including Austin's Ritz location in Downtown.
(AUSTIN, TEXAS) Austonia has hired Claire Partain as a reporter covering Austin FC, the MLS expansion team that will be Austin's first major league sports franchise.
Partain is a former sports editor for the The University Star, Texas State University's daily newspaper. She edited, covered sports, produced podcasts, and hosted a pre-game TXST football tailgate live series. Partain has been freelancing with the company since January, prior to accepting a staff position.
A native of Fairfield, Texas, Partain grew up playing youth soccer. In her high school years, she played alongside her mother in what was then called the Freestone County Hispanic Women's Soccer League.
Claire's coverage philosophy: "I like to bring out the humanity of sports, and I want to make this the most accessible sports coverage possible."
She notes that soccer is the predominant sport for young people. "It's a global sport, and we're more connected to the world than older generations."
That approach fits the team's already visible presence in Austin, says Austonia CEO Mark Dewey. "Austin FC has established itself as a leading Austin brand, one that stands for a more unified Austin community, a bigger global presence for Austin and fun. Austonia shares those values."
Partain's soccer coverage begins immediately, with her free, hosted text service—Austonia FC. For updates, special access and inside info, all moderated by Claire, sign up below.
Austonia is the city's independent, free, locally-owned and all-digital source for Austin news, information and entertainment.
Connect with Austonia through its daily email newsletter and text updates, @austonianews Instagram feed, @austonianews and @austinist Twitter feeds, @austonianews Facebook page and its website austonia.com.
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Some Austin restaurants, bars will keep masking requirements, capacity limits when statewide orders lift next week
Two days shy of the one-year anniversary of Texas' first confirmed case of COVID-19, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he will rescind statewide pandemic restrictions, including business capacity limits and mask mandates, next week. Although businesses—especially those tied to the hospitality industry—have suffered financially over the last year, many Austin establishments are rejecting Abbott's order.
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