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(Courtesy Travis County Commissioners Court)

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt provided an update on social distancing efforts at a Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday. (Courtesy Travis County Commissioners Court)

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt provided an update earlier today on local social-distancing efforts.

According to the updated modeling from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin—expected to be released to the public later today or tomorrow—and other data, including Google's community mobility reports, Travis County has reduced its trips to transit stations by 72%, to retail and recreation facilities by 54%, to the workplace by 44%, to grocery stores and pharmacies by 29%, and to parks by 19%.

"I'm happy to report that ... we do see a significant reduction in our activity," Eckhardt said, speaking at the Commissioner's Court meeting. "However, it does appear that we may have plateaued, and so I would ask people to do more."


Eckhardt added that a 50% reduction in trips is not enough. An earlier modeling report from the UT researchers, released on March 26, estimates that at this rate, the Austin-Round Rock metro will see more than 1.56 million coronavirus cases and more than 6,000 deaths by mid-August.

According to the report, social distancing will need to be at the 90% to avoid overwhelming hospitals in Travis, Williamson, Bastrop, Caldwell and Hays counties.

The team of researchers—led by Dr. Lauren Ancel Meyers, a professor on integrative biology, statistics and data sciences—estimate that Austin's coronavirus caseload peaks will depend on the rate at which nonhousehold contact is reduced.

For example, with no social distancing, the researchers expect the city to hit its peak around late April to early May. With a 50% reduction in nonhousehold contact, that peak is pushed back to mid-August.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington predicts the state of Texas will hit its peak resource use on April 19. The IHME does not expect a hospital or ICU bed shortage in Texas at the time, but it does predict a deficit of 605 invasive ventilators. Its modeling does not extend to the city level.

In a video posted to his website yesterday morning, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the city has slowed its doubling rate—the time it takes for the number of coronavirus cases to double—to five days. In the March 26 UT report, researchers modeled their projections according to a doubling rate of four days.

"New York and the United States, we're looking at a doubling every two days," the mayor said. "And that's where we started off. Right now, we're probably doubling every five days, and that's a really good number, but we need to continue to do better."

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Ingredients:

  • 750 ml Tito's Handmade Vodka
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Directions: Drop sliced strawberries into glass container filled with Tito's Handmade Vodka. Let sit in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Once desired flavor is reached remove fruit. Enjoy!

The long-awaited day is here; Austin FC takes the field with LAFC. (Austonia)

It's matchday! Austin FC—Austin's first major league sport team—kicks off its debut season in Los Angeles today after years in the making. We know how much this means to our beloved city and are taking you along with us as we journey to LA!

Austin FC writer Claire Partain and I are excited to bring you game-day coverage straight from the City of Angels. Check back here for updates, and visit our socials: @austonianews for the latest.

5 p.m: Kickoff!

It's finally here! Claire will be updating Austonia's Twitter account live. And we'll post her game recap after the game. Best of luck Verdes!

4:40 p.m: Excitement radiates back home

Watch parties are in plenty supply back home. Austonia's Laura Figi visited Circle Brewing Co. and found a crowd of excited supporters.

4:20 p.m: Austin FC supporters are in the stadium

Although the Banc of California Stadium is hosting the match at limited capacity, we see some green in the stands ahead of kickoff. Just moments away from the Austin FC's debut!

~3:20 p.m: Austin FC's team bus enters the stadium grounds

With a warm welcome from Los Verdes, Austin FC players were welcomed into the Banc of California Stadium.

~1 p.m: Los Verdes in LA

(Rigo Rodriguez/Los Verdes)

Austin FC supporters are making their presence known in LA, including the Los Verdes group.

Los Verdes members started having match-day fun around the area this morning with brunch. We'll be joining them about an hour before the game outside the stadium to share some of their excitement. We'll post immediately to Austonia's Instagram.

11:45 a.m: We landed!

View from hotel room where we're staying; the stadium digital sign can be seen in the right corner. (Sonia Garcia/Austonia)

Switching over to pacific time, we're here and it's almost like no time went by. It's 9:45 a.m. here.

We've been in contact with Los Verdes, an Austin FC supporter group, who is also here in LA counting down to kickoff.

8:20 a.m: LA bound

Like many of you, we've been looking forward to this moment for, let's just say, a very long time. Today, we woke up bright and early, headed to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and hopped on a flight to LA.

A gloomy day in Austin with a very quiet airport, we're headed to sunny skies in California.

As we wait for the game to start at 4:30 p.m., check out Claire's preview of the game with a predicted lineup and timeline of the long journey to get here.