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Emergency order declared for monkeypox in Austin


Local health officials have issued an emergency order for the growing number of monkeypox cases.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Travis County Judge Andy Brown and Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes made the announcement at City Hall on Tuesday, where they said they requested more resources from the state and hope to raise awareness about the virus.

Monkeypox, a smallpox-like virus that causes a rash that looks like pimples or blisters, as well as fever, muscle and body aches, headaches, chills and swollen lymph nodes, was declared a public health emergency last week by the federal government. The first case in Travis County was reported on June 23 and as of Tuesday, there are now 68 probable and confirmed cases of the virus.

Officials said APH and other local clinics are ready to distribute monkeypox vaccines but are in need of more doses. Austin Public Health has received 3,154 of the 56,000 doses of vaccine available nationwide, Adler said. Currently, only those that have been exposed to the virus are eligible for the vaccine.

The public is urged to avoid direct skin-to-skin contact and for those sick or with a rash to stay home.

"With colleges, universities, schools and festivals happening this fall, it's imperative for everyone to know the symptoms of monkeypox and do our part to slow the spread," Brown said.


With deposition and trial looming, Elon Musk has offered $44B for Twitter, again

Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.

The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.

The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.

While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.

The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.

After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.

With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.

He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.

Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.

Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.

Austin rents nearly double in a year and are now in the top 5 nationwide

While searching for a place to live, Austin renters will face monthly rates of nearly $3,000, a recent guide from rental marketplace Dwellsy shows.

The median rent in August this year was $2,930, a more than 86% increase since August 2021. That’s $820 more than the nationwide median asking rent in August and puts Austin just below the Bay Area, Boston and New York for large cities with the most expensive asking rent.

“Within this group, Austin, TX stands out for the highest increases in asking rent, which has nearly doubled since this time last year,” the study notes.

Outside of those large cities, however, others are seeing even higher rent spikes. Metro areas that ranked above Austin in one-year increases include those like Kansas City, MO with a 112% change in rent since last August and Tucson, AZ with a 124% change.

The data reflects large apartment communities, single-family homes and 2-6 unit buildings.