"We are working on a plan to help forecast what we think is going to be reasonable, but looking through the end of December, we don't have any indications at this stage that we would be able to mitigate risk enough to have large events, particularly ones over 2,500 [people]," he said.
The ACL music festival, which takes place over two weekends in October, has not yet been canceled or changed. And the athletics director of the University of Texas is confident Longhorn football will return this fall—possibly on a modified schedule or without fans in the stands.
But myriad other events, including nearly 100 local festivals, have been canceled, rescheduled or put on hold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Escott said Austin would need to lower its risk level—according to a color-coded chart Austin Public Health released last week—before larger events could be considered.
The current risk level is Stage 3, which recommends social gatherings don't exceed 10 people.
At Stage 1, the guidelines allow for gatherings in larger groups, the reopening of all businesses and an end to social distancing and masking. But Dr. Escott said we are unlikely to return to something close to normal until a vaccine is widely available.
- Devastated Austin tourism may take years to recover - austonia ›
- Austin musicians in dire straits as pandemic keeps doors closed on ... ›
- Nearly 100 Austin festivals canceled, postponed or at risk as ... ›
- Without restaurants, bars or festivals, Austin's cottage industry of ... ›
- Bad vibes: Austin fears for fate of ACL—official word: 'too early to tell ... ›
- Austin Food Event Cancellations Because of Coronavirus Concerns ... ›
- Events canceled in Austin and beyond due to coronavirus | KXAN.com ›
- Major events canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus ... ›
- Coronavirus concern: What's happening with big Austin-area events ... ›
- Coronavirus cancellations: These major events, concerts called off ... ›
As widespread protests against police violence continue in Austin and around the country, local activist groups are pushing for what they've wanted for years but didn't feel they could successfully demand: defunding the Austin Police Department. And people seem to be paying attention.
- Austin City Council issues call to action over police violence - austonia ›
- Two days of protest: demonstrators shut down I-35, Austin police ... ›
- Protests over police killings planned for Austin this weekend ... ›
- The hacker group Anonymous briefly took down the city of Austin website this morning.
- The Texas Tribune looks at the history of racism and discrimination in Austin.
- The Austin Police Department has its own history with bias, the Statesman recounts.
- More protests are planned for this weekend.
- One of the things back on under the new phase of reopening: July 4 celebrations.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced today he is moving the state to Phase III of reopening the economy after the coronavirus shutdown.
From the release:
University of Texas at Austin will limit class size to 40% capacity this fall, offer 2,100 classes online
About 20% of classes at the University of Texas at Austin will be taught exclusively online this fall, The Texas Tribune reports, and in-person classes will be limited to 40% of classroom capacity.
A member of the security team who was temporarily assigned to guard the Texas State Capitol has tested positive for COVID-19, the Austin American-Statesman reports:
Travis County reports two suspected cases in children of inflammatory disease associated with COVID-19
There are two suspected cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children—a rare but serious condition believed to be associated with COVID-19—in Travis County, Austin Public Health Chief Epidemiologist Janet Pichette said during a virtual press conference earlier today.
- Despite the governor's statements about outside agitators, most people arrested in the protests here were from here, KUT reports.
- Protests continued peacefully in Austin last night.
- KXAN speaks to black police officers in Austin about what it's been like to patrol the protests.
- A GoFundMe campaign was set up to help black-owned businesses in Austin affected by COVID-19 and the recent protests.
- Masks, reservations, deep cleaning: Barton Springs has a reopening plan.