(Ismael Quintanilla III/Shutterstock.com)
Mass events, such as Austin City Limits, are unlikely to occur as normal at least through the end of the year, Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said during a press conference earlier today.

"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.

(Pexels)

Some voters who applied to vote by mail in Travis County have received ballots with only the July 14 special state senate contest on them, not any of the primary races.

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Sponsored by Tito's Handmade Vodka

Tito's Handmade Vodka will provide 21,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to Austinites (Austonians?) for free on July 2 via contactless pickup.

Tito's For Austin

"Due to the recent spike in cases of COVID-19 in Texas, we wanted to make our hand sanitizer more widely available to the local community," said Taylor Berry, VP of Brand Marketing at Tito's Handmade Vodka. "We're starting in our hometown of Austin, with plans to expand to additional Texas cities in need."

  • Where: Krieg Softball Complex parking lot, 222 S. Pleasant Valley Road.
  • When: Thursday, July 2, 12-6 p.m. or while supplies last.
  • Details: All passengers must wear masks; limit three bottles per car.
  • More: Tito's For Austin



Since beginning production in late March, Tito's has donated hand sanitizer to critical frontline workers at over 500 organizations in Central Texas, and to 25 states and counting across the United States. Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Austin, Tito's Handmade Vodka is shifting its hand sanitizer distribution strategy to make it available to the public for free.

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Alamo Drafthouse took the "devastating step" of moving employees from furloughs to layoffs, a company spokesperson told the Austin Chronicle and IndieWire.

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(Charlie L. Harper III)

Austin police officers, experts and local leaders will speak with City Council members on Thursday about how to institute sweeping changes to policies at the Austin Police Department in response to public outcry about racism and violence that led to weeks of protest in May and June.

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There is at least one holiday weekend event that hasn't yet been canceled: the Emerald Point Bar & Grill on Lake Travis still plans to have the 90s rapper Vanilla Ice perform on Friday night.

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(Tricia Daniel/Shutterstock)

Heading into the Fourth of July weekend, Austin health officials begged residents to stay away from each other to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

"You really must stay home right now," Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said during a media call Wednesday.

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(1000Photography/Shutterstock)

Google told employees this week that the company will hold off on reopening its offices until Sept. 7, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg News.

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