COVID-19 is still raging on, reaching the Texas House earlier this week, but Austin's tech sector is booming.
Here are some of Austin's most breaking stories, broken down into bite-size pieces, so you can be informed quickly.
Austin Convention Center receives first patients: The Austin Convention Center's alternate care site opened its doors on Tuesday and received its first three patients on Thursday. Following the surge resulting from holiday gatherings, hospital admissions for the virus have been on a steady incline, which puts other emergency patients at risk. With up to 200 spare beds to relieve hospital ICUs, Austin Public Health hopes the site will help control the overwhelming surge.
Bumble files to go public: Austin-based matchmaker app is ready to get on the market—the stock market, that is. Bumble filed its registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, estimating that the initial public offering could raise $100 million, and could hit the stock market as early as this year. Though it hasn't released the number of shares it plans to sell or the price range, keep an eye out for the ticker "BMBL" on the NASDAQ.
Chencho Flores dies after COVID-19 complications: Lifelong Austinite and multi-talented musician Chencho Flores said a final goodbye to his home city on Jan. 10 after suffering COVID-19 complications. The 91-year-old began playing music around the community in the 1940s, picking up guitar, accordion and eventually becoming known for his singing and MC abilities. He stayed active in the community with Conjunto Los Pinkys up until his death.
COVID-19 in the House: State Rep. Joe Deshotel, D-Beaumont, tested positive for COVID-19 three days after the Texas lawmakers called this year into session, he told the Texas Tribune. Deshotel had received a test six days before he tested positive and said he had "no idea" how he contracted it, though he is now in quarantine. The news came the day after House members gathered for the start of 2021 session, which will not require members to get tested before they enter the chamber. Upon hearing the news, some House members, including Democrats Erin Zwiener and Michelle Beckley, said they would quarantine according to CDC guidelines.
Digital Realty goes east: Joining an ever-growing list of companies making Austin home base, Digital Realty announced Thursday that it would be packing up and moving its HQ from San Francisco to Austin. Austin has become a choice destination for business owners with Oracle and Tesla both announcing their move to the city last year. Digital Realty already has Texas roots: an office in downtown Dallas and more than 30 data centers around Texas. The company did not announce when they would make it to Texas but they maintain they will keep a strong presence in San Francisco.
Scheduled showers, porta potties and hotel stays: Hundreds of Austin apartment complexes still don't have water
The last night Stephanie Landgraf, 25, spent in her apartment, off of Rundberg Lane, was on Valentine's Day. First, her power went off, only to return shortly after the complex lost water. Since then, she's been staying with friends. "There's no end in sight," she told Austonia. "At this point, I'm just angry."
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When city services shut down, four Austin influencers stepped up to bring thousands of free meals to the community.