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(Emma Freer)

Austin City Council Member Vanessa Fuentes, who represents District 2 in Southeast Austin, and Travis County Judge Andy Brown tour the Austin Region Infusion Center earlier this month.

The COVID-19 therapeutic infusion center in South Austin is expanding.

The pop-up center opened outside of the Montopolis CommUnity Care location on Jan. 6 with nine infusion chairs and monoclonal antibody treatments donated by area hospitals. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that the center will now offer 33 infusion chairs, thanks to additional support provided by the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

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Amid the possibilities that Austin voters could reinstate the city's camping ban and the implementation of a statewide ban, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the current plan is failing.

Austin City Council repealed the camping ban in 2019, after advocates said it criminalized homelessness. Adler told the Austin American-Statesman on Thursday that the approach "is not working," but added that going back to the previous ban also didn't address the city's homelessness issues.

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Greg Casar in 2019. (Greg Casar/Facebook)

Greg Casar lobbied City Hall for the first time 10 years ago. Recently out of college and working as the policy director for the Workers Defense Project, a progressive advocacy group, he joined construction workers in a six-hour thirst strike on a hot day in late June. The next month, Austin City Council passed an ordinance requiring rest breaks at construction sites.

Despite this success and other workers' rights gains, Casar said he was disillusioned with the council's response. Former Mayor Lee Leffingwell wouldn't respond to meeting requests. Former council members told him, if he really cared about social justice and workers' rights, he should focus on the Texas Legislature rather than City Hall. "That attitude needed to change," he told Austonia during a recent interview.

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(Tom Madison)

Six weeks into the federal COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the number of Ausinites who have received a shot—or two—is growing, with recipients reporting immense relief and sharing happy selfies.

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