Gov. Greg Abbott said in a release that he "will make an announcement regarding Texas' continued safe and strategic opening" in a news conference at 2 p.m. today.

Watch here:


(city of Austin)

In an effort to balance COVID containment with economic stability, Austin Public Health debuted a color-coded chart that identifies the local risk of coronavirus spread and issues recommendations for high-risk individuals, the public at large and the workplace.

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(John and Marilee Eitel)

Welcome to Austonia, a new, locally owned news company reporting on news, business, and politics in Austin. Like what you see? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get our latest stories in your inbox.

Late at night on April 23, under the cover of darkness, John and Marilee Eitel drove around Rollingwood on their golf cart, planting signs in their neighbors' yards.

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Gov. Greg Abbott modified his executive orders today to retroactively ban local jurisdictions from putting people in jail for violating COVID orders, thus freeing the Dallas salon owner who was sentenced to seven days in jail.

Abbot's statement:

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(Charlie L. Harper III)

Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said that the city and county would extend the Stay Home-Work Safe orders when they expire on Friday, though they will be modified to comply with an executive order issued last week by Gov. Greg Abbott.

In the meantime, the current stay-at-home orders remain in effect, although certain elements are superseded by state rules.

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Updated May 4 10:44 a.m.:

If it seems like you've been seeing more people out and about lately in Austin, you're not wrong.

The data analytics firm Unacast now has the county performing at a C- on its social distancing scoreboard. Just a month ago the firm was grading Travis County as an A-. Unacast uses data from public data sets as well as tens of millions of devices.

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The view from 360 Nueces Street. (David Powell)

Welcome to Austonia, a new, locally owned news company reporting on news, business, and politics in Austin. Like what you see? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get our latest stories in your inbox.

Elevator wars. Cramped life on a balcony. Darkened bars and restaurants. No deliveries to your condo. Generational differences over latex gloves, disposable wipes and social distancing. Ready to kill for a beer on a restaurant patio. Yes, those who live in Austin downtown's high-rises are stressed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Karen Brooks Harper

Most people wore masks—or bandanas—at McKinney Falls on the first day the state parks reopened. (Karen Brooks Harper)

Callie Rocha, 23, wanted to hit the rocks early.

Rocha, of Austin, woke up near dawn, packed up her climbing gear, and headed out to McKinney Falls State Park in southeast Austin to be the first one to climb the boulders after the parks reopened on Monday.

Did she do it for the bragging rights? To be No. 1? Not especially.

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