Over 29% of Travis County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, and 12% are fully vaccinated, state data revealed Friday morning.
Austin Public Health, one of the county's vaccine hub providers, has given nearly 140,000 cumulative first and second doses since March 20, according to APH data.
With over a quarter of residents at least partially vaccinated, cases are also on the sharp decline. Since March 18, there have been only six new COVID cases at long-term care facilities, a 98% drop since Jan. 21. Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said that early prioritization of long-term care residents and staff has helped limit cases.
"Every person living in a long-term care facility is someone's loved one–mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers," Escott said. "By prioritizing them at the beginning of vaccine distribution, additional lives were saved and has improved the ability of family members to more safely visit their loved ones in these facilities."
Although new cases have risen slightly in the past two days, with 106 new cases on March 25, the downward trend line continues. For five days from March 16-21, new cases in Austin were under 100 daily, according to APH's COVID dashboard.
The state will allow all adults over age 16 to qualify for vaccinations starting Monday, March 29, but Austin still isn't quite ready to open up to everyone. Although 29% of residents are vaccinated, Austin is going to continue to prioritize those in 1A, 1B and 1C categories.
So far, over 60% of residents 65 years or older have been at least partially vaccinated in Travis County, and 23.4% of total doses administered by APH have gone to those 60 or older.
APH continues to receive 12,000 weekly shipments, but the city is expecting more doses next week and is anticipating a much higher vaccine supply going into April.
- All Texas adults will be able to get a vaccine next week - austonia ›
- Adults under 65 increasingly access COVID vaccine in Austin ... ›
- Where in Austin COVID-19 vaccines are being sent this week ... ›
- Texans 50 and older will qualify for COVID vaccine March 15 ... ›
- Texas widens COVID vaccine access, but Austin doses are limited ... ›
- Great-grandparents get fast pass for vaccine with APH - austonia ›
- Why some Austinites are opting out of the COVID-19 vaccine - austonia ›
Terry Black’s Barbecue is journeying outside of the smoked meats sphere and into the hospitality sector, announcing plans to open “Friday Mountain,” a resort-style vineyard near Driftwood.
According to a report from the Austin Business Journal, Friday Mountain will be located on 64 acres at 150 Concord Circle, featuring a boutique hotel with 22 rooms, a 14-acre vineyard and a 20,000-square-foot underground wine facility, a spa, event space, all-day café and high-end restaurant. Construction is poised to start in the next month.
The courtyard outside of the event space will echo Hill Country architecture. (Rogers-O'Brien Construction)
Co-owner Mark Black said he expects construction to last about 10 months, hoping for opening early next year, and would hire around 140 employees: 60 full-time and 80 part-time.
The new project has long been in the works for the restaurateurs—including Mark’s twin brother Mike and sister Christina—who come from the same lineage as those behind Lockhart’s Black’s BBQ but separated the business due to a falling out within the family.
Friday Mountain was originally planned to be a wedding venue but issues arising about noise, traffic and environmental concerns led the Dripping Springs City Council to ask for updated plans.
A rendering of the entrance to the planned underground wine cave. (Rogers-O'Brien Construction)
In the new plans, which have since been submitted, Black said he heard the neighborhood's concerns and is focusing on working with the right contractors to avoid issues. Black said he knows not everyone will be on board with the venue but that it will provide a little something for everyone.
To bring the concept to life, Black is partnering with engineers at Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., architects at Lawrence Group, and Rogers-O’Brien Construction Co. Ltd. as the general contractor.
As for the vineyard, Black has partnered with Salt Lick Cellars to have wine aged and ready to drink wine upon opening and will hand off wine making operations to enthusiast Phil Price.
According to a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation filing, the project will cost an estimated $20 million to be completed in January 2023.
- Austin metro posts $800M in home sales to foreign buyers - austonia ›
- What billionaires like Elon Musk look for in Austin real estate - austonia ›
- Where to find the best barbecue in Austin - austonia ›
The Texas French Bread Bakery, located on 2900 Rio Grande Street, has been completely destroyed after a fire erupted on Monday night.
The Austin Fire Department responded to the fire just before 11 p.m., where they arrived to see flames coming from the roof of the bakery. Firefighters fought the fire for about an hour before the roof collapsed.
While no one was injured in the fire, firefighters say the historic building was completely totaled.
Texas French Bread just went up in flames pic.twitter.com/agXqKN3c00
— Jordan (@AimIessFriend) January 25, 2022
AFD determined that the fire was accidental and caused by mechanical failure. AFD said the damages amounted to $1.6 million total: $1.1 million in structural damage and $500,000 in damage to the contents of the bakery.
This year, Texas French Bread will celebrate 40 years of business. Before the bakery occupied the building, it was the Rome Inn, a music venue that hosted 1970s artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan.