After a week of chaos—empty shelves, long lines and a high demand for non-perishables—Austinites are reporting that grocery stores are starting to restock and restabilize.
While some stores are still lacking a few basics such as bread or milk, others are restocked and ready to go in produce, frozen foods and bottled water.
On Monday afternoon, the Austonia staff took to their own neighborhood grocery stores to see what is and isn't back to normal.
Here are some store updates per our own reports:
Trader Joe's, 211 Walter Seaholm Dr. Ste. 100
No major shortages were found at Trader Joe's on Monday, a cashier told Operations Manager John Sullivan.
Reporter Laura Figi, said the same store was low on water, bread and eggs when she visited midday on Monday.
Hancock H-E-B, 1000 E. 41st St.
Senior Reporter Emma Freer said that milk, eggs and meat were noticibly restocked from when she last visited the store on Saturday. She reports there were no dairy products, and capacity limits applied to many basic items.
The water aisle was about a quarter to a third stocked, but still had plenty of bottles and gallon jugs available.
Fresh Plus, 408 E 43rd St.
Freer said the store was partially out of stock but remained open.
Randalls, 2727 Exposition Blvd.
Austonia Publisher Mark Dewey said the store is operating normally, with no line. The store is currently busy but not crowded. He found there were plenty of highly-sought items, including meat, eggs and fresh produce. Frozen pizzas, paper products and chips were sold out, while bottled water was being restocked. Limits are placed on milk with two gallons available per customer.
H-E-B, 2400 S. Congress
Austonia's Senior Producer Sonia Garcia said that most products in the store were stocked or being stocked by staff. She found the chips aisle to be the most vacant.
Southpark MeadowsTarget, 9500 S. IH 35
Garcia said that most non-perishables, meat and dairy products were wiped out. The only food section that looked stocked was the produce, she said.
H-E-B, 2000 Ranch Road 620 S
At H-E-B Lakeway, Austonia's Leslee Bassman said the store lacked water, while paper towels and frozen pizzas were in short supply.
CVS, 2610 Lake Austin Blvd.
Dewey said that the store is out of water, breakfast foods and beer but still has health products, snacks, wine and some paper products available.
7-Eleven, 2620 Lake Austin Blvd.
Dewey said that the store was well-stocked in snacks, candy and beer, but water and baked goods were limited.
Randalls, 2301 Ranch Road 620 S.
Bassman said that the store was generally stocked, including water, which had customer limits.
Target, 5300 S. Mopac
Austonia's Kristin Finan found this Target to be just as empty as the one on I-35. Canned and frozen foods shelves were almost completely empty.
While many stores have regained some normalcy, the following groceries have placed limits on certain products or report having limited stock as of Monday:
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When Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he would rescind business capacity limits and a statewide masking mandate on Texas Independence Day, he framed it as a step forward. "With this executive order, we are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny," he said during a press conference at a Mexican restaurant in Lubbock.
But some local restaurants and bars, which have been caught in the regulatory crosshairs since Texas' first positive COVID test 364 days ago, have chosen to ignore Abbott's overture. Instead, they will continue to maintain pandemic precautions once the executive order takes effect next week, citing a desire to keep their staff and patrons safe.
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(AUSTIN, TEXAS) Austonia has hired Claire Partain as a reporter covering Austin FC, the MLS expansion team that will be Austin's first major league sports franchise.
Partain is a former sports editor for the The University Star, Texas State University's daily newspaper. She edited, covered sports, produced podcasts, and hosted a pre-game TXST football tailgate live series. Partain has been freelancing with the company since January, prior to accepting a staff position.
A native of Fairfield, Texas, Partain grew up playing youth soccer. In her high school years, she played alongside her mother in what was then called the Freestone County Hispanic Women's Soccer League.
Claire's coverage philosophy: "I like to bring out the humanity of sports, and I want to make this the most accessible sports coverage possible."
She notes that soccer is the predominant sport for young people. "It's a global sport, and we're more connected to the world than older generations."
That approach fits the team's already visible presence in Austin, says Austonia CEO Mark Dewey. "Austin FC has established itself as a leading Austin brand, one that stands for a more unified Austin community, a bigger global presence for Austin and fun. Austonia shares those values."
Partain's soccer coverage begins immediately, with her free, hosted text service—Austonia FC. For updates, special access and inside info, all moderated by Claire, sign up below.
Austonia is the city's independent, free, locally-owned and all-digital source for Austin news, information and entertainment.
Connect with Austonia through its daily email newsletter and text updates, @austonianews Instagram feed, @austonianews and @austinist Twitter feeds, @austonianews Facebook page and its website austonia.com.
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Austin Public Health will release another batch of first dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments for Thursday on Wednesday evening. A department spokesperson estimates between 3,000 and 4,000 slots will be available.
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