Austin’s Top News – December 14, 2020 | KLBJ-AM

COVID-19 vaccine update

Austin area health officials will begin giving vaccines for COVID-19 today or tomorrow. And while it’s well documented, healthcare workers will be the first to get it. Dr. Diana Fite of the Texas Medical Association says the second round will span a wide range of industries.

“The police officers, the teachers, the people who work in the grocery stores. There are so many people who need to be vaccinated, ”says Fite.

She says support for the vaccine has increased as more people learn about the process. She also says that if there had been any significant side effects, they would likely have been discovered by now.

COVID-19 update

Currently, 295 people are being hospitalized in Travis County for COVID-19. That’s up more than two dozen since Friday morning when we headed for the weekend. Of the 42,441 confirmed cases, 3,416 are currently active. 38,520 of them are people who have recovered.

Williamson County saw a slight increase in active cases of COVID this morning compared to the Friday before the weekend. There are 73 people in the hospital. That actually dropped by three. A total of 14,137 people have recovered from the 15,462 cases confirmed since March.

City curfew

City guides are still considering Austin curfew. Austin Mayor Steve Adler says this is something they will look into as the city enters Phase 5 of the COVID Risk Map, adding that a final decision has not yet been made on this possibility.

“Any rule we have must be something the church wants to do enough to expect from itself and from each other, to expect people to engage in these behaviors, for that is the best way to protect their family, ”says Adler.

Local health officials predict the city will enter Phase 5 this week if hospital infection rates remain unchanged.

Live event industry

The live events industry has suffered really badly this year. A recent report by Pollstar estimates that at least $ 30 billion in revenue is lost nationwide. As Cody Cowan of the Red River Cultural District told Fox 7, Austin has certainly seen its share in those losses.

“The Red River Cultural District will never look like downtown and much of Austin after that,” Cowan says.

Approximately 30% of the Red River venues have disappeared for good, and Cowan thinks it is very likely that Austin will not return as a tourist destination for at least a year or more.

Shorter leases for tenants

In the face of the pandemic, more and more tenants in the Austin area are demanding high-quality, shorter-term leases. Apartment List’s Rob Warnock takes a look at the fourth quarter and says it could be people just testing the local market.

“In Austin it was about 11% earlier this year. So from 11% to 16% we expect a growth of around 50% just in the volume of people who are now looking for these shorter leases, ”says Warnock.

There is still a lot of uncertainty and that six month leases give people a lot more flexibility to take this into account.

Rent back

Austin’s recent extension of the eviction moratorium is welcome news for renters, but not necessarily for landlords. Owner Sami Joseph tells CBS Austin he understands the need for compassion.

“But at the same time, the banks still have to operate and you know they aren’t waving to pay,” says Joseph.

Many landlords are quickly falling into the red due to a lack of rent payments combined with rising property taxes and a slow rental market. Now Austin City Council won’t meet again until late next month. At this point, however, the council is expected to look into the issue of rent back.

Fire in the homeless camp

Another fire in a homeless camp causes problems for the Austin Fire Department. Officials say a fire broke through a warehouse near some railroad tracks right next to the ACC Northridge campus and an apartment complex. It forced these tracks to be closed for hours. The camp is said to be completely destroyed. The fire is just the latest in a series of flames in homeless camps since late last year and will continue this year.

Tomorrow, two highly competitive runoff elections for Austin City Council will be decided. These are District 6 and 10 based on the candidates submitted. A lot of money has been spent. More than $ 400,000 was raised among the established companies and the challengers combined.

Tech is coming to Texas

Oracle’s announcement that it is moving its headquarters from California to Austin has caused quite a stir. Governor Greg Abbott tells CNBC that the number of large companies choosing to move to Texas should speak volumes for the business-friendly environment

“You talked about Tesla. Remember, we just had the announcement about the Hewlett Packard company. We also got the announcement last month that the Fortune 500 company CBRE was moving its headquarters to Texas, ”said Abbott.

California’s Bay Area Council released a statement expressing deep concern about the future of this state’s economy as more businesses pack up and leave.

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