Austin’s Top News – January 19, 2021 | KLBJ-AM

COVID-19 update

Travis County’s hospital stays are back above 600. According to Austin Public Health, 602 people with coronavirus are being hospitalized today, 176 of them in intensive care. However, that number in the intensive care unit has decreased somewhat since the end of last week and remains unchanged from the day before. The number of active cases has currently also decreased on consecutive days, a little more than 6,000 of them are active. That’s a decrease from about 275 last day. A total of 61,468 cases have been confirmed with nearly 55,000 recoveries.

The state added two more vaccination centers in central Texas this week, and Austin Mayor Steve Adler hopes the governor will take action soon to expedite the rollout. He tells CBS that getting more distribution hubs is a start, but it’s far from enough.

“We vaccinate as many people in our community as the state will provide us with vaccines,” says Adler.

It’s a problem that cities all over Texas really deal with. The Family Emergency Room at Cedar Park and UT Dell Medical School are the two new hubs. You’re joining Austin Public Health, which has been a hub since the rollout began.

Pfizer vaccine shipment arrives

With that in mind, the Texas Department of Health says the Pfizer vaccine broadcast expected yesterday has been delayed. A hook at the federal level is blamed for this. Instead, the shipment should arrive today. According to official information, 55 state providers are affected by the delay.

Hays District Judge Ruben Becerra reiterates the frustration other city and district leaders have expressed over the introduction of the vaccine. Hays County is getting its first shipment this week, but Becerra says the state really didn’t provide very much information, including the specific number of doses allotted.

“And we don’t know if and when we will get more. We are really in the dark like the rest of the community, ”says Becerra.

Hays County is believed to receive close to 3,000 doses, but Becerra says the online registration portal will not be activated until the vaccines are officially in the county.

Manor ISD 100% virtual

To date, two locations in the Manor school district have become 100% virtual. Presidential Meadows Elementary and Manor Senior High will be relocating temporarily, according to district officials. This is due to a large number of employees who currently need to be quarantined. Therefore, classes on campus will not resume until February 1st

School funding

The Texan legislation of 2021 still has 19 weeks to get a lot of things done. Even amid the pandemic, school funding remains a constant issue.

“Whether or not they kept promises they made in the last session on HB3, that was the school finance bill. This is a bill that will cost between $ 13 billion and $ 14 billion in real terms, ”says political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus.

What makes it difficult is that the pandemic has resulted in much less sales tax money. The state must also pay for health-related items because of COVID-19.

Control measure for demonstration pistols

Former Travis County judge and current senator Sarah Eckhardt is pushing for guns control measures against protesters. Under Senate Bill 311, carrying a gun would become a crime within 500 feet of a demonstration. If passed, it will take effect on September 1st this year. However, it is very unlikely that such a proposal will be passed in the state parliament.

Abbott in Houston

Governor Greg Abbott will be in Houston today to discuss the ongoing fight against the coronavirus with health care workers. He will also provide information on government efforts to get more vaccines out. Abbott will also set its main legislative priorities, including addressing the pandemic.

As we reported this week, Travis County’s health department Mark Escott has been trying to get all lawmakers vaccinated. Health Department Doctor Mark Escott told the Dallas Morning News that he offered the shots to lawmakers and staff while they were working on the current session. In previous statements, Doctor Escott stated that mass gatherings should be addressed.

“We need to recognize that the number of people, length of contact, and type of contact will all lead to an increased risk of transmission,” says Escott.

He says up to 10 lawmakers accepted his offer and are defending the decision. He doesn’t think it’s against the rules.

South Pleasant Valley Plan

There are plans to overhaul South Pleasant Valley Road by adding new, subdivided lanes, sidewalks and bike paths. Mobility Agency engineer Mike Sexton tells KXAN that the plan would realign the road and connect to SH-45 to improve safety.

“The road needs to be improved today just because there is already a significant need for traffic in this area,” says Sexton.

It’s a $ 12 million project that has yet to be fully approved. Construction could start sometime next year.

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