Austin’s Top News – January 26, 2021 | KLBJ-AM

Proposals to Combat Homelessness

The Mayor of Austin highlights two city council proposals that he believes are aimed at tackling homelessness. Mayor Steve Adler says the city is likely to spend more than $ 60 million on two hotels this Thursday to further house the homeless. However, Adler notes that shorter-term solutions are also required.

“We need to pay even more attention to emergencies and quick conversions so that we can better manage the spaces in the city that should be shared,” says Adler.

He noted the ongoing work of the proposed HEAL initiative, which would focus on housing people in certain designated parts of the city that the same proposal would also ban camping in those spaces.

The city council appears to be slowly reversing course on many of the controversial homelessness policies. Councilor Alison Alter says the way the city made camping grow has not benefited anyone.

“The goal is to bring people to apartments, but where and how people are camping doesn’t seem particularly human,” says Alter.

She advocates temporary accommodation for homeless people who have been removed from campsites that have been classified as dangerous under this Council proposal. Four locations still to be determined will soon be closed for camping.

COVID-19 update

The number of COVID cases reported to be active in Travis County has steadily declined over the past few days, and the past 24 hours have been no different. 5,401 active cases. That is more than 240 less than a day ago. 157 people are in intensive care today, and that is down by 10. A total of 65,507 cases were found, resulting in 59,475 recoveries.

Williamson County saw a healthy decline in active COVID cases last day. That number has dropped more than 400 this morning to 1,626. The available hospital beds have increased by up to 19%. 29,742 cases confirmed, with 27,833 recoveries.

Austin Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde is confident to see children back on campus this week. She says she was in regular contact with Austin Public Health and based her decision on these data.

“COVID cases in our community and in our larger community have decreased for five consecutive days. Hospital stays have decreased for six consecutive days. ”

In the first two weeks after the winter break, only 7% of the students attended classes in person. That’s up 18% this week.

Antibody Infusion Center

The Austin mobile antibody infusion center has been up and running for a few weeks and was expanded this week with the help of the Texas Division of Emergency Management. When it first opened, the infusion center only had nine chairs. But this expansion adds 24 more chairs, along with more staff and accessories. To date, almost 300 patients have taken advantage of the treatment.

Registration for vaccination in Hays County will be open to the public later this week. The county’s online portal went online last week and was only active for about half an hour before all slots were occupied. According to official information, registration will start again on Friday at 12 noon. Hays County is getting 2,150 new cans this week.

Voting on new emergency service district

The Pflugerville Professional Firefighters Association is calling on city guides to give people the opportunity to vote on the creation of another emergency service district to include northeast Travis County. Trevor Stokes of the union says the additional GNI is needed to fully fund ambulances already in service.

“We now have five ambulances and all five of these units are regularly hired so that growth happens. However, we cannot continue to finance the EMS mission from the fire budget, ”says Stokes.

They’re holding a rally across from the central fire station in Pflugerville tonight at 6:30 p.m.

Advocate for abortion rights

The US Supreme Court ruled this week in favor of proponents of abortion rights in Texas. The court overturned an appeals court ruling that allowed abortions to be banned under Governor Abbott’s COVID ordinance. A group of abortion providers sued Governor Abbott, saying his order to ban abortion did nothing to stop the spread of COVID-19. Lawyers from the Center for Reproductive Rights argued.

“He’s abusing these emergency powers to violate the constitutional rights of women in Texas,” said CEO Nancy Northup.

The Fifth Circuit Court sided with Abbott, but before the case could be challenged in the Supreme Court, Abbott changed its order to allow four abortions. Monday of the Supreme Court overturned this Fifth Circuit decision.

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