Austin’s Top News – March 24, 2021 | KLBJ-AM

American bailout plan for economic recovery

Austin City officials have recommended spending $ 104 million of the US bailout on economic recovery. According to the city’s Veronica Briseño, $ 4.5 million should be spent on childcare.

“As we have all seen this year, the pandemic has highlighted the need for quality childcare in our community across our community.” According to Briseño, 6.6 million euros should also be spent on community support. “This could, for example, help facilitate the creation of financial services for the unbanked, creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs.”

She says there are a variety of other programs to go into as well.

COVID-19 update

The total number of COVID hospital stays in Travis County appears to have flattened this week. 154 people were hospitalized this morning, 62 of them in intensive care. However, the number of active cases has dropped slightly to 1,012. 76,557 people have recovered. The County Health Authority anticipates that most of these numbers will continue to plateau over the next month.

With nearly 10 million Texans now receiving at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, the state is expanding eligibility for the vaccinations to all adults aged 16 and over from Monday. Vaccines are accelerating faster than expected, according to Chris Van Dusen of the Department of State Health Services.

“We have also seen vaccinations reduce hospital stays and deaths. We really want to keep this momentum going, especially as we continue to see the variant cases circulating in Texas, they are more easily transmitted, and the vaccine is our best defense against them, ”says Dusen.

So far, 37% of 50 to 64 year olds have received at least one dose, and that number rises to well over 60% for 65 year olds. In Williamson County, at least 60% of people over 65 have now been fully vaccinated against COVID. That’s according to County Judge Bill Gravell, who says they are also having some success in Taylor, where people could go up this week and get a dose without an appointment.

“There’s a pretty good contingent of people in there who are still not using technology to sign up, and it went really well,” Gravell says.

Family Hospital Systems has now exceeded 100,000 administered doses. The county provides vaccines for people in phase 1A, 1B and 1C.

Social distancing in schools

Austin Public Health is updating its recommendations for social distancing in schools. Health Authority Mark Escott says 6 foot spacing would still be redefined if we stepped back up to the fifth level restrictions.

“Because of the increased risk of transmission. But it is likely that we will change the other distancing recommendations for other levels to 3 feet within schools. And that corresponds to the recommendation of the CDC. However, there are districts that are unlikely to make this change immediately, and that includes Austin ISD, ”says Escott.

The Leander School District has reduced the required quarantine time for teachers and staff who have come into contact with someone with COVID. Instead of a period of 14 days, the district now says 10 days is sufficient.

Graduation ceremony in Round Rock

The Round Rock School District is offering seniors the opportunity to hold a traditional graduation ceremony this year. These ceremonies take place on different days in different locations, but students may be ready for the initial walk instead. The traditional ceremony would take place in the morning. Evening walks in the evening. The closing events start on May 24th and last until May 29th.

COVID liability protection

Governor Greg Abbott’s emergency article calling for the protection of COVID liability for companies affected by the pandemic was released on the Senate committee this week. It’s called the Pandemic Liability Protection Act and was submitted by Senator Kelly Hancock. It goes a little further than just corporate coverage.

“Protect well-meaning healthcare providers, first responders, businesses large and small, religious organizations, and nonprofits and educational institutions from frivolous lawsuits related to COVID-19,” says Hancock.

State Senator José Menéndez fears that legal protection could have some unintended consequences.

“That we don’t pass a bill that accidentally creates a sign,” says Menéndez.

That’s the same reason the AARP doesn’t support this either.

Tornado damages downtown Bertram

The National Weather Service has now ruled out the possibility of a tornado touching down in Bertram on Monday evening, but says the wind has still reached small bursts of 75 MPH. That was enough to seriously damage several buildings downtown. The city says two of these buildings are historic and now need to be demolished.

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