Austin Public Health Weekly Press Conference on COVID-19 – 3/19/21
Health officials provide information about the coronavirus and answer questions from the media.
Austin, Texas – – The City of Austin is introducing new guidelines to ensure events reopen safely. According to official sources, the guidelines are a starting point for events to start over and will be updated as health conditions change.
“Bringing Events Back: COVID-19 Safety Guide for Austin-Travis County Venues and Special Events” contains COVID-19 health and safety recommendations for indoor venues, as well as new requirements for approving special outdoor events for the Austin Center for Events .
“Austin Public Health reviewed key indicators that were moving in the right direction,” said Dr. Mark Escott, Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority, in a press release. “We actually have a sense of normalcy as a reward for the hard work our community has done to protect one another with masking and sanitary practices. However, to make this happen we must remain vigilant about protecting ourselves and our community. When we see an increase in cases and hospitalizations. We have the flexibility to reconsider the scale of the event, change mitigation strategies, or cancel if necessary. “
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“We know the pandemic is having an incredible economic impact on venues and special events, and is affecting consumer confidence,” added City Manager Spencer Cronk. “The publication of these guidelines now shows cautious optimism for events based on the current health conditions of COVID-19.”
According to official sources, the special events industry has requested these guidelines from city officials, and the guidelines were developed in collaboration with local public safety agencies, including Austin Public Health and Austin Center for Events, as well as leading officials in the Austin events industry.
Below are some of the Austin facilities and their plans under the new guidelines.
AUSTIN PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Austin Public Libraries Division has announced that starting April 1, 2021, the Austin Central Library will host private events and facility rentals on a limited scale and at reduced capacity. All events must be approved by local health authorities and comply with Austin-Travis County’s COVID-19 safety guidelines. You can find more information on the rental page.
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AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER, PALMER EVENTS CENTER
The Austin Convention Center division has received approval from Austin Public Health to operate at 25% capacity and expects the percentages to increase as the number of vaccinations increases. Visit the Austin Convention Center or Palmer Events Center websites for more information.
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AUSTIN PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT
The Austin Department of Parks and Recreation (PARD) continues to evaluate PARD facility reopenings in accordance with the city of Austin’s risk-based COVID-19 guidelines and in consultation with health authorities. Reopening of picnic areas, event buildings, or special event venues will be done as conditions permit and taking into account the reopening guidelines for specific venues. For more information on the current operation of the PARD facility, visit austintexas.gov/parkclosures.