Austin’s Top News – August 11, 2020

Austin's Top News from News Radio KLBJ

COVID-19 update

Seven fewer people are in the hospital in Travis County today than there were 24 hours ago. 271 coronavirus patients are hospitalized out of the 22,953 cases that have been confirmed since March. And of that total, 21,570 have also made a recovery.

Williamson County has seen its active caseload spike by a pretty wide margin over the past day. There appears to be a jump of 540 active coronavirus cases, and that number is now 1.208. 70 people are in the hospital. In terms of recoveries, that number has risen by only 15 since yesterday. Now up to 5,592.

There are 20 people hospitalized in Hays County this morning. Since March, 124 who have contracted coronavirus have required a hospital bed. 2,787 cases are still considered active. 2,228 have recovered. 

Another stay-at-home order extension appears to be on the way. Austin Mayor Steve Adler pledges that he along with Travis County’s judge, will be extending their stay-at-home orders this week. Area health authority Dr. Mark Escott will also release new school opening guidance. Adler says it will likely start up with no campus classes until after Labor Day.

“Then having 25% of a school occupied, until we get to the next risk level. Going to 50% next risk level-75%. I think that’s what you’re gonna see,” says Adler.

These increases in capacity will be tied to the city’s slide down the corona risk stages. 

COVID-19 relief 

Under President Trump’s executive order that extends $400 federal unemployment benefits, states are being asked to cover 25%. Governor Greg Abbott tells KVUE he is hopeful that democrats and republicans can reach an agreement that won’t require states to chip in. 

“Try to find a strategy in which the federal government will be providing all of that unemployment, just like they did in the first round of CARES Act funding,” says Abbott.

He says he has spoken with the vice president and secretary of treasury to get a better idea of how the process might work for individual states. 

Eligible businesses in Pflugerville can apply this week for a piece of the $920,000 that’s been approved for grant funding. The application window opens Thursday and runs through August 31st. Some criteria includes operating within the city limits and having done so since at least March and being able to prove that at least 15% of revenue has been lost due to the pandemic.

Georgetown school district survey

The majority of parents in the Georgetown school district are ready to send their kids back to class. Superintendent Dr. Fred Brent says there’s been about an 83% response rate to a recent survey sent out by the district 

“61%-on campus, those who have selected and some of the no responses and then 39% on remote learning,” says Brent.

Brent says more than 2,000 students haven’t made their preference known, so the district’s just assuming that they will be coming back to campus in September. Georgetown’s first date is August 20, on campus learning is set to begin September 10th. 

More protestors arrested 

Austin police have released some of the details on arrests that were made over the weekend during protests in downtown. 22 people were arrested, including four on Saturday and 18 on Sunday. The charges include obstructing the highway, illegal possession of a weapon and assault on a police officer. 

Austin police funding and diversity

The Austin City Council is set to make more decisions about the budget tomorrow, and council member Natasha Harper-Madison spoke with Austin Monthly this week. There definitely needs to be changes well before anybody enters the academy.

“It starts at recruitment, who’s doing the recruiting and who are we recruiting? The fact that 60% of our police force identifies this white and male and Christian. We clearly don’t have a diverse police force,” Harper-Madison says. 

Changes are also needed in the APD union, known as the Austin Police Association. 

It is possible that by tomorrow the Austin City Council could also vote to remove both the Internal Affairs Department and forensic services from the purview of the police department in the upcoming budget and convert them into civilian run department Councilman Greg Casar is putting pressure on the council to commit to that this week. It would save the city more than $17 million in the upcoming budget

This news and more on News Radio KLBJ:

https://omny.fm/shows/klbjam-flash-briefing-1/am-newscast-8-11-20

 

 

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