Julie Walder, a licensed professional counselor, offers therapy sessions through video conferencing, while Austin follows social distancing rules to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Austin Therapists Offer Telehealth During COVID-19 Pandemic. But Who Pays Isn't Always Clear.

Mental health care providers in Austin say they're finding it hard to provide telemedicine services to a big chunk of their patients – particularly those with large employer health plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.

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A United States Postal Service employee delivers mail while wearing a mask and gloves on March 27.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

PHOTOS: Life In Austin During The Coronavirus Pandemic

KUT's photographers are documenting the changes to daily life that a pandemic has brought to the Austin area — from a safe distance.

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From Central Texas Food Bank, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:

As the largest hunger relief agency in the region, the Central Texas Food Bank provides food and grocery products through a network of about 300 partner food pantries and soup kitchens and its own fleet of mobile food pantries. Though headquartered in Austin, the Food Bank serves nearly 46,000 people every week throughout 21 counties in Central Texas—an area about twice the size of Massachusetts.

Spencer Selvidge/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Rural hospitals in Texas face many challenges to staying in business, even when they aren't having to manage the effects of a pandemic.

Three such hospitals are doing whatever they can to prepare for a potential surge of patients as the coronavirus spreads across Texas.

Planned Parenthood office
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily halted a lower court ruling that stopped Texas officials from banning abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Austin Public Health says, along with UT Health and University Health Services, it's investigating 70 people who chartered a plane to Mexico for spring break. Twenty-eight have tested positive for COVID-19.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Seventy young adults are being investigated for COVID-19 exposure after taking a chartered plane to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for spring break roughly 10 days ago, Austin Public Health says.

Of those 70, 28 have tested positive for COVID-19, and dozens are under investigation by the public health authority; four had no symptoms.

Many businesses have been shut down during the pandemic, forcing layoffs and furloughs of thousands of workers.
Julia Reihs / KUT

When Brian Biehl found out Wednesday that he’d been furloughed from his job at a company that makes software for restaurants in Austin, the first thing he did was take his dog for a walk.

“You know, [to] kind of assess the situation,” he said.

When infectious pathogens have threatened the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been front and center. During the H1N1 flu of 2009, the Ebola crisis in 2014 and the mosquito-borne outbreak of Zika in 2015, the CDC has led the federal response.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

City and county officials have set aside hotel rooms and the Austin Sobering Center to quarantine or isolate homeless Austinites who have or present symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The Fairmont hotel displayed a heart on its facade during the coronavirus pandemic on March 23.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Tuesday, March 31. Read Wednesday's live updates here.

A for-rent sign in Austin
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

More than half of Austin residents are renters. And come tomorrow, April 1, rent will be due for tenants with cut hours, cut wages or no wages at all as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced workplaces to close.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

President Trump warned Americans on Monday to prepare for more disruption and death as he and other authorities extended mitigation procedures for several more weeks amid the widening coronavirus disaster.

Trump acknowledged on Sunday that his goal for a return to normalcy by Easter won't happen, and he extended the federal guidelines for social distancing and mitigation to April 30. He said on Monday that the pandemic will take longer than he hoped to abate.



Hundreds of John L. Hanson's interviews have been restored and digitized thanks to a grant from Recordings at Risk.