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COVID-19 June 3 Updates: UT Releases Updated Plans, Austin Area Sees 500 New Cases In Last 8 Days

People, some wearing face coverings, visit reopened businesses on East Sixth Street on May 22.
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT
People, some wearing face coverings, visit reopened businesses on East Sixth Street on May 22.

We'll be updating this story throughout the day Wednesday with the latest local news on the coronavirus pandemic. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

Update at 2 p.m. — COVID-19 order will likely expire soon, Travis County official says

Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe says the county’s “stay home-work safe” order is likely to be allowed to expire on June 15. 

The order is written to align with the governor’s order, which advises people to wear face coverings in public, keep their distance and stay home to the extent possible. Judge Biscoe says he suspects overlapping state and local orders may be causing some confusion and he wants to adjust focus.

“I don’t think a new order similar to the one that is in place right now would help any,” he said. “It seems to me that we ought to head more to guidelines and the public education and outreach that is a lot more serious than we have done so far.”     

Biscoe is a former Travis County judge who was brought back into the job last month to replace now-former County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, who is running for the Texas Senate.

Update at 1:30 p.m. — UT Austin releases updated plans for the upcoming school year

UT will begin offering coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people on a voluntary basis to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The university also plans to release face covering policies for students before the start of the school year. Employees working on campus are already required to wear face masks. 

​On-campus housing plans will be released by the end of the month. UT said some students can expect changes to their fall schedules, including classes being spread out between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. to reduce traffic. 

In-person classes will be limited to 40% capacity. Students who cannot or chose not to return to campus in the fall can take their classes online, but not every course will be available remotely. Tuition will be the same for remote and in-person learning, UT said.

Faculty will determine which classes are best suited for online learning by July 1.

11 a.m. — As COVID-19 cases slowly rise, Austin Public Health looks to expand testing and outreach

There have been 500 new cases of coronavirus in the Austin area in the past eight days, Austin Public Health officials said Wednesday.

Janet Pichette, APH chief epidemiologist, said the source of that spike can be attributed to businesses reopening and capacity expansions, coupled with recent holidays.

After almost a week of protests, where social distancing was often impossible, Austin Public Health is encouraging people to fill out the online COVID-19 evaluation and get tested for the virus.

Read more from Jerry Quijano

Catch up on what happened yesterday

Austin Public Health is preparing mobile COVID-19 testing sites to reach vulnerable groups

Austin Public Health says it’s going to launch mobile COVID-19 testing sites in Austin and Travis County to target populations that are disproportionately impacted by the virus. 

Health officials are working to identify locations throughout the county where the sites will be stationed. The goal is to make testing more available to people who have not yet been able to receive it.

Two of the most vulnerable groups are nursing home residents and communities of color, APH says. 

Read more here.

What's happening statewide? Check out special coverage from KERA for North Texas, Houston Public MediaTexas Public Radio in San Antonio and Marfa Public Radio.

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