COVID-19 Latest: Austin ISD Releases Updated Reopening Plan

Sep 2, 2020

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Wednesday, Sept. 2. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

Travis County sees 59 new cases and three more deaths

Austin Public Health reported 59 new cases of COVID-19 in Travis County on Wednesday, up from 47 reported yesterday. The seven-day average of daily new cases is 72. Three more deaths were reported, bringing the county’s death total to 388.

There are now 125 people reported hospitalized with the virus in the five-county region (Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell), eight fewer than yesterday. Despite that net decrease, APH reported 13 new COVID-19 hospital admissions in the region Wednesday. The seven-day average of new admissions is 17.9, the same as yesterday.

The area is in stage 3 of APH’s risk-based guidelines. At this level, people are encouraged to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.

Austin ISD releases updated reopening plan

The Austin Independent School District released an updated reopening plan ahead of the first day of school next Tuesday.

The district laid out new details on how it plans to slowly phase in the number of teachers and staff allowed on campus during the first four weeks of remote learning. Only 25% of AISD staff will be allowed within each school building during the first two weeks.

More teachers will be able to trickle in during weeks three and four, but the total cannot exceed 50% of a building's capacity. AISD says this is to give teachers and staff more time to figure out best practices before families can choose to send their kids back on campus for in-person learning starting Oct. 6.

The district also gave more information about special education, UIL activities and other school programs. The full updated plan can be found at AustinISD.org.

Lake Travis ISD releases updated plan for in-person education

Lake Travis ISD has released an updated plan for in-person instruction this school year. The district has requested a waiver from the Texas Education Agency to extend the back-to-school transition period under a phased-in approach.

Students who chose in-person learning can return to school Sept. 8. Those include pre-K through fifth-graders, students in sixth and ninth grades, and students of employees. All other students who chose on-campus learning can come back Sept. 21. The entire plan can be found at ltisdschools.org.

Austin Public Library to distribute resources and help people fill out census on Thursday

The Austin Public Library is hosting a resource fair Thursday to guide people participating in the once-in-a-decade U.S. census count. The census — which counts every resident in the country — determines how much federal funding is distributed for resources like roads, schools and hospitals.

The library says it'll offer participants face masks, hygiene products, food, bus passes and books. The event will also be an opportunity for people to register to vote. Face coverings and social distancing are required.

The event will be held at the Terrazas Branch parking lot on 1105 E. Cesar Chavez St. from 10 a.m. to noon. The deadline to complete the census is Sept. 30. 

UT Athletics announces layoffs

The University of Texas Athletics Department is cutting jobs and pay as part of its efforts to deal with revenue losses during the pandemic. Athletics Director Chris Del Conte announced Tuesday that 35 people will be laid off and another 35 unfilled positions will be eliminated.

Eleven employees are being furloughed and others are getting pay reductions, ranging from 2.5% to 15%, based on salary. Del Conte says this will save the department more than $13 million.

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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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