COVID-19 Latest: Record 506 New Cases In Travis County, Third Austin Bar Gets Suspended

Jun 21, 2020

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Sunday, June 21. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

A record 506 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Travis County on Sunday evening, up from 418 new cases reported Saturday. One new coronavirus-related death was reported. 

The five-county region (Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell) had 10 new COVID-19 hospital admissions, according to Austin Public Health. There are currently 174 people hospitalized with the disease in the region. 

The seven-day average of new hospital admissions is now at 25.7, down from 28.6 on Saturday. Local officials worry about patients overwhelming local hospitals, so they’re keeping an eye on that number and adjusting restrictions based on it.

The area is in stage 4 of APH’s risk-based guidelines, meaning higher risk individuals (people over 65 and those with underlying conditions) should avoid gatherings of more than two people and stay home unless absolutely necessary. Lower risk individuals should avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. 

Stage 5, the highest risk level, would be triggered if the hospitalization average rises above 70. If the average falls below 20, the area will move down to stage 3.

TABC suspends UnBARlievable for violating COVID-19 protocols

A third Austin bar has gotten its alcohol permit suspended for not following protocols to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission on Sunday suspended the permit for UnBARlievable on West Sixth Street for 30 days. TABC suspended Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Icehouse's and Buford's Backyard Beer Garden's permits for the same amount of time on Saturday.

The commission began "Operation Safe Open" on Friday, sending undercover TABC agents to inspect businesses in Texas to make sure they’re following protocols. Bars are supposed to limit their indoor capacity to 50% and restaurants are supposed to limit theirs to 75%. Groups of customers are also supposed to stay 6 feet apart.

So far, 12 Texas bars have had their alcohol permits suspended for 30 days for not adhering to these requirements.

“Protecting the health and safety of Texans during this pandemic is our top priority,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said in a press release. “We warned businesses TABC will have no tolerance for breaking the rules, and now, some bars are paying the price. I hope other establishments will learn from these suspensions.”

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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