COVID-19 Latest: Texas Restaurants Can Expand Capacity To 75%

Jun 12, 2020

Here's the latest news on COVID-19 in the Austin area for Friday, June 12. Click here for updates from Thursday. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

You can use the display below to view the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations each day in Travis County and statewide. Click the arrows at the bottom to cycle through different data.

In response to demand, Austin Public Health will increase capacity at testing site

Austin Public Health will increase capacity at its drive-thru testing site Saturday because of increased demand, the agency tweeted Friday.

APH has been encouraging people who have attended recent protests to get tested even if they don't have symptoms because of the lack of social distancing at these events.

You can take an assessment and schedule a free test here.  

Austin Symphony Orchestra cancels annual July 4 concert and fireworks event

The Fourth of July concert and fireworks event at Auditorium Shores has been canceled over COVID-19 concerns, the Austin Symphony Orchestra announced Friday.

The ASO said it would be unsafe to have such a large crowd within close proximity of one another because of the virus.

“We have had to cancel only one other time in the 40-plus years we have produced this event for Central Texas," Executive Director Anthony Corroa said in a press release. "The health of our musicians and the community is of greater concern. Your Austin Symphony Orchestra will be back next July 4th with an amazing concert and fireworks display fit for Texas.”

Texas restaurants can expand their capacity to 75% starting today

Restaurants in Texas are now allowed to increase the number of customers they serve. Starting today, restaurants can expand capacity from 50% to 75%, the office of Gov. Greg Abbott said.

Water parks were allowed to reopen at limited capacity on May 29, but Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels and Galveston are not reopening until tomorrow. They’ll have safety measures in place, including scheduling reservations, screening visitors and requiring face coverings.

Amusement parks in counties that have seen fewer than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 can already operate at 50% of normal operating limits. Starting today, all amusement parks can operate at 50%. Parks must screen employees for symptoms before their shifts, as well as check the temperatures of guests who allow it.

Fine arts performance halls were allowed to open Wednesday at 50% of their listed capacity.

Travis County District Attorney's Office temporarily closes after employee tests positive

The Ronald Earle Building has temporarily shut its doors after a county employee tested positive for COVID-19. The downtown Austin building, which houses the Travis County District Attorney's Office, is undergoing cleaning over the weekend.

The DA's office says employees will not be able to return to the building until Monday.

Central Texas Food Bank hosts food distribution event Saturday morning

The Central Texas Food Bank will give out emergency food boxes tomorrow to families hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pre-packed boxes include produce, milk and frozen chicken or pork. Only one person from each household is asked to attend the drive-thru event. Walk-ups are not allowed.

Meal distributions will be at Nelson Field at 7105 Berkman Dr. in East Austin from 8 a.m. until noon.

If you're unable to attend, the food bank has an online map showing where people can get food assistance immediately.

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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