We'll be updating this story throughout the day Friday with the latest local news on the coronavirus pandemic. If you'd like to go through a roundup of COVID-19 news from Thursday, read it here. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.
- Do you think you have the coronavirus? Here's how to get tested.
- How to get help (and help) in Austin
- Find mental health support
- Track the spread in Texas
- Sign up for coronavirus email alerts
Update at 9:04 a.m. — Austin-Travis County gives stay-at-home order update
Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt will be giving an update on their "Stay Home-Work Safe" orders at 10:30 a.m. today.
You can watch their news conference on KUT.org.
Update at 8:53 a.m. — Bastrop reopens some city parks
The City of Bastrop is reopening some city parks today after they were closed to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Pedestrians and cyclists can now access the hike and bike trails at Bob Bryant and Fisherman’s Parks, which includes access to ramp and canoe launches.
Other amenities including playgrounds, sport courts and park restrooms will remain closed. The city encourages people to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing.
Update at 5:45 a.m. — Maudie’s Moonlight Margarita Run moves online
Like many events and fundraisers have done amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Maudie’s Moonlight Margarita Run is going virtual this year. The 17th annual 5K benefiting the Trail Foundation starts June 4.
Normally, participants come together for a 5K race that ends with a party and margaritas from Maudie’s Tex-Mex. This year, participants will run or walk a 5K — any route of their choosing — and submit their time by July 4. Once participants register online, they’ll receive a link to create a virtual bib, which can be shared on social media. After July 4, runners can pick up their T-shirt and a $10 Maudie’s gift card, and there will be a party for them in October.
The event is one of the most important fundraisers for the Trail Foundation, according to a press release. It helps the nonprofit, which protects and enhances Austin’s Butler Trail, fund infrastructure and beautification projects.
Catch up on what happened yesterday
Gov. Abbott eliminates jail time as a punishment for violating COVID-19 orders
Gov. Greg Abbott has removed jail time as a punishment for people who violate his executive orders that require certain businesses to close.
Abbott said the modifications are being applied retroactively to April 2 and supersede local orders.
“Throwing Texans in jail who have had their businesses shut down through no fault of their own is nonsensical, and I will not allow it to happen,” Abbott said in a statement. "And if correctly applied should free Shelley Luther."
Luther, a Dallas hair salon owner, was sentenced to seven days in jail for defying orders to keep her business closed. The Texas Supreme Court had since ordered her release, and she was released Thursday.
Other local coronavirus news from Thursday:
- Austin City Council approved spending nearly $3.7 million on personal protective equipment and other services to combat COVID-19.
- The Council approved using $18 million of the funds the city received from the federal coronavirus relief bill to establish three programs that support local businesses, child-care centers and nonprofits.
- Austin Mayor Steve Adler said at a the City Council meeting that he would be extending an order banning notices to vacate — the first step in the eviction process — until July 25.
- Beginning next Thursday, visitors to three Austin parks — Emma Long, Walter E. Long and Commons Ford Ranch — will need to obtain day passes to enter.
If you find this reporting valuable, please consider making a donation to support it. Your gift pays for everything you find on KUT.org. Thanks for donating today.