As expected, yesterday’s executive order allows local authorities to now limit outdoor gatherings of 10 or more people. The executive order gives the authority to counties for unincorporated areas and mayors for incorporated areas.
Travis County and the City of Austin has prohibited outdoor gatherings of 10 or more. With a quick skim of the previous executive orders, I think this is the first one that states that county judges and mayors have equal authority with outdoor gatherings and other cities in Travis County (Lakeway, West Lake Hills, etc) announced the 100-person prohibition as “per County order”.
From a technical standpoint, I think each little city needs to issue their own declaration for their own incorporated boundaries. From a practical standpoint, just assume outdoor gatherings of 10 or more are prohibited everywhere. (Let’s also ignore places like Collin County north of Dallas that specifically issued a proclamation allowing all outdoor gatherings of 10 or more.)
- Today was pretty quiet. I suppose a lot of folks were on holiday today. Speaking of the holiday, I know testing in Austin will be taking a holiday so I would anticipate an immediate dip in new cases in the next few days to account for that. I’m not going to read much into any decrease in new cases until later next week.
- Early Voting is closed today and tomorrow. CommUnity Care testing sites are also closed this weekend (while I appreciate the holiday weekend, testing is already strained enough without them…)
- Just as a reminder to my Catholic friends, the obligation to attend Mass in the Diocese of Austin is still dispensed for those concerned about getting the virus. Additionally, you can attend a Mass without receiving communion. There is absolute spiritual grace in attending Mass without receiving. Priests are people too, so let’s keep their safety in mind too. Fr. Henry Cuellar at St. William’s in Round Rock announced he has a positive test result. Keep him, and all impacted, in your prayers tonight.
- Governor Abbott has continued his media journey across the state. Most days, he gives one or two interviews to a Texas TV station. Today, he made it pretty clear on-air with KSAT from San Antonio that Texans have to take this seriously and have to take it seriously this weekend. If we do over Memorial Day again this weekend, we’re screwed. I might have paraphrased it a little.
- If you know a law school grad preparing for the bar in Texas, they have a little more time. The July in-person bar exam has been cancelled, rescheduled for online in October.
- The Texas Tribune wrote up an in-depth look at the RGV hospital situation.
On the baseball front, unrelated to Texas, there was a video on Twitter of how the Red Sox are keeping their players spaced out. They have converted their box suites into mini-locker rooms for a couple of players each.
If you’ve been watching MLB news, they did change a few playing rules this season. Some are more gameplay related (extra innings start with a runner on 2nd to help games not extend into too many innings), but others are very obviously virus-related. Get within six feet of an umpire to argue a call? You’re out of the game.
While I do strongly feel it is not worth trying to play youth sports right now—my little baseball league simply doesn’t have the financial or human resources or the educational knowledge to pull this off well, in my opinion—maybe, maybe some pro sports can figure out something.
State of Texas
New record for hospitalizations, again. 7,652 are in the hospital statewide. We had two tiny decreases on two separated days, but otherwise, we’ve setting a new record daily since June 8.
We had 7,555 new cases. The third-highest amount after yesterday’s 2nd highest, and Wednesday’s current record.
We had 50 deaths since yesterday. That’s the 4th highest daily number all-time, so not the obvious upward record-setting trend that we’ve had with cases and hospitalizations, but trending higher slowly.
Travis County (Austin)
While noting it is a holiday, so some testing locations are closed and there will likely be weird results for the next few days, here are today’s counts.
Our new daily count is the lowest all week with 314 new cases, putting us over 11,000 total cases.
We had one more death, pushing our 7-day average to 2.57/day. Not the highest, but still creeping up.
We’ve set a new record for both regular bed and ICU census counts at 418 and 151 respectively. Our new hospitalizations today was 65, which helped pushed up the 7-day average to 59.1 (highest we’ve seen).
Nothing terribly new to say about this. Keep wearing a mask. Enjoy the 4th at home with a couple of beers and some hamburgers on the grill with your family.