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COVID in Austin Update (July 17)

Got to this late today, so just a quick couple things and the numbers.

State GOP Convention

I thought I wouldn’t be bringing this back up, but bust out the popcorn. 🍿

Judge Lynn Hughes, a Federal judge of the Southern District of Texas, issued a ruling that the State GOP Convention can use the Houston convention center this weekend or next weekend.

The convention, which is ongoing now as a virtual event, faced a few technical problems that led to hours-long delays and a postponement of today’s activities.

It doesn’t sound like they’re going to utilize this new option unless they can’t figure out how to join the Zoom tomorrow.

Public Education Update

TSA’s teased revised rules finally dropped. Basically, instead of three weeks to transition to on-campus learning (what districts have generally used to delay the start of on-campus), the TEA extends that to four weeks with an additional four weeks allowed if there is a school board vote.

They are also going to have some hold harmless calculations for the funding of the first two six weeks. The TEA notes this is the same processed used after Hurricane Harvey, which is basically calculating the expected attendance based on the past few years worth of data and using that as a minimum-level of support.

Lastly, the TEA does specifically fund hybrid models. Before, while their documentation mentioned hybrid learning, it wasn’t clear how attendance would count toward funding.

Private Education Update

Religious schools, to be specific, hit the news today. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released a letter to religious to let them know that either the TEA rules nor local health authority orders. Really.

Sigh.

Meanwhile, the Diocese of Austin released their guidelines for how to operate schools when they reopen.

State of Texas

San Antonio’s Mayor had an explainer about the revision of San Antonio’s official count-per-the-state that I mentioned yesterday:

Makes sense to me.

The numbers:

  • 10,256 new cases.
  • 174 deaths (new record, +45 from yesterday’s record)
  • 10,632 hospitalized (new record)
  • 17.43% positivity (new record, from 16.89%)

Travis County (Austin)

  • 232 new cases, a relatively light day when looking at the last couple of weeks.
  • 7 new deaths.
  • 469 hospitalized (second day of decline after 492 record on Wednesday).
  • 158 ICU — this bounced a bit. It was a record-high of 159 two days ago.
  • 102 on ventilators (-1 from yesterday’s record).
  • 64 new hospital admissions today, which brought down out 7-day rolling admissions average to 70.3

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

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