AM News Brief

The Austin area could be under broad new orders today as elected leaders work to combat the COVID-19 spread

For many so called nonessential businesses in Travis County today could be their last chance to keep their doors open for a while, Austin’s mayor, Steve Adler, says today he will announce a shelter in place order.

These things cannot be perfectly enforced, but we have a duty to one another. Our individual actions make up our collective action it is the collective action that determines just how fast and how hard the virus hits us.

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt says William Sigaty could join them with a similar order. It would take effect at midnight.

Governor Greg Abbott has still not decided on declaring a state wide shelter in place, but as more cities and counties begin to impose those orders on the local level, Abbott says he wants to see how effective that is before he makes any decision for every Texan. More confirmations of Corona virus in the Austin area within the city of Austin and Travis County. The number, as of today is at 86 that’s climbed by nine since yesterday. Williamson counties total up by five, now to 14 with four cases in Cedar Park, one in Leander, four in Georgetown three and Round Rock, two in Austin. And four of those five new cases are said to be from an unknown exposure source in Hays County, the number remains unchanged at seven. Bastrop County Still only one. Across the state, there are 352 cases and a total now of eight dead.

The Austin City Council will vote this week on an emergency item that would give assistance torenters and businesses in the wake of the Corona virus impact. Council member Brett Kosar says this would give a 60 day grace period after rent is due.

So many people who are gonna have a lot of trouble paying their rent on April first or then on May first

proposal has the backing of most of the council and the mayor. If the crisis continues for a lengthy period of time, council could extend that order, said it would not disconnect utilities for non payment. Travis County Tax assessor collector Bruce Elfant says legal action against anyone who owes back taxes will be stopped for the time being. But state law does require that penalties and interest continue to accrue. Elfant says now is not the time to be filing delinquent tax lawsuits against people in a financial crisis

As Austinites find themselves out of work Capital Metro says it has gotten more than 100 applications for newly open positions, which include cleaning and operating buses. 100 full time workers are being hired along with 50 part timers, and no experience is required.

Texas has gotten almost $37 million is part of the first emergency Corona virus bill passed by Congress. The funds are being put toward more lab testing and reporting capabilities. 40 local health departments will be getting a total of $19 million Governor Greg Abbott has also requested a federal disaster declaration from President Trump and that could bring in even more money for aid.

according to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Violating the governor’s executive order could result in $1000 penalty or 180 days of jail time. Paxton spokesman Mark Rylander. No one is exempt from the governor’s executive order on medically unnecessary surgeries and procedures, including abortion providers. Those who violate the governor’s order will be met with the full force of the law. Abortion rights groups disagree with the governor’s premise. In a statement, Amy Hagstrom Miller of Whole Women’s Health says abortion is essential health care and patients cannot wait until the pandemic is over.

 

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