As COVID-19 spreads across the globe, precautions like social distancing, event cancellations, and even panic shopping are underway.
In Austin, city, state, and national officials are taking steps taken steps to ensure that the Center for Disease Control’s best practices for preventing the novel coronavirus’s spread are being followed. Last week, Austin Mayor Steve Adler and other city and county officials, including Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, declared a “local emergency” due to the new coronavirus pandemic and canceled the SXSW 2020 festivals and conferences.
On Tuesday, Adler and Eckhardt ordered the closure of restaurant dining areas and bars and banned gatherings of 10 or more people. U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, supported the action and urged other cities to do the same. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday declared a statewide public health disaster and on Tuesday activated the Texas National Guard to assist with response efforts.
Still, confirmed cases of COVID-19 are on the rise across the state and the metro area, leading to disruptions in Austinites’ daily lives.
Here’s what you need to know about how the novel coronavirus is affecting Austin, from closures and public transit disruptions to its effect on housing and homeless individuals.