READ WEEKEND: Austin City Limits Music Festival kicks off – will this have an encouraging impact on the outlook for COVID-19?
AUSTIN (KXAN) – Austin-Travis County set to move to Stage 3 of COVID-19 risk-based guidelines, due to progress towards declining ICU numbers and admissions to the hospital.
As of Friday, there were 2,288 active cases of COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County. There are 329 people hospitalized, 148 patients in intensive care and 99 people on ventilators.
But several factors could affect what happens next in the region. One big event – one of the biggest to take place in Austin since the pandemic began – is this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival, which began on Friday.
Austin City Limits Music Festival Begins
After a year-long hiatus due to pandemic concerns, Austin City Limits returned on Friday – amid lingering safety concerns and torrential downpours.
Despite a drop in COVID-19 cases in the region, ACL Fest nonetheless opened on October 1 with certain health requirements to enter. The ACL Fest announced over the summer that festival-goers would either have to provide a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination in order to pass the door. Several companies in the region told KXAN this week that they saw a slight increase in testing ahead of the festival.
But for an iconic local vendor of the festival, it was still too big a risk to attend.
Austin-based record store Waterloo Records pulled out of the festival on Monday saying “Needless to say we’re disappointed.” The record store, located on South Lamar Boulevard, usually hosts artist signings.
As ACL Fest finally started, however, it started late.
Several Friday shows have been canceled entirely due to the rain. In total, around three hours of performances were canceled and the doors opened at 3 p.m.
The Texas Longhorns Marching Band is out – for now
The Texas Longhorn Group and support groups have announced they will be withdrawing from training and events due to COVID-19 protocols “out of excess of caution.”
However, the University of Texas Austin did not say whether any staff member or group member tested positive.
Texas abortion restrictions remain relevant
Texas and its controversial restrictive abortion law will take center stage on Saturday – as more than 600 marches and rallies take place ahead of Supreme Court arguments on Monday.
Protesters and state officials gathered on Saturday morning at the Texas Capitol to denounce the passage of Senate Bill 8, which bans abortion procedures once heart activity is detected, which is usually around six weeks after the start of a pregnancy. before many people even realize they are pregnant. The event was organized by the activist group Women’s March.
At least 35 cities in Texas will host the marches, including Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, McAllen and Abilene.
Events will take place in the other 49 states, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and Chicago. There will also be an overseas event in Madrid, Spain.