AUSTIN, Texas - Austin City Council is meeting today to discuss steps to move forward following Governor Greg Abbott's announcement of his plans to reopen businesses in Texas.
The council's work session is set to begin at 9 a.m. and they will be joined by a panel of experts to talk about COVID-19 related issues directly affecting Austin. The panel will include Austin's Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott, Dell Medical School's Dean Clay Johnston, and University of Texas professor Dr. Lauren Meyers.
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Each person will have time to share their thoughts on Gov. Abbott's plan to slowly reopen parts of the economy, starting with what the governor is calling phase one which begins the day after the state stay-at-home order expires on April 30.
May 1 will see retail stores, malls, restaurants, and movie theaters reopen but occupancy can be no more than 25%.
Current statistics, as of April 28, show that there are nearly 1,500 cases of COVID-19 in Austin. 42 people have died while about 400 people have recovered.
In Austin Mayor Steve Adler's latest "Got A Minute" segment, the mayor said models show a 93% reduced infection rate in Austin due to current guidelines. He says if we below an 80% reduced infection rate as businesses start to open, models predict that within 45-60 days Austin could see a second peak in COVID-19 cases.
Adler says that we still have a lot of control in terms of what happens in Austin and that it's up to the citizens to practice certain behaviors as places start to open back up like continued wearing faces masks and maintaining proper social distancing.
As restrictions on closures start to ease, the mayor says city officials will be closely monitoring an increase of coronavirus patients, especially in hospitals.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. Every weekday we're live at 12 p.m. with a special show reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information.
You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.