Nicole Cobler
Oct 13, 2021 - Business

A glimmer of hope for Austin's COVID-stricken businesses

Customers examine doughnuts at an Austin shop
Customers wearing protective masks view a display case of doughnuts for sale at a store in Austin. Photo: Mary Kang/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The number of businesses operating downtown has increased by more than 60 since February, according to the latest biannual report from the Downtown Austin Alliance.

Why it matters: It's a promising sign for an area that was hit hard by business closures during the pandemic. Even after Gov. Greg Abbott outlined which businesses could reopen, many still struggled because of decreased consumer demand and limited pedestrian activity.

Actor Marc Pouhé shares pandemic musings

Marc Pouhé speaks onstage at the 2019 Texas Medal Of Arts Awards presentation.
Marc Pouhé speaks onstage during the 2019 Texas Medal Of Arts Awards at the Long Center for the Performing Arts on February 27, 2019 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Rick Kern/WireImage

As we peek out of the pandemic, we checked in with Marc Pouhé, a veteran Austin stage actor, about how the theater scene has been interrupted — and what he’s looking forward to next.

Details: Pouhé, who lives in Georgetown, will return to full in-person, live theater this winter, reprising his role as Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" at the Zach Scott Theater.

Asher Price
Oct 5, 2021 - COVID

Scoop: COVID in the classroom

The University of Texas tower shines burnt orange at night.
The University of Texas administrative tower shines burnt orange at night. Photo: John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Two-thirds of University of Texas faculty, graduate students and others who have asked to opt of out of in-person teaching this semester because of the coronavirus have won accommodations, per documents Axios received through an open records request.

State of play: University officials told faculty they could try for in-person teaching waivers amid widespread fury over Gov. Greg Abbott's orders barring mask mandates.

Nicole Cobler
Oct 5, 2021 - COVID

Crowds, no masks: What Austin City Limits means for COVID spread

A crowd stands behind a barricade at Austin City Limits music festival
The crowd during Polo G's set on weekend one of Austin City Limits Music Festival. Photo: Erika Goldring/WireImage

Masks were few and far between at the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival, despite organizers' best efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Driving the news: But attendees may notice changes during the second weekend, an Austin Public Health official told Axios on Monday.

  • Austin environmental health officers were onsite during the festival and "identified additional opportunities for mask-zone education and enforcement for weekend 2," an agency spokesperson said in an email.
  • Those modifications could mean additional signage and announcements at stages and other crowded areas, Austin Public Health explained.

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