Latest Update On Covid-19

Monday, September 21st 2020

Central Texas Covid-19 Snapshot

Community Updates

Gov. Greg Abbott announced some businesses and services can be expanded. Counties within certain sections of this Trauma Service Area Map can open restaurants, retail stores and office buildings at 75 percent. Travis county is included in the first wave that can expand services. Three areas in South Texas must continue to operate at 50 percent. Read more on this executive order here.

The City of Austin and Travis County have extended the Stay Home, Mask and Otherwise Be Safe Order through December 15. The new order extends existing requirements for face coverings, social distancing and gathering limitations, and mandates that schools offering in-person education must follow a phased-in approach.

Travis County will introduce a contactless voter registration tool ahead of the November presidential election. According to Travis County Voter Registrar Bruce Elfant, the Text2Register app will let Austin users register to vote, and a similar app will allow anyone statewide to register to vote in their county. Voter registration has been low, as Covid-19 is preventing registrars from holding voter registration drives. Currently the state of Texas does not offer online voter registration.

Risk Level Update

Austin Public Health released a chart on how people can take precautions at each Covid-19 risk level. Austin Public Health has said the 7-day average needs to stay below 20 to prevent straining hospital resources. The current average is at 13, which is in the Stage 3 risk level. To learn more, head here.

Covid-19 Testing

Austin Public Health has released a map of Covid-19 testing sites, which includes operation hours and cost. APH is asking residents that have insurance to use non-APH testing sites so they can work as a safety net for people who lack insurance or a primay care provider. People who think they may need a Covid-19 screening test can use the APH online enrollment form to check for symptoms and schedule a time for a drive-thru test. The form and other updates from Austin government can be found here.

The University of Texas at Austin has released their testing strategy for Covid-19 for the 2020 fall semester. UT students experiencing Covid-19 symptoms will be able to schedule a test with University Health Services. Faculty can schedule a test with UT Health Austin.

What to Watch

The Decibel team is remote but we're still committed to making sure you stay informed. Keep up with all of our Covid-19 reporting below. If you have any questions or want to get information to us, send us an email at

Planting The Seed: Urban Roots Farm Turns Interns Into Storytellers

With Stages Silent, Austin's Music Venues Need Help To Stay Open

Local Nonprofit Providing Musical Last Wishes Pivots To Virtual Concerts

CTE Seniors Struggle To Get Certifications During Pandemic

The Access Desert: How Covid-19 Magnifies Food Insecurity

A Growing Number Of Texans Are Losing Their Health Insurance

How The Pandemic Is Affecting Mental Health

Reopening Interrupted: Fire Delays Local Shop’s Plan To Open

Texas Universities Team Up To Create Post-Pandemic Plan

How To Talk To Kids About The Coronavirus

Open For Business? Shops Walk Tightrope Between Finances And Safety

The Latinix Community Is Being Heavily Impacted By Covid-19. Here's Why

Capital IDEA Hopes To Ease Covid-19 Unemployment By Training Nurses

The Virtual Classroom: Schooling In A Pandemic

Back On The Bike? Here’s 5 Tips For Cycling Safely During Covid-19

How Huston-Tillotson University Is Responding To Covid-19

Moving The Nation Forward: A Conversation With U.S. Senator John Cornyn

Austin Resiliency: A Conversation With City Council Member Greg Casar The Build-Up: Why Covid-19 Is Heavily Impacting Communities of Color

Contact Tracing And Testing: Fighting The Spread Of Covid-19

We asked some college seniors on their thoughts about not being able to walk the stage for graduation.

How Austin EMS Is Fighting Covid-19

Austin City Council Member and Firefighter Husband Forced To Live Apart During The Pandemic

Reopening Austin: A Conversation With Mayor Adler

ACL Opens Its Vault Due To Covid-19

How East Austin Is Grappling With Covid-19

Virtually Thriving: AGE Connects Clients Online

Feeding The Homebound Elderly During Covid-19

ATX Musicians In The Age Of Covid-19

A Look Inside The Virtual Austin Library

A Resource Guide For Covid-19 Job Seekers

If You’re At Home With Your Abuser SAFE Can Help

More Pets Need Homes Due To Covid-19

Preventing Suicide During Covid-19

Shaking Off The Blues With DJ Mel’s Living Room Dance Party

Learning From Home: An Austin PBS Resource Guide

How Stress Affects Your Immune System

Fighting On The Front Lines Of Covid-19

Helping The Homeless Through Covid-19

How The Uninsured Can Get Covid-19 Care

Stopping The Spread: Why You Should Stay Home

Covid-19 Poses New Challenge For 2020 Census

How Visually Impaired Students Are Navigating The Pandemic

The Pandemic Brain

Food Banks Face Pressure Under Covid-19

Managing The Blood Supply During Covid-19

Getting Job Help During Covid-19

What Will It Take To Make A Covid-19 Vaccine?

Resource Links

Keep checking this page as Decibel checks in on the different ways Covid-19 is affecting the city and Central Texas. Below are some local, state and national resources giving updates.


Austin Public Health, Coronavirus FAQ


Texas Department of State Health Services, Coronavirus Reference


Covid-19 Interactive Map from Johns Hopkins University

Coronavirus Resource Center, Johns Hopkins University

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus Situtaion Summary

World Health Organization

Last update: September 21, 2020 at 10:45 A.M.

Our reporting doesn’t happen without you.

Did you value this reporting? Then please consider making a donation to Austin PBS. Your gift makes the quality journalism done by the Decibel team possible. Thank you for your contribution.

Decibel is Sponsored By:


Support Decibel

More in Health:

See all Health posts