AUSTIN (KXAN) – It’s the COVID-19 Cataclysm: As a New School Year Begins in Texas, Many Parents and School Districts Are Ready to Face the Greg Abbott Government’s Ban on Mask Warrants in Public Schools .
On Wednesday, Austin City and Travis County announced they will require face masks for residents in city and county buildings. i public schools. Other major Texas districts that will require masks during the new school year (at least for now) include ISDs in Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Houston.
As of Friday’s count, there were 2,865 active cases of COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County. There are currently 596 people hospitalized, 198 patients in the ICU and 128 people with ventilators. The area remains at stage 5 of its COVID-19 risk-based guidelines.
Battle back to school
Earlier this week, a group of more than 100 parents, students and teachers from Austin ISD formed the “Safe Schools for All” advocacy group, to demand that the district do more to stop the spread of COVID- 19 the new school year.
Members of the group criticized what they call Abbott’s “dangerous” ban on masks in public schools and the Texas Education Agency’s “irresponsible” guide, which currently does not allow for mass remote learning. The new school year comes during an unfortunate increase in COVID-19 cases in the state and national Austin-Travis County area.
Many parents in central Texas say they are concerned, as children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination, as the delta variant left communities.
Abbott’s order faced another dismissal, when a district judge in Travis County granted a temporary restraining order against Abbott’s order, which allowed local mask warrants to be enforced.
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to Abbott and TEA commissioner Mike Morath saying the department is behind Texas districts defying the ban. Abbott and the state of Texas are believed to take the fight to the Texas Supreme Court.
And as schools prepare to open backups, some big-event entertainment events close due to the increase in the case.
One of the first big-event entertainment events to announce its cancellation was a set of Blues on the Green shows, which were scheduled to be held this week at Zilker Park. Austin City Limits Radio said the decision was based on the current “health emergency.”
The shows are scheduled to be rescheduled for a future date.
The Texas Tribune Festival, which features political and news events, chose this week to move everything virtual.
Meanwhile, just days before it started, Austin Pride announced it would cancel its festival weekend for the second year in a row.
On Wednesday, Austin Pride said in a statement: “The choice was made for us and for the safety of our city and community, to take a break from face-to-face meetings. We were more excited than you know how to celebrate with all of you. The reality of being back in the middle of this pandemic is really heartbreaking. “
How will future events go?
To date, the Austin City Limits Music Festival is yet to be held in October.
The sold-out Austin City Limits 2021 music festival will be held October 1-10 at Austin’s Zilker Park. With two months to go, a group called Cancel ACL Fest is now calling for the world-famous “ACL” to host its face-to-face events.
A Change.org petition currently has 1,800 signatures as of Saturday afternoon. The main page of the petition says, in part: “Due to Governor Abbott’s laws against vaccine passports and mask warrants, it is no longer safe to have this event. ACL has no plans to even discuss the cancellation. For the public safety of all living in Austin, it’s best to cancel the festival. “