Monday, July 4, 2022

July 4th, 2022: Independence Day Holiday Closures

 

Several City of Austin offices and facilities will be closed

today, Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day

Parks and Recreation Facilities Schedules
City of Austin Recreation Centers, Senior Centers as well as Museums and Cultural Centers will be closed today, Monday, July 4. City parks, playgrounds, tennis centers, and golf courses will be open for their regularly scheduled hours on Independence Day. View City pool hours online at AustinTexas.gov/Pools. Find all Austin Parks and Recreation facility closure information at AustinTexas.gov/ParkClosures.

Austin Public Library Schedule
Austin Public Library branches, Austin Central Library, and the Austin History Center will be closed on today. Library resources that are available remotely can be accessed at the Austin Public Library website library.austintexas.gov.

Recycling, Compost and Trash Collection Schedules
All Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) trash, recycling and compost collections will be unaffected for the Independence Day holiday. For the most up-to-date information on all your ARR collections, download the Austin Recycles App for your Apple or Android device. Or visit austintexas.gov/page/my-collection-schedule to sign up for collection reminders and alerts.

Administrative offices will be closed today and the Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center (RRDOC) remains closed to the public for the time being. Visit austintexas.gov/dropoff for updates on the status of the RRDOC and the availability of drop-off appointments.

Austin Energy Schedule
Both Austin Energy Utility Customer Service Centers (walk-in branches) and the Utility Contact Center (call center) will be closed today, Monday, July 4.

Austin Public Health Schedule
Austin Public Health’s testing and vaccine sites will be closed on Saturday, July 2.

Austin Animal Center Schedule
The Austin Animal Center will be closed today and will return to normal hours of operation on Tuesday.
 
Holiday Celebrations
The City of Austin is encouraging Austinites and visitors to know how they are going to get home before they leave the house for the holiday celebrations, so they can get home safe. Visit austintexas.gov/gethomesafe to see a list of options.

For questions about City services or information call 3-1-1. You can also submit service requests from the Austin 3-1-1 mobile app.

Friday, July 1, 2022

4th of July Personal Watercraft Ban on Lake Austin

The Austin Police Department Lake Patrol Unit will enforce the City Ordinance that prohibits the use and operation of personal watercraft, wet bikes, motorized surfboards, and similar devices (designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on the vessel) on Lake Austin.

 The enforcement will begin at sunset on Sunday, July 3, 2022, and end on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, at sunrise, as outlined in Ordinance 8-5-81. Non-motorized devices such as kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards can still be used along with watercraft designed for the conventional manner of sitting or standing in the vessel.

The annual ban on personal watercraft is necessary to ensure the public's safety that use the lake and parks over the 4th of July Day Holiday Weekend. This ban only applies to Lake Austin. Police will  patrol Lake Austin this weekend and urge people using waterways to follow the Texas Water Safety Act and City of Austin boating laws and ordinances. One of these laws that most boaters are unaware of is TWSA 31.123, which is the Required Response to Police Water Safety Vessel. The operator of a vessel underway, on sighting a rotating or flashing blue beacon light, shall reduce power immediately and bring the vessel to a no-wake speed and subsequent stop until the intention of the water safety vessel is understood.

We would also like to advise the public about the extension of the new no/slow-wake zone (in purple) on Lake Austin by the Pennybacker (360) Bridge.

 Police urge all boaters to practice safe boating and to call 9-1-1 for all reckless operations of boats or emergencies.

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department and the Austin Police Department want the public to enjoy the parks and lakes but urge people to make this a safe holiday.

City Ordinance:  8-5-81 WATERCRAFT AND OTHER MOTORIZED CRAFT ON LAKE AUSTIN.

     (A)     A person may not use or possess a jet ski, wet bike, motorized surfboard, or similar device on Lake Austin:

          (1)     from sunset on the Friday before Memorial Day until sunrise on the Tuesday after Memorial Day;

          (2)     from sunset on the Friday before Labor Day until sunrise on the Tuesday after Labor Day; or

          (3)     from sunset on July 3 until sunrise on July 5.


Thursday, June 30, 2022

First Monkeypox Case Confirmed in Travis County, Jun 30, 2022

As an update to Austin Public Health’s (APH) initial announcement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) testing has confirmed Travis County’s first monkeypox case. APH Epidemiologists have completed an investigation and are conducting contact tracing of people who had direct close contact with the resident while contagious. 

The resident continues to isolate at home. APH is also investigating five presumptive cases who have symptoms that are consistent with monkeypox. Initial case investigations indicate these persons did not have a history of international travel.

“This spread of monkeypox within our community is concerning. Anyone who believes they may have symptoms of the virus should reach out to a medical provider immediately,” said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority. “This virus is predominantly spread through close, intimate contact with others. You should avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone showing rashes or sores.” 

Monkeypox is rare and does not spread easily between people without close contact. The virus can be transmitted by person-to-person contact including:  

  • Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids.
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.  
  • Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids.
  • Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta. 

Symptoms of monkeypox can include:  

  • Fever  
  • Headache  
  • Muscle aches and backache  
  • Swollen lymph nodes  
  • Chills  
  • Exhaustion  
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands/palms, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.  
    • The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. 

There are a number of measures that can be taken to prevent infection with monkeypox:  

  • Minimize skin-to-skin contact, especially if a person has been exposed to the virus, showing a rash or skin sores.  
  • Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that have been in contact with monkeypox.  
  • Practice good hand hygiene. For example, washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.  
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for people infected with monkeypox.  

As of Thursday, the CDC is tracking at least 396 monkeypox/orthopoxvirus cases in the U.S. At least 10 cases have been confirmed in Texas. 

Independence Day Holiday Closures

 

Several City of Austin offices and facilities will be closed

Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day

Parks and Recreation Facilities Schedules
City of Austin Recreation Centers, Senior Centers as well as Museums and Cultural Centers will be closed on Monday, July 4. City parks, playgrounds, tennis centers, and golf courses will be open for their regularly scheduled hours on Independence Day. View City pool hours online at AustinTexas.gov/Pools. Find all Austin Parks and Recreation facility closure information at AustinTexas.gov/ParkClosures.

Austin Public Library Schedule
Austin Public Library branches, Austin Central Library, and the Austin History Center will be closed on Monday, July 4. Library resources that are available remotely can be accessed at the Austin Public Library website library.austintexas.gov.

Recycling, Compost and Trash Collection Schedules
All Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) trash, recycling and compost collections will be unaffected for the Independence Day holiday. For the most up-to-date information on all your ARR collections, download the Austin Recycles App for your Apple or Android device. Or visit austintexas.gov/page/my-collection-schedule to sign up for collection reminders and alerts.

Administrative offices will be closed Monday and the Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center (RRDOC) remains closed to the public for the time being. Visit austintexas.gov/dropoff for updates on the status of the RRDOC and the availability of drop-off appointments.

Austin Energy Schedule
Both Austin Energy Utility Customer Service Centers (walk-in branches) and the Utility Contact Center (call center) will be closed Monday, July 4.

Austin Public Health Schedule
Austin Public Health’s testing and vaccine sites will be closed on Saturday, July 2.

Austin Animal Center Schedule
The Austin Animal Center will be closed Monday, July 4 and will return to normal hours of operation on Tuesday.
 
Holiday Celebrations
The City of Austin is encouraging Austinites and visitors to know how they are going to get home before they leave the house for the holiday celebrations, so they can get home safe. Visit austintexas.gov/gethomesafe to see a list of options.

For questions about City services or information call 3-1-1. You can also submit service requests from the Austin 3-1-1 mobile app.

Life-Saving Program Provides Pre-Hospital Blood Transfusions to Multiple Patients

 

Program to be Expanded Following Positive Results in First Six Months 

A pilot program that enables paramedics to provide blood transfusions to patients who are hemorrhaging blood before they reach the hospital is already helping to save lives in Austin-Travis County. 
 
Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services (ATCEMS), the City of Austin's Office of the Chief Medical Officer, and local blood bank We Are Blood launched the program in December 2021, ensuring that at least two response vehicles are equipped with whole blood at any time.

It has enabled ATCEMS paramedics to give patients who are losing blood in a traumatic or medical emergency a transfusion of Low Titer O+ Whole Blood at the scene of an emergency or on the way to the hospital, saving precious time for patients experiencing life-threatening blood loss. 

The blood is carried in specialized coolers inside the ATCEMS units. These coolers maintain an FDA mandated temperature between one and six degrees Celsius. 

In the first six months of the program a total of 28 patients have received blood in the field – 15 of them for trauma and 13 for a medical issue – giving them a much higher chance of survival than if they had waited until they arrived at the hospital for treatment. 

Excessive bleeding is the leading cause of potentially survivable pre-hospital deaths. Patients who get transfused within 30 minutes of injury or life-threatening hemorrhage have a significantly increased chance of survival. 

In launching the pilot program last December, after more than three years of planning, Austin-Travis County became one of several pre-hospital systems in the state who are revolutionizing the treatment of pre-hospital medicine. 

“This program represents a huge shift in mindset in how we manage trauma,” said Dr. Jason Pickett, Chief Deputy Medical Director for the City of Austin. “Giving whole blood helps patients and saves lives. We’re not just getting them to the hospital, we’re reversing the effects of shock early, increasing their chances of long-term survival. Early use of whole blood can also reduce the amount of blood a patient has to receive by half, conserving our community resource.” 

“By starting trauma resuscitation out in the field we are buying the patients time, getting them treatment earlier so they can make it to the hospital and surgery, increasing trauma survival rates,” said Heidi Abraham, Deputy Medical Director for the City of Austin.

“Even in the first few weeks of this program it became apparent this was a huge need within EMS,” said ATCEMS Captain David Leclere. “One unit of blood can make a difference, and after transfusions we can quickly see blood pressures increase, and an increased level of consciousness.” 

Following initial results and data analysis, the City is in the process of expanding the program, as well as developing a strategy for the most equitable deployment of this resource. By the end of 2022 up to 11 EMS supervisor and EMS physician response vehicles are expected to carry whole blood.

ATCEMS is committed to and invested in making the lifesaving resource of whole blood even more readily available to residents and visitors to the City of Austin and Travis County. 

For more information about We Are Blood, or to book an appointment at any of their three donation locations or multiple mobile drives, visit  weareblood.org

Patient Case Study

In May 2022 Karanai Ravenscroft suffered a life-threatening hemorrhage and needed an emergency blood transfusion, which ATCEMS medics were able to provide on scene and on the way to the hospital, saving precious time and giving her the best chance to fully recover.

Today, June 30, Karanai met the EMS crew who gave her the life-saving blood transfusion. Speaking after the meeting, at an EMS station in northwest Austin, she said: "I needed to see the guys, and tell them what they mean to me. Today my four children have their mommy, my husband has his wife. This program saved my life and the lives of my family."


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Summer Pool Schedule Update

As lifeguard hiring and training continues, new pools will open for the July 4 weekend. Martin (1626 Nash Hernandez Sr. Rd.) and Dottie Jordan (2803 Loyola Ln.) pools will reopen on Sunday, July 3. Beginning July 10, Ramsey (4201 Burnet Rd.) and Mabel Davis (3427 Parker Ln.) pools will open. 

To allow greater access over the July 4 weekend, Deep Eddy Pool is rescheduling its normal monthly closure from Tuesday, July 5 to Tuesday, July 12. On July 5, the pool will be open 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM for lap swim only and 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM for recreational swimming.

Increased pool operations come as the Austin Parks and Recreation Department reaches 551 lifeguards ready-to-work. The Department continues to hire and train lifeguards to operate summer pools. Pay ranges from $16 to $19 an hour depending on experience and certifications. Staff get bonuses, paid sick leave, a free bus pass, and flexible scheduling. Information on becoming a lifeguard is available at lifeguardaustin.com.

For a complete listing of pool schedules, visit austintexas.gov/pools.

Austin Water Achieves Major Milestone in Infrastructure Upgrade

 

 Over 50,000 new digital meters installed throughout the City of Austin

Austin Water has replaced nearly a quarter of all residential water meters as part of a major effort to modernize critical infrastructure and support customer efforts to conserve water and save money on their bills.

More than 50,000 new My ATX Water digital meters have been installed and by 2025, all customers served by Austin Water will have a new My ATX Water meter. The new digital infrastructure will provide a better understanding of how the entire water distribution system is performing at any given moment to enhance resilience to impacts from extreme weather.

“Advanced metering infrastructure is a significant strategy identified in Water Forward, Austin’s 100-year plan for water,” said Robert Goode, Interim Director for Austin Water. “This new infrastructure will be critical in helping to identify water loss from leaks and provide Austin Water with better information about areas with outages so that we can respond quickly to get things back online again.”

The My ATX Water program also includes a portal that gives Austin Water customers near-real-time data to better track and manage water use. Customers can set water use thresholds that would push notifications via email or phone. They can also sign up to receive customized water saving tips based on the water use specific to their household. The My ATX Water customer portal will also provide alerts about continuous water usage that could indicate a leak. The portal is currently available to all Austin Water customers, regardless of whether they have received the new digital meter yet.

“Being able to provide this tool to our customers is important, particularly with this summer’s worsening drought conditions,” said Randi Jenkins, Assistant Director of Customer Experience for Austin Water. “As lake levels continue to drop, customers can see exactly how much water they are using in near-real-time. Having this information at their fingertips will really help reduce water use across the City. And as costs for gas and food are rising and impacting so many household budgets, the portal can help customers save on their water bill.”

Austin Water is currently rolling out an initiative to encourage customers to sign-up for notifications and alerts from the My ATX Water portal. For more information, head to myatxwater.org.

July 4th, 2022: Independence Day Holiday Closures

  Several City of Austin offices and facilities will be closed today, Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day Parks and Recreation ...