Timeline: The year of coronavirus in Central Texas, from SXSW’s cancellation to the arrival of vaccines

Lake Travis ISD community members attend a meeting in August. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lake Travis ISD community members attend a meeting in August. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

Lake Travis ISD community members attend a meeting in August. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

In March of 2020, Austin Mayor Steve Adler announced in a solemn press conference that South by Southwest Conference & Festivals would be canceled. It was a decision that jeopardized the livelihoods of thousands of bartenders, servers, hotel workers and musicians in the city. It was also a decision that saved thousands of lives, according to Dr. Christopher Ziebell, emergency department medical director at Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas.

"I think that the fact that we did that here in Austin is probably the reason that the second big outbreak was in New York and not in Texas," Ziebell said.


A year after that moment, COVID-19 is still a threat in the Austin community, although help is steadily on the way with more vaccines arriving every week. Look back on the major turning points of the past year.

You can read more reflections from Central Texans on the past year here.

By Olivia Aldridge

Multi-Platform Journalist

Olivia hosts and produces Community Impact Newspaper's podcasts, The Austin Breakdown, The Houston Breakdown and The DFW Breakdown. She launched the podcasts after nearly three years as a reporter for the newspaper, covering public health, business, development and Travis County government for the Central Austin edition. Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas.