Austin Public Health reviewing more than 20 upcoming events after local disaster declaration related to coronavirus

Austin Mayor Steve Adler speaks to the media during a press conference at Austin City Hall on March 6. Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt issued local disaster orders effectively canceling South by Southwest Conference and Festivals. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Mayor Steve Adler speaks to the media during a press conference at Austin City Hall on March 6. Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt issued local disaster orders effectively canceling South by Southwest Conference and Festivals. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Austin Mayor Steve Adler speaks to the media during a press conference at Austin City Hall on March 6. Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt issued local disaster orders effectively canceling South by Southwest Conference and Festivals. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

On March 9, the city of Austin and Travis County announced that through May 1, events with more than 2,500 attendees in Austin would be prohibited unless organizers could assure Austin Public Health they had a plan to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases.

Officials have released a list of events under review by Austin Public Health. This does not mean the events are canceled, only that APH is conducting a risk assessment and organizers are in discussions with public health officials to determine the future of the events.


The events under review are:

  • Germania Insurance Amphitheater 2020 Season, starting March 14, Circuit of the Americas

  • Rodeo Austin, March 14, Travis County Expo Center

  • Unknown 9 Tour—#SXSW, March 14, Fourth Street and Red River Street

  • South X San Jose, March 18, Hotel San Jose

  • Muddy Dash Austin, March 21, Circuit of the Americas

  • WGC Dell Technologies Match Play, March 23, Austin Country Club

  • Mission 5K Run Walk for Alzheimer's, March 28, St. James Missionary Baptist Church

  • ABC Kite Festival, March 29, Zilker Park

  • HONK!TX, April 3, Various locations

  • The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show, April 3, Austin American-Statesman

  • Texas VegFest, April 4, Fiesta Gardens

  • Statesman Capitol 10K, April 5, Congress Avenue Bridge

  • Austin Reggae Festival, April 17, Auditorium Shores

  • Art City Austin, April 17, Republic Square

  • Longhorn Run 2020, April 18, University of Texas

  • Earth Day Austin, April 18, Huston-Tillotson University

  • Cirque du Soleil, April 22, Circuit of the Americas

  • Indycar 2020, April 24, Circuit of the Americas

  • Eeyore's Birthday, April 25, Circuit of the Americas

  • The Fat Gator Music Festival, April 25, Austin American-Statesman


The announcement of the large-event prohibition, according to a release from the city and county, follows guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is intended to address concerns about coronavirus. While there are no confirmed cases of the disease in Travis County to date, there have been more than 124,000 cases reported globally, including 1,135 in the U.S., as of March 11, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. On March 11, the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus a pandemic.

Public health concerns in Travis County led Mayor Steve Adler and County Judge Sarah Eckhardt to issue disaster orders on March 6 effectively canceling the South by Southwest Conference and Festivals. On March 10, the Circuit of the Americas announced the postponement of its MotoGP Grand Prix from April to November, and on March 11, organizers of the Austin Urban Music Festival, which was scheduled to begin March 27, announced the cancellation of the event.

Later on March 11, organizers of the Houston Rodeo announced the cancellation of that event. Harris County Public Health has confirmed two cases of the coronavirus, with an additional three cases listed as “presumptive positive.”
By Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Central Austin and Southwest Austin editions. He began his career as a sports reporter in Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in 2018. He grew up in Maine and graduated from Boston University, but prefers tacos al pastor to lobster rolls. You can get in touch at jflagler@communityimpact.com


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