LOOKING BACK: Coronavirus coverage in Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto from March-May

Two months in review: A look back at the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)
Two months in review: A look back at the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)

Two months in review: A look back at the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)

On March 17, as bars and restaurants in Travis County began preparations for the evening’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrants, Austin came knocking: All restaurants and bars in the county were forced to shut down dine-in services, effective through May 1. Gatherings were limited to no more than 10 people in public spaces in an effort to promote social distancing measures.



The decision came one day after Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan announced the temporary closure of some city facilities March 16. And so, like a domino effect, a wave of restrictions and closures crashed within the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

City council meetings, public spaces doubling as hallmarks of civic engagement, began to be held virtually or were restricted to council and staff, with residents able to engage online. Weeklong spring breaks unceremoniously marked the end of the school year as students knew it, limited to online instruction for the duration of the semester.



May 1 marked a new milestone. Restaurants and retail stores in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto were cleared to open to a limited number of in-person diners and shoppers for the first time in more than six weeks.



Salons and barbershops now have the option of reopening services to clientele, effective May 8. Under Gov. Greg Abbott’s Phase 2 reopening proposal, office buildings, nonessential manufacturers and gyms are set to reopen May 18.



Uncharted.” “A ticking clock.” “Businesses have the potential to never see the light of day again. These words and phrases are some used by city leaders, business owners and residents alike throughout Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto.



But alongside anxiety and questions of the unknown, the outbreak has also highlighted acts of human kindness throughout the community.



Thousands of meals have been served each day to students in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto ISDs to help ensure each child receives a proper meal during school closures. Pflugerville lit its city hall blue in honor of the city’s health care workers. Round Rock and Hutto residents have created hundreds of face masks for residents, first responders and essential workers during the pandemic. Nightly car parades have been held at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center.



Below is a timeline of the past seven weeks of coronavirus coverage in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto.






MOST RECENT

The Gringo's location in Katy is pictured. A new Conroe location is planned for late 2022. (Courtesy NewQuest Properties)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Gringo's restaurant confirmed for Conroe Waterfront Center; Austin’s longest-standing H-E-B to be rebuilt and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 7.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland and US Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta announced the lawsuit against Texas on Dec. 6. (Screenshot courtesy of Department of Justice)
U.S. Dept. of Justice lawsuit alleges Texas' redistricting maps discriminate against voters of color

The suit alleges that the Texas Legislature redrew the maps to reduce voters of colors' influence on elections.

The 6.5-mile project will be an important connection for the pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks, according to city officials. (Courtesy Austin Public Works)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: City of Austin begins design of urban trail on abandoned rail corridor; 12 things to do in and around New Braunfels this holiday season and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 6.

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: State could take over AISD school board if poorly-rated campus does not improve; new furniture store to open in McKinney and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 3.

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida. (Courtsey Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank CEO Derrick Chubbs steps down

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida.

The school board will consider whether to call a special election to fill the vacancy or make an appointment. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Hays CISD to hold special meeting on resignation of board member; Montgomery approves plan for downtown and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 2.

Tomball City Council approved a development agreement with Lovett Industrial for 240 acres at Hwy. 249, Rocky Road Nov. 29. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Tomball City Council approves development of 240 acres at Hwy. 249, Rocky Road; JLB Eatery coming soon to Katy and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 1.

Crust Pizza Co. is opening soon in Montgomery and Willis. (Courtesy Crust Pizza Co.)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: 5 businesses coming to McKinney; Crust Pizza Co. to open two locations in Montgomery, Willis and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 30.

I Live Here I Give Here encourages individuals to donate to nonprofit organizations in their community. (Courtesy I Live Here I Give Here)
I Live Here I Give Here encourages Austinites to donate to local organizations Nov. 30

The nonprofit is encouraging the community to donate for Giving Tuesday on Nov. 30.

The median home price in the Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto area has risen considerably since last October. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Home sales, costs in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto remain hotter than Greater Austin; Halal Guys opens in Pearland and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 29.