COVID-19 Live Updates: Alamo Drafthouse Won’t Open Theaters Friday, Austin ISD Opens Outdoor Spaces

KUT Staff

We’ll be updating this story throughout the day Tuesday with the latest local news on the coronavirus pandemic. If you’d like to go through a roundup of COVID-19 news from Monday, read it here. If you have a news tip or question, email us at

Update at 5:45 a.m. — Alamo Drafthouse says it won’t open this weekend; Broken Spoke will

Alamo Drafthouse tweeted Monday evening that it won’t be opening its theaters in Texas this weekend, despite Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement that movie theaters, restaurants and certain other businesses can reopen starting Friday if they keep occupancy to no more than 25%.

“Opening safely is a very complex project that involves countless new procedures and equipment, all of which require extensive training,” the company wrote. “This is something we cannot and will not do casually or quickly.”

We will not be opening our Texas theaters this weekend.

Opening safely is a very complex project that involves countless new procedures and equipment, all of which require extensive training. This is something we cannot and will not do casually or quickly.

— #AlamoAtHome (@alamodrafthouse) April 27, 2020

Broken Spoke, a restaurant and dance hall on South Lamar in Austin, announced on its Facebook page that it will be opening Friday, following Abbott’s capacity guidelines. Patrons must wear masks, according to the post, and there won’t be bands or dancing for the time being.

Update at 5:45 a.m. — Austin ISD reopens certain outdoor spaces

The Austin Independent School District has reopened its tracks, fields and courts. Tennis courts, football fields, basketball courts and play fields are now accessible, but playgrounds will stay closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Effective April 27 at 7pm, all AISD tracks, fields & courts (including tennis courts, football fields, basketball courts and play fields) will be accessible. Playgrounds will remain closed to further protect the community from the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing is required.

— Austin ISD (@AustinISD) April 27, 2020

People must still social distance in these spaces, meaning people will need to stay 6 feet away from others, according to AISD.

Catch up on what happened yesterday

Gov. Abbott announces phased-in approach to reopening Texas economy

Retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls can reopen Friday provided they limit occupancy to no more than 25%, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday.

Abbott said it was not yet safe for salons, barbershops, bars and gyms to open, but that if the community continues safe-distancing practices to tamp down new COVID-19 cases, those kinds of establishments could be allowed to open in mid-May.

A second phase, that would allow more businesses to open and expand occupancy to 50%, could come as early as May 18. Abbott said the state would first need to see two weeks of data showing there are no flare-ups.

The governor’s order supersedes local orders.

Other local coronavirus news from Monday:

In just under two hours Monday morning, Catholic Charities of Central Texas received 400 phone calls from people looking for financial assistance because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit is one of a handful to get a portion of a $15 million relief fund the Austin City Council approved earlier this month. More than 500 of the 1,800 people who’ve signed up for Austin Public Health’s testing enrollment form met the criteria needed to warrant a COVID-19 test. Capital Metro rides will continue to be free in May. Williamson County launched its online COVID-19 assessment tool.

What’s happening statewide? Check out special coverage from KERA for North Texas, Houston Public Media, Texas Public Radio in San Antonio and Marfa Public Radio.

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