Editor's note: It's that time again — time to check in with our top stories. As the city enacted unprecedented measures in reaction to COVID-19 this week, our attention turned to covering the crisis — and our collective new normal. These are the stories that captured our attention over the past seven days.
1. Austin issues stay at home/work safe order to prevent COVID-19 spread. Local officials enacted a stay home/work safe order this week through April 13. The order mandates that all residents must stay in their residence unless it's to obtain essential services, such as getting food or medicine. Additionally, all non-essential businesses must close.
2. H-E-B rolls out new restrictions on what Austin shoppers can buy. As more people crowd grocery stores stocking up during the coronavirus pandemic, H-E-B is adding to its list of product limits.
3. Austin residents urged to stay off hike-and-bike trail during COVID-19 shutdown. The Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, the 10-mile loop around Lady Bird Lake, is technically open during the COVID-19 restrictions, but it's not business as usual. The Trail Foundation issued a press release this week urging Austinites to avoid the popular exercise spot.
4. Austin restaurants must pivot from feeding the public to feeding employees during shutdown. Precautionary COVID-19 measures have taken an unprecedented toll on Austin's restaurant and bar world, effectively gutting our city's second biggest industry. Facing layoffs, closures, and an uncertain future, some industry leaders are taking dramatic steps to make sure their staff survive.
5. Round Rock, Cedar Park, and Travis County issue shelter in place orders to curb COVID-19. Hours after Austin announced its stay home/work smart order, Travis and Williamson counties followed.