Austin Convention Center DepartmentApril 20, 2020
Message from ACCD Interim Director Trisha Tatro
Dear valued clients, partners, and the community of Austin,
These are extremely challenging and unprecedented times; the extraordinary impact of COVID-19 on our overall industry, our clients, their partners, and our service industry community is substantial. Our city leaders, health officials and Austin Convention Center Department leadership teams are on the pulse of this crisis. We stand in unbounded support of preserving, restoring and reviving the events that make Austin the best destination to convene!
Explore these helpful resources:
- The City of Austin has created one central online location for Austin Public Health information, statistics, as well as information on how COVID-19 has impacted our local industries and travel. Visit link HERE.
- Our Austin Convention Center Department COVID-19 FAQ.
In the spirit of aiding our local communities our Austin Convention Center Department staff is:
- Packaging more than 1,000 self-stable meals per week in our facility for those experiencing homelessness through the Eating Apart Together (EAT) program.
- Offering space for 30,000 face shields to be assembled and distributed to local area first responders and health and medical professionals through the Face Shield Assembly Program and our City of Austin partnership with Dell Medical.
The good news is our team is eager and enthusiastic to get back to the business of serving you! It is in times like these we are reminded more than ever of the immense power of people coming together, of the resilience and dedication of our clients and those which support and attend their events, and of the incredible pleasure it is to play a role in bringing your events to life here in Austin!
The Austin Convention Center Department (ACCD) continues to closely monitor news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and protections ordered by the state, county and city officials. In alignment with the City of Austin Mayor, Steve Adler, and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt’s Stay Home - Work Safe Order proclamation of March 24, ACCD has limited access and operations at the Austin Convention Center and Palmer Events Center.
Several City of Austin Facilities have been closed (https://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/cityclosures_4920(1).pdf). This list will be updated as other facilities close or reopen.
The Governor of Texas has issued numerous waivers to help alleviate the impacts of COVID-19. The Office of the Governor provides a list of state resources and information regarding the current waivers in place.
While this proclamation has been extended to May 8, operations at both the Austin Convention Center and Palmer Events Center remain secured and limited. This order also requires the public to wear fabric face coverings when conducting essential activities or work.
We look forward to the time when we can once again welcome clients, guests, and visitors to the Convention Center. With this in mind, ACCD staff is available via phone and email to ensure business and administrative processes continue during the order. Staff contact information can be found on our Austin Convention Center website Contact Us page and the Palmer Events Center website Contact Us page.
ACCD recommends the public stay informed on COVID-19. Resources include:
- City of Austin COVID-19 updates: https://www.austintexas.gov/covid19
- Visit Austin: https://www.austintexas.org/
- Texas Department of Health: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/
- Austin Public Health: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/health
- Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Spirit of Aiding Our Local Communities
During this unprecedented time, the Austin Convention Center Department is involved with local community programs to aid our community.
Dell Medical Face Shield Project
- Face Shield Project is an Austin-based volunteer organization manufacturing and assembling face shields for healthcare workers and first responders at the Austin Convention Center. This is a partnership between local companies, the City of Austin and the UT Dell Medical School.
- Two shifts operated on Apr. 15 -16 from 2-6 p.m. with 30 volunteers and will continue from Apr. 18-26.
- The goal is to assemble 30,000 face shields in two weeks.
Eating Apart Together (EAT) Initiative
- Changes in the food system caused by COVID-19 have hit those experiencing homelessness especially hard. To help everyone stay well and safe, the City and community organizations created the Eating Apart Together (EAT) Initiative to source and deliver food to those in need.
- The Austin Convention Center Department is providing space and people power to package food that is then delivered by outreach organizations across the city.
- Following the first food drop of shelf-stable food from the Central Texas Food Bank, the Austin Convention Center Department staff, in eight hours, packaged more than 1,000 bags for the week.
- The Austin Convention Center will continue to host the packaging and distribution of food to organizations as the initiative grows and changes to meet people’s needs through the evolving crisis.