Austin officials cancel South by Southwest festival

Austin city officials have canceled the South by Southwest arts and technology festival.

Mayor Steve Adler on Friday announced a local disaster as a precaution because of the threat of the novel coronavirus, effectively canceling the annual event.

 

The announcement comes days after several high-profile companies pulled out of the festival, that had been scheduled for March 13-22. More than 50,000 people had signed a petition seeking to get the festival cancelled. The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has climbed to 14, with all but one victim in Washington state.

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The number of infections swelled to over 200 scattered across at least 18 states, including at least six cases in the Houston area.

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(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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