The Austin Symphony has canceled its traditional Fourth of July concert with fireworks because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The free event at Vic Mathias Shores usually attracts more than 100,000 people. Sponsored by H-E-B, it is typically one of the largest single arts events in Austin.
In May, the symphony announced that half of its 2020-21 season would go virtual because of coronavirus concerns.
"We have had to cancel only one other time in the 40-plus years we have produced this event for Central Texas," said Anthony Corroa, executive director of the orchestra. "The health of our musicians and the community is of greater concern. Your Austin Symphony Orchestra will be back next July Fourth with an amazing concert and fireworks display fit for Texas."
Thursday marked a grim milestone in Travis County with the number of coronavirus-related deaths going over 100. The county broke its record for most cases reported in a single day twice this week, with 118 cases confirmed Monday and 161 on Tuesday.
Austin health officials say they are seeing a spike in new cases of the virus partly because residents are being less cautious with following such precautions as wearing face coverings in public or practicing social distancing.
Dr. Mark Escott, the interim Austin-Travis County health authority, said Thursday that many new cases were likely related to Memorial Day outings and the state’s reopening of businesses. Recent protests against police violence might also contribute to the spread but that hasn’t been seen yet, he said.
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