Tuesday, March 9, 2021

July Health Authority Rules Remain In Place, Requiring Face Coverings

July Health Authority Rules Remain In Place, Requiring Face Coverings

City of Austin and Travis County also implement face covering rules for City/County property

Austin, Texas – In advance of GA-34 going into effect across the State of Texas tomorrow, March 10, Austin-Travis County is emphasizing that the health authority rules initially adopted in July 2020, remain in place through April 15, 2021, unless modified or extended.

Under the existing health authority rules, businesses and other sites must require individuals to wear a face covering, with some exceptions. Businesses should also clean and disinfect high touch items, require at least six feet between groups of ten or less, and post face covering and hygiene signage.

In the City of Austin, an individual must also wear a face covering when outside of their residence. "Wearing a face covering is one of the easiest ways to slow the transmission of disease in our community," said Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority. "While vaccine administration is underway, we are still not in a place of herd immunity and need people to wear face coverings in public and around non-household members so we can avoid another surge of cases."

The health authority rules, mandate specific actions aimed at slowing the spread and reducing the impact of COVID-19 on public health. The rules govern individuals and sites within Austin-Travis County and impose requirements reasonably necessary to protect public health related to the transmission of COVID-19. 

Complaints about noncompliance should be referred to 3-1-1 (512-974-2000) or making a report through the 3-1-1 mobile app. Read about the existing City enforcement and fines here.

Face Covering Rules for City/County Property
The City of Austin has also updated rules requiring everyone over the age of six to wear a face covering when on or in City property, with a few exceptions. The rules go into effect on Wednesday, March 10 and expire on July 8, unless amended or withdrawn.

The previous Travis County order requiring masks on or in County property was signed June 2020. It continues to remain in effect. If someone fails to comply with the City/County face covering rule, an employee will make a verbal request that the individual wear a face covering and offer a face covering, if available, or an alternate way to obtain services provided at the City/County property. If the individual refuses to wear a face covering or utilize the alternate method to obtain services, an employee will ask the individual to leave City/County property.

All current and previous orders and rules can be found at austintexas.gov/department/covid-19-information/orders-rules.

View joint statement from health and safety organizations here.

For COVID-19 information and updates, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.