Austin continues mask mandate amid lawsuit

Austin continues the mask mandate amid a lawsuit

Texas AG Ken Paxton has sued the city of Austin and Travis Counties. But Austin doesn’t budge from his mask mandate.

The 34th Street Cafe has been open for 25 years. Things went smoothly until the pandemic hit.

“In the beginning everyone was just busy,” said owner Eddie Bernal.

Bernal was forced to make expensive changes like buying gallons of hand sanitizer, enforcing social distancing rules, and even buying an air purification system.

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Masks are still needed in the city of Austin

The governor’s office has yet to respond to requests for comment on local order.

“We couldn’t have done it without the employees, they are the soldiers, they are on the front lines,” he said.

Everyone must wear masks when you enter his business. “I definitely don’t like what’s going on out there when the attorney general sues the city of Austin,” he said.

The attorney general is suing the city of Austin and Travis County for still holding a mask mandate after Governor Greg Abbott lifted the statewide mandate Wednesday.

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Texas AG is suing Austin, Travis County, over mask mandates

The Texas AG office has officially filed a lawsuit in the district court to seek an injunction over the local mask rule pending a hearing.

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“We’re just trying to follow directions from our health department, which frankly is the case in counties across Texas,” said Andy Brown, a Travis County judge Thursday.

On Friday, a district judge denied the state’s motion for an immediate restraining order, which means Austin’s mask mandate will run through at least March 26, if the restraining order is planned.

“It’s not a political decision. It’s just common sense if we want to protect our employees through vaccination and our customers,” Bernal told Masks.

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State, local leaders argue over mask mandate

On Tuesday, city and district leaders agreed to maintain an existing mandate from the health ministry regardless of the governor’s updated ordinances.

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For Bernal it was never a political thing, he said he only wanted the best for his employees and customers. In fact, he got his shot on Friday. “I got my vaccine at UT and it was very emotional. I want all of my staff to be vaccinated,” said Bernal.

Regardless of what happens in court, he will continue to need masks until enough of the population is vaccinated. “It’s just a lot of static. We need to focus on getting people vaccinated and keeping people safe,” he said.

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