Austin extends stay-home order to mid-December as COVID cases plateau

KVUE – Austin and Travis County’s stay-home orders extended through December 15 as the coronavirus fall plateau is high in Austin.

In an announcement on Friday, August 14, Austin and Travis County leaders passed revised ordinances to help slow the spread of the virus. In addition to the orders, the leaders urge citizens to continue to practice good hygiene, practice social distancing and wear face coverings.

Mayor Steve Adler said the city has extended the “stay home, work safely” order until December 15. The order expired on August 15. Earlier Friday, Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe had also extended Travis County’s mask mandate and disaster statement.

The order extension continues the provisions of the previous order, including wearing fabric covers in public; socially distant six feet from others; and practice excellent hygiene by washing your hands with soap for 20 seconds, cleaning sensitive surfaces, and sneezing and coughing in your elbows.

Read the Austin Order here and the Travis County Order here.

As schools reopen campus, Austin ordinance states that each school must take a step-by-step approach based on risk-based stages, unless that would result in a loss of funding from the Texas Education Agency. These phases include 100 percent virtual learning in phase 5, up to 25 percent learning on campus in phase 4, up to 50 percent learning on campus in phase 3, up to 75 percent learning on campus in phase 2 and up to 100 percent Percent learning on campus in phase 1.

According to Dr. Austin Health Authority Mark Escott, Austin remains in Phase 4 of its COVID-19 response as the hospital’s intensive care unit capacity has left the surge stage.

“We are still concerned about the fact that we are just about to plateau,” Escott said on Aug. 4. “And in terms of new cases, we’re seeing a slight increase in the number of positive cases.”

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