Austin’s Top News – March 10, 2021 | KLBJ-AM

Austin to need masks

Austin and Travis County continue to plan to require all business owners to continue wearing masks in their stores as the state mask mandate and other similar state orders expire today by the governor. Dr. Austin Travis County’s Health Department Mark Escott says its COVID orders haven’t changed.

“We still have rules in place for health officials that require masking in businesses across the city and county. These things stay in place. Enforcement of these regulations remains in place, ”says Escott.

City documents show those violating the codes can face fines of up to $ 2,000.

Austin and Travis County make it clear that no matter what the governor says, they will do whatever they can to force you to keep wearing a mask. Mayor Steve Adler says the council stands by instructions from Travis County’s health authorities.

“His rules, which have been in place for some time, say that people should wear masks, make it mandatory, and say that companies should need masks,” says Adler.

Councilor Greg Cesar says via Twitter that he thinks the city has legal authority to replace the governor’s orders on behalf of public safety under the Texas Constitution.

While Austin cracks down on wearing masks, they’ve been rife for days, reporting from companies that have said they will continue to demand them. George Kelemen of the Texas Retailers Association says there is no doubt the vast majority will do just that.

“You always saw the signs. No shoes, no shirt, no service. You know, we’re going into a very similar scenario, except it’s masks and it’s a bit more politically charged, ”says Kelemen

There have been some concerns about confronting people who refuse to adhere to a business’s policies, but Kelemen says the business community is supported by law enforcement.

No masks are required in Wilco

In Williamson County, whether or not you want to wear a mask starting today is up to you, and many business owners are preparing to make the move. Cedar Park pub owner Sonya Holloway tells Fox 7 they’re ready, but they’ll play it smart.

“I feel good about it. Hopefully everyone still wants to wear a mask they know, but we’ll see where it works, ”says Holloway.

Staff are still required to wear one and it is recommended for customers to do so, but it is not required. District Judge Bill Gravell also announced this week that masks will be optional in all government buildings starting today.

In the Blanco County area, the Johnson City School District has decided to end the wearing of masks. Starting today, every student or employee who wants to come to campus without a mask can make the choice. This decision was not unanimous, as the school board narrowly approved the plan with 4 to 3 votes.

COVID-19 update

The number of COVID patients hospitalized in Travis County fell again to 220 this morning. And there are roughly 150 less active cases, with 1,260 reported by Austin Public Health. The gap between confirmed cases and recoveries has also narrowed: 74,823 people have recovered from 76,855 cases found last year.

Austin Energy Awards

Last month’s catastrophic power outages seem to have a minor silver lining. Austin Energy actually generated more electricity during the outages and was used by customers. General Manager Jackie Sargent says this is good news for rate hikes.

“Austin Energy customers would benefit from our power adjustments,” says Sargent.

For this reason, customers should not see any price increases at this time. It is estimated that Austin Energy had sales of around $ 54 million during that time.

Governor Greg Abbott says correcting billing errors related to the Texas Electric Reliability Council is now an emergency for the current legislature. He says this includes inaccurate or excessive charges as well as additional service prices.

MDC vacuum in Pflugerville

The Pflugerville City Council has approved an incentive agreement for California-based MDC Vacuum Products. The company has agreed to make nearly $ 4.5 million in capital investments and create up to 90 new jobs in the city. In return for meeting its benchmarks, MDC will receive economic incentives of $ 250,000.

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