People in Austin celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with, without masks

The people of Austin celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with and without a mask

St. Patrick’s Day came right after mixed state and city news regarding safety precautions for COVID-19.

Local businesses cleaned up on Thursday after a popular holiday that got people to bars even during a pandemic.

“I was literally at the door from 7:00 pm to 2:00 am and it was pretty crazy all night,” said Aaron Mcbee, security officer at the Friends Bar. “Some people had masks, some not so much.”

St. Patrick’s Day came right after mixed state and city news regarding safety precautions for COVID-19. The bars that FOX 7 talked about were different when it came to setting their own rules.

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The state has fully vaccinated 2.9 million people.

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In the Friends Bar, customers and employees still have to mask themselves. “This is where we feel our personal responsibility is to protect not only ourselves but others as well, and it’s a matter of respect,” said Mcbee. “I respect myself and others enough to wear a mask.”

Mcbee said he got into some confrontations Wednesday night over wearing masks. “If you want to literally fight me over a mask, one you shouldn’t get in, two, we’re stronger together,” he said. “When everyone is sick, we have to switch off again and you have to be an alcoholic at home.”

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The St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are raising concerns over a surge in COVID numbers

Austin’s entertainment district was overcrowded with people celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on Wednesday night. Many of them did not wear masks. FOX 7 Austin’s John Krinjak has more on why health officials are concerned.

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On March 2, Governor Greg Abbott issued a mandate that Texas businesses could be 100% busy and that masks would no longer be required. However, it didn’t preclude companies from setting their own rules.

Austin Public Health shortly after the health authority’s expanded emergency rules requiring continued mask wear. Unless extended further, these rules expire on April 15th.

RELATED: State Local Leaders Fight Mask Mandate Removal in Texas

Austin and Travis County’s original “Stay Home, Mask, And Otherwise Be Safe” order expires April 21st.

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