Austin-Travis County adopts CDC guidelines for using fabric face coverings in public

Austin-Travis County has adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines regarding the public use of fabric face coverings. 

The county is recommending that the general public use fabric face coverings when conducting essential activities or essential business outside of their residence in order to further the slow of COVID-19 coronavirus. 

RELATED: TxDPS increases presence across Texas/Louisiana border, enforcing mandatory self-quarantine

“This is another piece of a complex process to slow the spread and flatten the curve in our community,” said Travis County Interim Health Authority  Dr. Escott. “While you might otherwise feel well and healthy, we need everyone’s help to prevent the potential asymptomatic spread to others who could face more severe symptoms.” 

Dr. Escott announced the recommendation with support from Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt on April 5. The measures are meant to act as an additional protective measure to prevent asymptomatic carriers from spreading the virus. 

"This follows the CDC’s recent announcement of a similar recommendation on Friday due to evidence of asymptomatic positive cases and transmission for COVID-19, a press release from the city said. 

RELATED: CapMetro employee dies after testing positive for coronavirus, unconfirmed cause of death

City officials also stress the importance of maintaining physical distancing and following the stay-home work order.  According to the city, face coverings combined with physical distancing may further decrease the risk of spreading the disease. 

"Scarves or bandanas are easy, household items that can serve as a face covering. Plenty of do-it-yourself plans are also available online including guidance from the CDC and guidance from Austin Public Health," the city mentioned in the release. 

You can read the full release from the city here. 

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu.

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization.

A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus but may put you in a better position to fight it.

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people. And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.



FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments.

Every weekday we're live at 12 p.m. with a special show reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information.

You can watch live in your FOX 7 Austin app or on the FOX 7 Austin Facebook page.

You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at