AUSTIN, Texas - Austin-Travis County leaders say they are taking steps to prevent further spread of COVID-19 as Gov. Greg Abbott rolls back specific parts of the reopening of Texas.
Both Austin and Travis County have issued orders banning outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people, unless exempt by the Governor’s Order.
The Orders apply to outdoor areas of venues but do not apply to places such as swimming pools, zoos, museums, etc. as long as they are operating at no more than 50 percent occupancy. GA-26 also stipulates there is no occupancy limit for places such as religious services, youth camps, and child-care services.
Austin's order continues through August 15, whereas the county order on 100-plus gatherings expires on July 10. Austin’s revised order also clarifies that the face-covering requirement applies to children 10 years and older.
City and county leaders are also advising the community that social gatherings should still be avoided - and gatherings of more than 10 individuals (unless all participants are members of a single household or residence) are prohibited. Vulnerable populations should avoid groups of more than two beyond the members of their household.
On Friday, June 26, Gov. Abbott issued an executive order limiting certain businesses and services, such as bars and restaurants. All bars are required to close and restaurants may operate at a maximum 50 percent capacity beginning June 29.
"Nobody wants businesses to suffer more than they already have, but the numbers are the numbers, and the Governor's action today is essential for getting this disease back under control and to once more flatten that curve and save lives,” Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority, said in a release. “We need people to stay home, wear masks if they have to go out and do everything they can to stay safe. We've all seen what happens when COVID-19 overwhelms our health care systems, including in New York City. We cannot let that happen here."
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As of June 25, nearly 300 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 in the five-county Central Texas area. The current 7-day moving average for new hospital admissions is 44.6, which means Austin-Travis County is in Stage 4 according to Austin Public Health’s Risk-Based Guidelines Chart. The current 7-day moving average for new COVID-19 cases in Austin-Travis County is 301.
“It's crucial each of us stay home when possible, wear a mask when out, practice social distancing and good hygiene,” Mayor Steve Adler said. "Our numbers are rising exponentially and we’ve got to do this diligently to keep our economy open and one another safe."
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.