AUSTIN, Texas - Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe has signed County Judge Order 2020-12 that mandates all commercial entities in Travis County must develop and implement a health and safety policy related to COVID-19.
The Health and Safety Policy, which will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Thursday night, must require, at a minimum, that "all employees and visitors to the commercial entity’s business premises or other facilities wear face coverings when in an area or performing an activity which will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public where six feet of separation is not feasible."
The new Travis County order comes a day after Austin Mayor Steve Adler issued a supplemental order requiring face coverings in Austin.
That order, which is to supplement Adler's previous order extending the stay-at-home order through August 15, required all businesses providing goods or services directly to the public to "develop and implement a health and safety policy or plan related to COVID-19."
"The Governor has now given us a path and we will act consistent with his statement. Wearing masks is important — to our health and to opening up the economy. I have issued the attached supplemental order directing businesses to come up a simple safety plan over the next several days," said Adler in a statement. "Austin businesses are great and many of them, if not most, have already done this. During this time, we will transition to a more direct order on masks, working with our business community so our whole city moves forward together and so that everyone can get prepared."
Earlier in the week, Mayor Adler joined eight other Texas mayors in asking Texas Governor Greg Abbott to allow them to set rules and regulations locally when it comes to face masks.
On Tuesday, Gov. Abbott held a press release on the rising COVID-19 numbers across the state. "The increased occupancy of hospital beds, it does raise concerns but as shown today there's no reason to be alarmed. The reason is even though there are more people hospitalized we still remain at the lowest threat level in our hospital capacity,” said Abbott.
The governor has yet to release face mask regulations across the state.
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