WilCo issues order limiting gatherings of people to no more than 50 until May 11

Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell has issued an order prohibiting community gatherings of 50 people or more anywhere in Williamson County until May to slow the transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The order comes as the CDC issued recommendations that gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled or postponed.

The ban on public or private gatherings takes effect at 6 p.m. March 16 and will continue May 11 unless it needs to be extended or ended.

Austin officials recently prohibited the gathering of 250 people or more within Austin-Travis County.

The Williamson County order specifically states there will be no large events or mass gatherings such as conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings and other types of assemblies of 50 people or more held in Williamson County.

Organizers are asked to cancel or postpone in-person large events or mass gatherings that consist of 50 people or more.

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Officials say events of any size can only be continued if they can be carried out following guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. 

The order doesn't apply to daycare facilities, schools, institutes of higher learning, private and public sector businesses.

If you're one of the highest risk individuals, elderly people or those with underlying health conditions, you're asked to avoid any gatherings or events that will likely have 10 or more people.

Workplaces are urged to consider using telecommuting options, suspend non-essential employee travel, minimize the number of employees working within arm’s length of one another, and encourage employees to stay home when they are sick.

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Anyone who is feeling ill, even if they are not aware of any contact with a COVID-19 case, should stay at home. 

Officials ask people to continue to do the following: 

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • When you can't wash your hands with soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily. 
  • Practice social distancing: keep a space of 6 feet between you and others; consider tele- or remote options for gatherings, whenever feasible.