Austin residents were just given an updated order from Texas health officials. The city of Austin, Texas has extended its stay at home order through May 8. They also made it mandatory for everyone to wear a protective face covering when going out in public, so you better buy or make one ASAP.
The initial stay at home order was set to expire tonight, April 13. It was announced today that the order is extended through May 8 to keep protecting those in the city from COVID-19.
The order states that "in order to maintain the flattening of the curve, continued and further restriction of movement of persons is necessary to reduce the substantial risk of harm to the public" and that "all individuals anywhere in the City of Austin are required to stay at home or their place of residence."
Unlike the previous order, this one requires "all persons over the age of 10 to wear some form of covering over their nose and mouth." This includes medical masks, homemade masks, scarves, bandanas, and handkerchieves.
Austin-Travis County extended + modified the #StayHomeWorkSafe orders through May 8. Face coverings are required f… https://t.co/J73y3i3dBL— Austin Public Health (@Austin Public Health)1586817203.0
The order will be set in place starting once this current order ends at 11:59 p.m. on April 13, 2020, to continue on into May.
There are exceptions for wearing masks, like when you go outside for exercise such as running and jogging, plus when you are consuming food and drink, in a personal vehicle, and in emergency situations.
Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott told the public that “face coverings are another key piece in flattening the curve."
He carries on to say “it is critical that the public understand that this will not only help in slowing the spread of the disease, but face coverings are also part of our foreseeable future to safely reopen our society.”
The release also lists a few resources you can use to make your own DIY face covering, rather than using medical-grade masks or N-95 respirators that are more needed by first responders and healthcare workers.
COVID-19 is forcing many in our community to make hard economic choices and the stress that comes from those choice… https://t.co/a6bpkUbSqT— City of Austin (@City of Austin)1586712227.0
The order continues on to list all of the businesses that are considered "essential" and can remain open to customers. These Essential Businesses still must comply with social distancing and new face-covering requirements.
It was also released that fabric stores are now to be considered essential so that the public can buy fabric and other supplies needed to create a homemade fabric face covering.