AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Friday, Austin Mayor Steve Adler announced the extension of the city’s current “Stay Home, Work Safe” order — which will continue mandates for residents to stay at home, except for certain instances and by using safety measures.
The order will officially go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, May 30 and will continue through June 15 at 11:59 p.m. The order’s expiration date also coincides with the current Travis County stay home order.
The order says:
- Residents must minimize social gatherings and in-person contact, except from members of the same household
- Prevention measures like wearing face coverings and social distancing are also required, but cannot be criminally penalized
“With this extended Order, the City is doing everything the law allows to keep our community as safe as possible, to give the Governor’s reopening of the economy the greatest chance of succeeding and being sustained and to retain for our community the ability we each have as individuals to make choices that seek to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed,” said Mayor Steve Adler.
The city “Stay Home, Work Safe” Order was previously extended on May 8. The Travis County Stay-at-Home Orders, have been estimated to have saved nearly 5,000 lives, according to a study from Drexel University.
The current statewide order remains in effect through June 3, though Texas Governor Greg Abbott has recently begun a three-phase plan to reopen Texas businesses. On April 27, Abbott announced that several types of businesses could open May 1 as part of Phase I, then on May 18, the Governor announced an expansion of businesses and activities that could reopen at various dates as part of Phase II.
The City of Austin says that the new “Stay Home, Work Safe” Order is consistent with the statewide order, which allows customers to patronize “non-essential” businesses but at limited occupancy.
On Tuesday, Austin Public Health Interim Health Authority Mark Escott said he thinks there may be a surge in COVID-19 cases due to an increase in “risk-taking” behavior.
“This is evidence that if we stop doing those protective behaviors,” Escott said. “If we stop the personal hygiene: the hand washing, the not touching your face. If we stop the facial coverings in public, if we stop social distancing — we are going to enter a surge, which is going to threaten our healthcare systems’ ability to manage individuals. And its going to threaten our ability to keep businesses open and keep jobs going.”