City, counties declare "Stay home, work safe" orders

New restrictions to battle COVID-19 last through April 13

Talk 1370 Newsroom
March 24, 2020 - 11:02 am
Austin Mayor Steve Adler

Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman via USA TODAY NETWORK

AUSTIN ( -- The City of Austin, along with Travis and Williamson Counties, are now under a "Stay Home, Work Safe" order.

The orders, which will remain in effect until April 13, essentially prohibit all but essential activities and businesses.

Read a copy of Austin's order here.
Read a copy of Travis County's order here.
Read a copy of Williamson County's order here.

Residents are able to leave their homes to get food and supplies, work at businesses identified as "essential", and perform other tasks. If you are out in public, you're still expected to maintain social distancing.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the chance to stop the spread of COVID-19 is now. "If we don't take advantage of this window of opportunity, then we're going to get overwhelmed by the virus," Adler said.

LIST: What's an "essential" business or activity?

The move follows other similar orders in the state's urban areas, including Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Waco, and San Antonio.

Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott underscored the importance of flattening the curve, saying that if we allow for life to go back to normal, forecast models run by Austin Public Health and the University of Texas at Austin show the area will need to provide more than 20,000 hospital beds a day by May. Escott also recommended that area schools plan on remaining closed for the rest of the semester.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has so far resisted calls to declare a statewide shelter-in-place, but during a Sunday press conference at the state capitol said if local jurisdictions felt it was necessary, they have the authority to move forward.

As of 7 p.m. Monday evening, Austin and Travis County were reporting 86 positive cases of COVID-19. Williamson County reported 5 new cases Tuesday morning, bringing their total to 19.

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