Austinites told to stay home because of COVID-19

Texas News

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Mayor Steve Adler has issued a stay-at-home order for the city of Austin, effective 11:59 p.m. Tuesday through April 13.

The order says non-essential businesses are to close, and both public and private gatherings of any number outside a single household are prohibited.

The order also restricts travel of any kind to “essential” travel only, like going to work at an essential business or going to the grocery store as examples.

Essential activities are defined in the order as:

  • Health and safety
  • Necessary supplies and services
  • Outdoor activity
  • Certain types of work
  • To take care of others

The health and safety exception simply means if you have to leave your home to get medicine or anything directly involving the health and safety of anyone in your household (pets included), you can.

Necessary supplies and services means you can go to the grocery store for food, get supplies to work from home, household consumer products and “products to maintain the safety, sanitation and operation of a residence.”

You can go outdoors for exercise if you practice social distancing and stay at least six feet apart from everyone.

If your job is deemed essential, you can carry on work-related activities.

You can also leave your home to take care of a family member, or pet, at another residence.

City and county lawyers are discussing Monday night when it would take effect.

“I think everyone’s trigger with this virus is recognizing that while it’s going to pass through and lots of people are going to get it, to try and not have everyone get it all at once so the hospital systems are not overtaxed,” Adler said.

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said Williamson County will join the city and Travis County in signing the order.

“We have a very short window to really effect COVID-19 expansion through our community,” Eckhardt said. “The longer we wait, the more acute the spike will be. So we need to act fast to decrease the circulation of people in Travis County and surrounding areas.”

Dallas County issued a similar order Tuesday and the city of Waco followed suit Monday.

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