Austin-Travis County expands mask mandate to public colleges

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The city of Austin and Travis County on Friday extended their orders, which mandate masks in public schools, to public colleges as well.

This means students, staff and visitors older than age 2 are required to wear a face covering while on school property or in school buses during stages 3, 4, and 5 of Austin Public Health’s risk-based COVID-19 guidelines.

The order includes all public schools, public charter schools and public colleges, according to the city/county joint announcement.

The order also applies to city and county buildings. These rules are effective immediately, the city said.

On Friday, a Travis County district judge ruled in favor of the local mask mandate in public schools, blocking Gov. Greg Abbott’s order which stops local officials from enacting such measures.

Public colleges in the Austin area include the University of Texas at Austin and Austin Community College.

ACC has already joined in on the mask mandate. The college said its Board of Trustees met on Friday and unanimously voted to approve the face covering guidelines for the fall 2021 semester.

The mask mandate for all ACC buildings will start August 20.

Additional safety measures the college is taking include cutting down on the number of students/employees on campus and holding many courses online from August 23 through September 12. They are also requiring those who come to a campus building starting August 16 to complete a self-screening health app.

Learn more about ACC’s protocols on its website here.

St. Edward’s University, though a private college in Austin, also requires masks in all indoor public spaces on campus, regardless of vaccination status. The university is also requiring vaccine documentation or an approved exemption for all students, faculty and staff.

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