AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the area approaches possible Stage 5 restrictions, the City of Austin and Travis County are extending the area’s COVID-19 orders through mid-February, according to a release sent Wednesday afternoon.
The release said leaders made the decision Tuesday to extend the “Stay Home, Mask and Otherwise Be Safe” order through Feb. 16, 2021. The health authority has also extended its rules through April 15, 2021.
The City of Austin’s order extends the current requirements for masks, social distancing and limiting gatherings. The extension also adds quarantine requirements that have been updated to match Austin Public Health’s new quarantine guidelines released earlier this month.
Travis County’s order also follows suit.
The extended health authority rules now include quarantine requirements and also requirements for dine-in or indoor food beverage services, as well as define high-risk individuals and settings. The new definitions will also match with APH’s change to quarantine guidelines.
In recent days before the extension was announced, APH Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott has been warning the community about the increasing spread of the coronavirus, and that University of Texas projections show we could move into Stage 5 of COVID-19 risk-based guidelines by next week.
He cautioned if behavior doesn’t change across the area, Austin could see a surge in cases like El Paso has.
If Stage 5 were to happen, a curfew could be implemented and extracurricular activities for schools could be halted, APH said in a Wednesday update. It is already suggested that religious services move online.
COVID-19 vaccine doses arrived in the area this week, with Austin healthcare workers being among the first in the state to get the shot.
Here’s where you can read the orders and rules online:
You can also find more information on the Austin-Travis County website.