AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt have extended city and county “Stay Home, Work Safe” orders that were set to expire Friday, they announced in a virtual press conference Friday.
“I think what’s remarkable about these new orders is that there’s not much remarkable about them,” Adler said. “These orders are continuations in substance of our past orders. It still maintains the same structure.”
The lone tweak in the orders, Adler said, was that businesses included in Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s phased reopening of Texas are exceptions to the local order. The city’s orders are extended until May 30, while the county’s are extended until June 15.
Although Gov. Abbott said his orders supersede local orders when he allowed the statewide stay-at-home orders to expire, Adler and Eckhardt have been very vocal in their opposition and feel it’s better that local leaders handle orders like this.
Adler said Gov. Abbott’s will increase social interactions with his plans, and Adler said that’s “sooner than he would have liked,” but Adler and the governor still agree on a main point.
“We continue to join with the Governor in urging to stay home when they can … to continue the 6-foot distancing and the importance of wearing face coverings,” Adler said.
Eckhardt said projections, if people in the Austin-Travis County area would have continued as if nothing was going on, showed that area hospitals would have been overwhelmed by now. She also said the infection rate of the area is 90% less than what medical science suggested under business as usual.
“Even with nearly 100 people hospitalized, we are well within our ability to provide care,” Eckhradt said. “We showed the love and kept our distance.”
She cautioned that there’s still more the community has to do in order to keep the curve flat. She said cases are still climbing, and recently hospitalizations went up from around 75 to around 90.
“Every day, ask yourself, ‘What’s essential for me today?'” Eckhardt said.