TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently issued an executive order prohibiting government entities and public health authorities from requiring facial coverings in public settings.
That, combined with a relaxed COVID-19 guidance for vaccinated people recently issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has prompted Austin-Travis County to revise its Health Authority Rules.
The Health Authority Rules have been updated as recommendations rather than requirements following the issuance of GA-36, which prohibits public health authorities and governmental entities from requiring face coverings.
📌 Press Release: https://t.co/LwlUiqw2Tu
— Austin Public Health (@AusPublicHealth) May 21, 2021
While masks aren’t required in the region businesses may still mandate their usage. In addition, it’s still recommended that those people who remain unvaccinated or are only partly vaccinated continue wearing masks.
The following is recommended for fully vaccinated people:
Resume normal activities without wearing a mask, except when required by a business
Resume domestic travel without testing and quarantine before or after travel
Resume international travel without testing, unless required by the destination, and refrain from quarantine after arriving back in the United States
Refrain from testing and quarantine following a known exposure, unless you develop symptoms
“We choose to focus our energy on fighting COVID in our community. We choose to focus on the health and safety of all of you, our residents,” said Dr. Mark Escott, interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority. “There is now more urgency to be vaccinated as protection measures will not be required.”
According to Austin-Travis County, the public health authority is aiming for 70% of the population to be vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity. Travis County is currently at 62.14% for people 12 and older who are partially vaccinated and 49.42% fully vaccinated.
“While the pandemic is not over, the Austin-Travis County area is at a lower level of risk than the rest of the state because so many of you chose higher measures of protection to keep you, your family, and those around you safe from COVID,” Interim APH Director Adrienne Sturrup said. “We want our community to be COVID wise – getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, and maintaining social distancing provides the highest level of protection from COVID-19.”