On Thursday, Austin City Council members agreed to fines for the maskless in Austin. People are required to wear masks in public, and violating the rule could lead to a $2,000 fine. The approved ordinance lays out requirements for the staff of restaurants and businesses to wear facial coverings and other best practices, including mandatory sterilization twice a day and social distancing. There are additional requirements for construction sites as well.
On the same day as the ordinance was approved, Austin Mayor Steve Adler tweeted, “we remain in Stage 4, though we remain very close to Stage 5. The latest 7-day average of new hospitalizations is about 72. APH continues to evaluate our Stage of Risk, & the impacts of passing the threshold of 70.”
The fines will go into effect next Tuesday.
Adler said a 35-day shutdown is a last resort, but measures such as wearing masks, contact tracing, testing and social distancing could help to avoid additional shutdowns.
City Council Member Greg Casar tweeted on Thursday, “Austin just passed two new laws to more strictly enforce all our public health & safety rules. Don’t gather in groups. Make sure everyone wears a face mask. Save lives.”
One commenter responded to Cesar’s post on Twitter by asking about requirements for wearing masks at protests and another asked about the homeless.
An Austin resident tweeted on Friday about others going maskless.
“I live in Austin and see people everywhere not wearing masks. Not the majority … but still plenty of people to spread the virus.”