Safety Measures: COVID-19 Updates & Resources
Below you'll find information and resources to help keep you informed
Public Health and Safety Update
A number of orders and rules are in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Below is a general overview of the current restrictions and recommendations. Please visit the City of Austin’s website for the most comprehensive and up-to-date COVID-19 information.
- Practice frequent hand washing
- Stay home if you are sick and avoid being around anyone who is sick
- Maintain social distancing of 6 feet at all times
- Wear a mask and don’t touch your face
Current City of Austin/Travis County Orders
The City of Austin and Travis County “Stay Home, Mask, and Otherwise Be Safe” Orders are in effect through February 16, 2021.
These orders direct Austin-Travis County residents to continue to practice social distancing, hygiene, and face-covering behaviors. In addition to hygiene guidelines, the orders state that social gatherings up to 10 people should be avoided or minimized, and socializing in groups of 10+ individuals outside of the same household are prohibited.
The Austin-Travis County Health Authority extended the Health Authority Rules through April 15, 2021.
Both the Austin and Travis County Orders and the Health Authority Rules can be found on the Austin-Travis County COVID-19 Orders and Rules webpage.
State of Texas
As of January 30, businesses, including restaurants, retail, and offices, may return to 75% occupancy under Governor’s Order GA 32.
Under Governor’s Order GA 32, after a state Trauma Service Area has COVID-19 hospitalizations that represent 15% of overall hospitalizations for seven consecutive days, additional restrictions on businesses and hospitals must occur. Austin-Travis County is part of Trauma Service Area O, which encompasses 11 counties in Central Texas.
The restrictions outlined in GA 32 are required by the Governor’s Order and are not optional for local jurisdictions. Businesses, including restaurants and retail, are required to move from 75% occupancy to 50% occupancy, and hospitals are required to stop elective surgeries.
For current information on the Governor’s orders and regulations, visit the Texas Coronavirus Resources and Response Page.
COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines
Austin-Travis County is currently in Stage 4, the second-highest level, in Austin Public Health’s risk-based Guidelines.
Stage 4: Includes the recommendations for Stage 3 and advises individuals to avoid non-essential travel. Businesses are recommended to operate up to 25-50% capacity.
Image credit: KVUE
Click here to review a chart of risk-based guideline thresholds and recommendations.
COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Information
At this time, individuals in the Texas DSHS definition of Phase 1A and Phase 1B are eligible to be vaccinated. However, there is currently not enough vaccine supply in our area to meet the demand for everyone who falls within these categories.
- Phase 1A: Front-line healthcare workers and residents at long-term care facilities
- Phase 1B: People 65 years of age and older; people 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19
Austin Vaccs Facts: Check for weekly updates on vaccine distribution in Austin-Travis County
Austin Public Health has launched a COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration system to help vulnerable individuals access the vaccine. You can pre-register here.
Austin Public Health Testing
Austin Public Health operates several COVID-19 testing sites throughout Austin. Options include drive-thru sites, in-home testing, and neighbor testing locations. Click here to learn more.
Downtown Testing Locations
- UT Health
- UT Health Austin offers drive-thru testing by appointment only. Call 1-833-UT-CARES to schedule an appointment.
- Tarrytown Pharmacy has set up a downtown testing site in the parking lot at 3rd and Colorado.
- Rapid testing available by appointment
- Click here for more information.
Testing is available at private sites around Austin, including through hospitals, at pharmacies, or at urgent care centers. View the COVID-19 Austin-area Test Locations Map here.
Active City of Austin Relief Efforts:
- Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program
Opens: August 19, 2020, at 8:00 a.m., Closes: Until funding is expended
Review the City of Austin’s recap of 2020 Covid-19 Economic Resources and distribution.
Resources for Businesses, Employers and Job Seekers
Paycheck Protection Program
- The U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) initiative has reopened for certain new and existing borrowers. Click here to access resources for new and existing applicants.
- Visit the NFIB website for webinars and the latest updates focused on helping small businesses navigate and recover from the pandemic.
- Eligible businesses may apply for a Second Draw PPP loan.The SBA has reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and is currently accepting applications for Second Draw PPP Loans as of January 13, 2021.At least $25 billion is being set aside for Second Draw PPP Loans to eligible borrowers with a maximum of 10 employees or for loans of $250,000 or less.
Face Mask Guidelines
All individuals over the age of ten must wear some form of covering over their nose and mouth. Parents and guardians of children under ten shall be responsible for appropriately masking children when outside their residence. Wearing a face covering should not be used as a substitute for social distancing and frequent hand washing.
Our Downtown Ambassadors are hard at work to keep downtown clean and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with increased cleaning efforts, they are setting up handwashing stations, practicing social distancing, and sharing information on good hygiene practices.
Contact the ambassadors at (512) 937-7422 for safety escorts, graffiti removal, and more. Click here for a full list of their services.
If you have additional information that would be helpful to the downtown community, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.