March 24, 2020

Austin Issues Stay-At-Home Order To Help Stop Coronavirus Spread

As reported by

The City of Austin has issued an orderfor residents to stay at home to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

See Official Order from Mayor Adler

The order requires all nonessential businesses to close or have employees work from home and further restricts other gatherings. Essential businesses, like grocery stores and pharmacies, can remain open. Hardware stores, laundromats, gas stations and child care facilities are also among those businesses that are exempt. 

Residents are allowed to leave their homes for the following essential activities:

  • For health and safety, including doctors’ and veternarian appointments
  • To get necessary supplies and services, including groceries and pet supplies
  • For outdoor activity, including walking and bicycling – as long as people comply with social distancing requirements
  • For certain types of work, including essential business, government service or critical infrastructure
  • To take care of others, including pets.

The city is holding a news conference at noon.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler told KUT on Monday that such an order was necessary to prevent hospitals from getting overtaxed and said residents would need to take it seriously.

“It takes really the collective action, all of us pulling together, all of us taking this seriously,” he said. “But if we do that, then we should be able to fare better.”

Echoing the mayor, Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said the community had a “very short window to really affect COVID-19’s expansion.”

On Sunday, Gov. Greg Abbott said he would not mandate a shelter-in-place order for the state, though he said local officials could issue them if they choose to do so. He said he wanted to first gauge the effectiveness of his order limiting restaurant service and temporarily closing schools, bars and gyms.