AUSTIN, Texas – After both Austin and San Antonio were named as two of the top five hotspots in the U.S. for COVID-19 due to the recent uptick in infections last week, Mayor Steve Adler says the risks of contracting the virus in the area are much greater.
The mayor issued a press release on his website to Austin residents on Sunday, June 21st, and said due to the climb in cases, experts say when residents go out, they are “three times as likely to catch the virus today” as they were two weeks ago.
This past week, Austin had a major uptick in infections, moving from a stage 3 to stage 4 risk level, according to Adler. The city had 5,286 COVID-19 cases, as of Saturday, which is up from around 4,300 on Friday, Adler said.
In San Antonio, health officials reported 6,344 COVID-19 cases, which was an increase of 382 cases from Friday.
Mayor Adler said in the release he has extended the city’s emergency order until August 15, requiring face coverings, social distancing and minimized social gatherings to help contain the spread.
Austin businesses are also required to “create and post a health and safety plan for employees and visitors” that requires masks, the mayor said. The city is expected to add another executive order for masking requirements on Monday.
In Bexar County, facial coverings will be required at all area businesses when social distancing is not possible. The executive order, issued by Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, goes into effect Monday, June 22. order is in effect until June 30.
Both Mayor Adler and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg joined other Texas mayors in writing a letter to Texans about staying vigilant in the fight against COVID-19.
Citizens were reminded to “Wear a mask, practice physical distancing, wash your hands, don’t throw house parties, remain vigilant,” as COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations are on the rise.
You can read the full letter here.