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Austin-Travis County extends COVID-19 rules, including for masking in schools

On Tuesday, the Austin City Council voted to extend the current rules until June 10. The Travis County Commissioners Court also acted to extend the County's rules.

AUSTIN, Texas — The current health authority rules aimed at protecting Austinites from COVID-19 will remain in place for at least a few more months.

On Tuesday, the Austin City Council voted to extend the current rules until June 10. The Travis County Commissioners Court also acted to extend the County's rules.

Under those rules, anyone over the age of 2 is required to wear a face covering on school property and school buses as long as Austin-Travis County is in stages 3, 4 or 5 of the area's risk-based COVID-19 guidelines. Masking is also still required inside City and County buildings.

Austin-Travis County remains in Stage 3 as of Dec. 15.

The vote from the council and commissioners came after a briefing from Austin Public Health where local health leaders shared their concerns as 2021 comes to a close. They said while there are likely three cases of the omicron variant from the University of Texas community, they know that number could go up.

Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes urged people not to let their guards down.

"We have operated as a community knowing that at some point, once it hit our shores, that eventually it would make it to Travis County. But we have not let our foot off the gas," Walkes said. "We are preparing for the holiday season with the resolve that we have as a community that we will and can protect ourselves from this."

Health leaders are encouraging people to continue getting vaccinated and get booster shots, as well as testing before traveling or gathering with loved ones this holiday season.

You can see the latest COVID-19 stats for Austin-Travis County by visiting the area's COVID-19 dashboard.

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