Some Austin restaurants, bars will keep masking requirements, capacity limits when statewide orders lift next week
Two days shy of the one-year anniversary of Texas' first confirmed case of COVID-19, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he will rescind statewide pandemic restrictions, including business capacity limits and mask mandates, next week. Although businesses—especially those tied to the hospitality industry—have suffered financially over the last year, many Austin establishments are rejecting Abbott's order.
Red River music venue Mohawk tweeted shortly after Abbott's announcement, racking up hundreds of likes and retweets.
Thanks bro but we ain't gonna do it till it's safe
— Mohawk Austin (@mohawkaustin) March 2, 2021
North Austin brewery 4th Tap Brewing Coop "will continue to operate at a limited capacity for the time being with social distancing measures in place," according to a recent tweet. "And as part of our dress code, we will require that you continue to wear a mask while not seated. Our staff will continue wearing masks as well."
In light of today's announcement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/9uiErF3Wm7
— 4th Tap Brewing Coop (@4thtap) March 2, 2021
East Austin's Yellow Jacket Social Club posted on Instagram, saying it will continue to enforce masking for all patrons and staff. The bar also quoted Abbott, who said "businesses don't need the state to tell them how to operate" as part of his announcement.
Better Half Coffee & Cocktails, near Clarksville, also took to social media to reiterate its masking mandate. "CANT BELIEVE I AM POSTING THIS A YEAR IN GIVE US A BREAK," the business wrote, adding in response to a comment about capacity limits that its indoor dining space will remain closed.
Better Half's sibling business and Rainey Street food truck Bummer Burrito had a similar response: "FYI WE ARE STILL IN A BIG OL PANDI K THX."
Southern Heights Brewing Co. chimed in, too.
Austin Beerworks said in a tweet that the governor's announcement will not impact its taproom policies—including outdoor-only service and required masking for all customers when not at their tables—which have been in place since late July.
Although Texas has eased restrictions on masks and indoor seating, our taproom policies will not change until further notice. The safety of our staff and customers is still our top priority.
For more information on those policies, please visit: https://t.co/L3kO36D8sg
— Austin Beerworks (@AustinBeerworks) March 2, 2021
Epoch Coffee, which has four locations around Austin, will continue to require people be masked when ordering and picking up their coffee.
Local businesses weren't the only ones to take issue with Abbott's announcement. Although new COVID cases and related hospitalizations continue to trend downwards locally, Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said lifting the mask mandate too soon could lead to another surge. "My hope is that the mask mandate will continue at least through the end of April to allow us to ride this curve down," he told Austin City Council members and Travis County commissioners Tuesday morning.
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Austin police are investigating the killing of Moriah "Mo" Wilson after she was found with gunshot wounds inside an Austin home.
Wilson, a gravel and mountain bike racer, was visiting Austin from Colorado in preparation for the Gravel Locos race on Saturday taking place in Hico, a small town 2 hours from Austin.
On Wednesday, her roommate came home and found Wilson unresponsive with "a lot of blood near her,” police said. It is now being investigated as a suspicious death. No further information on the suspect or motive behind the killing are available at this time.
Wilson recently had become a full-time biker after winning a slew of races in the past year.
Some of your favorite Instagram filters can’t be used in Texas anymore and Austinites are sounding off on social media.
Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, announced on Wednesday that certain filters would no longer be available in Texas.
The change is a result of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against Meta, alleging the company uses facial recognition technology that violates laws in Texas. A release from Meta says it stopped using facial recognition tech in November 2021 and denies Paxton’s allegations.
Some Austinites bemoaned the shift, saying some of their favorite filters were now unavailable.
This was my FAVORITE filter on @instagram and they done removed it cause I’m in Texas ! Like wowwwwww pic.twitter.com/uX60hdIC0Q
— Pinkyy Montana (@inkstar_pinkyy) May 11, 2022
i heard that instagram filters got banned in texas? what the actual fuck y’all better give me my favorite filter back
— lia 🤍 (@liatootrill) May 11, 2022
loved this stupid filter sm i hate texas pic.twitter.com/DXr9mmUc64
— birthday boy jeno 🎂 (@beabtox) May 12, 2022
But more often than not, locals joked about the ban.
Texas women seeing the filter ban on IG pic.twitter.com/yDMcP3Qtsr
— Christian (Anabolic) Flores (@christian_flo24) May 11, 2022
So, the state of Texas has banned filter use on IG? THE END IS NEAR. 😂
— THE FRANCHISE! Франшиза (@NYCFranchise718) May 12, 2022
And some in-between chose to show off some natural beauty.
I live in Texas, but no filter needed. 😉 pic.twitter.com/A6teRgYMKn
— bad and bruja (@starseedmami) May 11, 2022
filter, no filter..texas women still reign supreme.
— 🎍 (@_sixile) May 11, 2022
Finally, some are trying to cash in on the opportunity.
Texas IG users- if you want to filter your picture cashapp me $1.50 $ErvnYng
— Gemini (@ervn_y) May 11, 2022
Meta said it plans to create an opt-in system for both Texas and Illinois residents, who are facing the same issues.