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Austin-Travis County requiring masking signs outside businesses in new COVID orders

Local officials issue new order for businesses to help stop spread of COVID. (Austonia)

As the omicron COVID surge continues to affect businesses and schools, local leaders are implementing new orders for businesses to follow in the hopes of slowing the spread of the virus.

On Thursday morning, the city of Austin and Travis County announced the “Protecting Customers and Employees and Preserving Adequate Workforce Capacity” orders. The orders include:

The announcement states the orders are to allow businesses to stay open while prioritizing messaging that illustrates measures proven to help mitigate transmission. It goes into effect on Monday, Jan. 17, in which businesses can be fined $1,000 if they do not post the required signage.

The City of Austin is preparing to distribute 96,000 face masks to small businesses to help enforce the new orders. More details about the mask distribution will be announced in the coming days.

“We appreciate every business that does their part to keep our community and their customers healthy and safe,” Travis County Judge Andy Brown said. “Today’s orders support local businesses by providing them tools and options to keep their doors open, customers safe, and our local economy growing.”
The order comes as the omicron surge has disrupted business for many. Dozen's of businesses have had to adjust their hours or close their doors altogether as too many employees get sick.

Currently, the city is in Stage 5 of Austin Public Health's risk-based guidelines. In this stage, everyone is asked to mask indoors but it is not enforceable.

As of Wednesday, the positivity rate in the community is almost 33%—the highest it’s ever been. The area is seeing a community transmission rate of 1,254 and a seven-day moving average of hospitalizations of 110.

“From teachers, cashiers, and cooks to nurses, techs and EMS, there’s never been a greater risk for all of us in the community to catch COVID-19, and our way of life is in danger because of it,” Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said. “We must take as many precautions as possible to stop this spread. Wear well-fitting masks anytime you go out, get vaccinated and boosted and stay home if you feel sick.”


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway