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Austin public college students will need to mask up after city amends mask mandate

Austin public college students will need to mask up for the fall semester after Austin's newest amendment. (Austin Community College/Facebook)

Students at Austin public colleges and charter schools, including Austin Community College, will now need to add masks to their school supplies after Austin and Travis County added public colleges to their latest mask mandate.


The rule now requires students, staff and visitors over the age of two to wear a face-covering at all public schools, including charter schools and charter colleges, within the city.

The ACC Board of Trustees responded to the mandate with a unanimous decision to institute a mask mandate for those ages 2 and older starting August 20, while a city official told reporters Friday that the University of Texas may be exempt from the rule due to its existence on state property. The city's mandate goes into effect immediately.

All visitors and staff are also required to wear a mask while on all city or county property as per rules laid out by the city's risk-based guidelines.

City officials went against Gov. Greg Abbott's ruling in reinstating mask mandates on Wednesday after the metro's available ICU beds shrunk to just two. The seven-day average of COVID-related hospitalizations rose to 84 as Austin switched to Stage 5, the highest level of risk-related recommendations.

Texas metros are following a similar route, with Dallas and Bexar counties securing a temporary restraining order to block Abbott's ban and require masking in schools. Alongside Florida, the state accounts for nearly 40% of new cases in the U.S. as the nation encounters its worst spike since late winter.

Abbott is still backing his March ban on masking, advocating for face coverings as a "personal choice." Both Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the filing of a petition to "strike down" such mask mandates.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler said that going against the governor's wishes was a tough decision, but not one they hadn't done before—in March, the city maintained a mask mandate for weeks after Abbott's reversal and was subject to a lawsuit by Paxton. The district judge's decision went in Austin's favor.

"These are necessary yet difficult decisions, but those guided by the data and doctors will remain our North Star," Adler said. "We've already been in court twice with the governor," he told KXAN. "The district court the last two times has upheld our ability to issue these kinds of orders locally."

The decision comes after UT sent out an email Monday that all students will be required to take a viral COVID-19 test before arriving in Austin or 72 hours before moving on campus if they are already in the city.

Popular

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