City of Austin implements new Covid-19 signage policies for businesses

Austin, Texas – Local leaders announced new health orders for businesses in an attempt to slow the spread of the highly transmissible Covid-19 variant, Omicron.

Austin-Travis County leaders put a new order in place requiring businesses to post certain Covid-19 safety signage, beginning January 17.
Austin-Travis County leaders put a new order in place requiring businesses to post certain Covid-19 safety signage, beginning January 17.  © Collage: Taylor Kamnetz/Screenshot/Austin Public Health

On Thursday, Austin-Travis County leaders announced a new set of orders for businesses, called the "Protecting customers and employees and preserving adequate workforce capacity" orders.

Under the newly-signed orders, which are slated to go into effect on January 17, businesses will be required to post signage encouraging mask use, and signage that clearly states what Covid-19 mitigation efforts are being taken to keep guests and employees safe.

Such efforts include testing employees, requiring employees to wear masks, or requiring proof of vaccination to enter the respective business.

In a press release sent out on Thursday, Travis County Judge Andy Brown said these new orders are intended to, "Support local businesses by providing them tools and options to keep their doors open, customers safe, and our local economy growing."

Though the orders don't require any business to implement mask mandates for guests and employees or take any additional safety measures, Mayor Adler stated he believes they will give businesses the necessary tools to stay open and operable.

"Today’s orders authorize businesses to choose for themselves whether they want to require masking or testing, or look at vaccinations, in their own facilities as a way to protect their customers and employees," Adler said in the press release.

The mayor added, "This is an example of government getting out of the way of business. The orders also provide for a notice to be posted on the front door so potential customers can know whether or not a business is providing these protections."

Businesses who don't adhere to the order when it goes into effect could face a fine up to $1,000.

As of Wednesday, Austin-Travis County saw a seven-day moving average of 110 hospitalizations, along with a community transmission rate of 1,254 and a positivity rate of roughly 33% – the highest the city has seen since the start of the pandemic.

Businesses can print the required signage directly from the City of Austin's website.

Cover photo: Collage: Taylor Kamnetz/Screenshot/Austin Public Health

More on the topic Coronavirus: