Austin Mayor Steve Adler extends Stay Home-Work Safe ordinance to May 8


Cade Spencer

Junior Cade Spencer and his dad, Randy Spencer, wear masks while taking a walk around their neighborhood. As of Tuesday, April 14, the City of Austin expects all residents over the age of 10 to wear masks when in public areas or when six feet of physical distance cannot be easily maintained.

Cade Spencer, Managing Editor

On March 24, the Austin Mayor Steve Adler released a Stay Home-Work Safe ordinance that restricted any further jobs or activities that were not classified as essential. Although the initial Stay Home-Work Safe ordinance was scheduled to end Tuesday, April 14, Adler declared on Monday that the ordinance will be extended  until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 8. 

“The next three weeks are going to be critical for us,” Austin Public Health Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said in a public announcement. “What we’re trying to do is buy time for more PPE, buy time for more testing capabilities […] and to ultimately buy time for two of the most critical components of this, effective treatment and vaccinations.”

Alongside the City of Austin, Travis County has also extended its Stay Home-Work Safe ordinance to May 8.

“I think the extended quarantine will benefit the community inside a household a lot. It gives each family a chance to connect and rekindle any loss of relationship,” junior Eliza Sparkes said. “It is hard to stay in touch when we can not physically see one another, but ultimately it will make friendships stronger and will hopefully open peoples eyes to not take [loved ones] for granted.” 

In addition to the extension of the Stay Home-Work Safe ordinance, Adler has mandated that as of 12:00 a.m. on Monday, April 13, all Austin residents over the age of 10 should wear masks or some form of protection that covers the mouth and nose when in public. 

“I think that the mask policy is a good idea to continue slowing down the spread just because a lot of people are asymptomatic to COVID-19,” junior Makenna Haynes said. “I think it is socially responsible and it is better to be safe than sorry.”

Adler’s public announcement stated that masks would be required when individuals over 10 years of age use public transit (including rideshare services such as Uber), pump gas, and when they are outside and six feet of physical distance cannot easily be maintained. 

“I am thankful that people are now required to wear masks because it prevents unnecessary actions such as people leaving their houses due to boredom,” Sparkes said. “As well as this, it will hopefully make people understand just how serious it all is and therefore help slow the spread by people taking appropriate precautions.”

Although Haynes agrees with the new mask policy, she also feels that the reality of the situation is a little unnerving.

“It is pretty scary to see everyone wearing masks, but the reality of it all has set in for me already,” Haynes said. “It is necessary to take these precautions, so I’ve accepted it. It’s crazy that all of this has changed in the past month, but it is our new way of living for now.”