The Health Authority Rules, which are the basis for the continued mask requirements, were renewed through May 18, and include updates for those who are fully vaccinated.
“As more people become vaccinated in our area, we are able to move to more lenient requirements for those individuals,” said Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority. “However, we have not yet reached herd immunity in our community. To get there, we need more people to acquire immunity which is why we encourage people to get the vaccine when it is available to them.”
Under the Rules, an individual is considered fully vaccinated once they have completed their COVID-19 vaccination course and at least two weeks have passed since their last dose. If an individual is fully vaccinated, they are not required to:
- Quarantine following an exposure if they are not experiencing symptoms; or
- Wear a face covering in any setting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states is appropriate for individuals or groups of individuals who are fully vaccinated.
Additional updates to the Rules include changes to when an entire household needs to isolate and changes to physical distancing requirements for schools.
“We have continuously prioritized education as we made policy decisions on rules and recommendations,” Dr. Escott added. “As transmission continues to plateau in Stage 3 and many educators become vaccinated, we are coordinating our guidance for schools to be consistent with guidance at the federal level.”
In alignment with CDC guidelines, schools can decrease the minimum spacing between students from six feet to three feet, except for when Austin-Travis County is in Stage 5 of the Austin Public Health Risk-Based Guidelines.
For additional COVID-19 information and updates, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.