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COVID-19: Austin to Modify Operations and Public Services

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Austin City Hall
Austin City Hall. Photo credit: Todd Ross Nienkerk / That Other Paper under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

The City of Austin is modifying its operations and some public services will be suspended until Monday, March 30, 2020. This is being done to maintain the health and safety of City employees and the community at large while providing critical City services.

There will be no changes to essential city services including public safety, trash, recycling, and compost pick up, Austin Water service, Austin Energy service, and transportation services.

Beginning tomorrow:

  • All library branches will be closed
  • All non-essential Municipal Court dockets will be rescheduled
  • Austin Animal Center will be closed to the public
  • All pools, golf courses, athletic programs, recreation centers, and cultural centers will be closed*

*Camps and spring break activities will happen Monday through Wednesday and be suspended following the completion of activities Wednesday. Additionally meal services for kids and seniors will continue

“We believe these changes in City services are measured steps to help prevent the spread of this virus in our community,” said City Manager Spencer Cronk. “We asked our department directors to look at their operations and decide how to transition as many of those functions to facilitate social distancing. We understand that we have to strike a balance, and many critical City functions will continue at their normal work locations.”

City employees that are able, will begin transitioning to teleworking schedules throughout this upcoming week. Our approach strives to create internal equity among City employees while balancing the need to continue or modify City services.  For employees unable to telework, increasing the physical working space among employees and modifying operations are among the options being evaluated.

In many cases, in-person stakeholder meetings that are not time-sensitive will be cancelled. Additionally, many boards and commissions meetings this week will be rescheduled or cancelled.

“We continue to urge the public to remain calm, to be responsible, and to prepare appropriately,” said Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Health Authority for Austin-Travis County. “Our personal hygiene and social distancing messages are still the critical piece to stopping the spread of this virus.”

Please share and encourage others to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 

Source: Press release

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march 2020

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