Travis County Bans Outdoor Gatherings Of More Than 100 People
Outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited in Travis County starting Friday through July 10.
County Judge Sam Biscoe issued an order Thursday that states violating the new restriction could result in a fine of up to $1,000.
The order also says people should not be in groups of more than 10 people, unless they are part of the same household.
The announcement comes two days after Gov. Greg Abbott gave local governments the power to limit gatherings of more than 100 people. Texas has reported record-high numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases this month. On Thursday, the state saw the highest daily increase in cases yet – nearly 6,000. The positivity rate – the percentage of tests that come back positive – has doubled since late May.
Austin and Travis County have also been reporting record numbers. In a news conference Wednesday, local medical professionals warned hospitals here could be overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients in the next few weeks if behaviors don’t change. They urged people to wear masks in public, sanitize their hands frequently and stay home as much as possible.
There are some scenarios in which outdoor gatherings of 100 people are still permitted. Per the governor’s order, the ban doesn’t apply to sporting events, swimming pools, water parks, zoos, rodeos and amusement parks. These spaces are supposed to operate at no more than 50% of their normal capacity limits.