AUSTIN, Texas — The City of Austin and Travis County sent out a COVID-19 emergency alert Tuesday ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday through the Warn Central Texas notification system.
Subscribers to the regional emergency alert system, which is used to notify people during emergencies and other public safety events, got the alert Tuesday afternoon.
According to a press release from the City of Austin, the alert is due to rising cases and hospitalizations in the area and across the state. Local officials are urging people not to gather with others they don't live with during the holiday, stay home as much as possible, wear masks and continue washing their hands.
Landline phones have automatically opted into the system.
The alert was sent in both English and Spanish after 3 p.m. It reads:
This is an important message from Travis County, TX
Recently, COVID-19 cases have been increasing rapidly in Austin-Travis County and around Texas. Austin Public Health is asking you not to gather with people you do not live with to help slow the spread of the virus during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Recientemente, los casos de COVID-19 han estado aumentando rápidamente en Austin, el Condado de Travis y en todo Texas. Salud Pública de Austin le está pidiendo que no se reúna con personas que no viven con usted para ayudar a detener la propagación del virus durante las fiestas del Día de Acción de Gracias.
“I know we want to celebrate; I know we want to get together with our families; I know we want to do the things we normally do, but now is not the time for that,” said Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority. “Now is the time we have to be strong together by only gathering within our own household.”
The City of Austin is still offering free coronavirus testing. For more information, click here. However, all testing sites will be closed on Thanksgiving day.