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Austin health officials update guidance for the fully vaccinated

The Health Authority Rules, which are the basis for Austin's continued mask requirements, were also renewed through May 18.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Tuesday, the City of Austin extended its Health Authority Rules through May 18, including updates for individuals who are fully vaccinated. These rules are the basis for the city's continued mask requirements.

“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.”

The rules state that a person is considered fully vaccinated once they have completed their COVID-19 vaccination course and at least two weeks have passed since their final dose. Once 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.

Other updates include changes to when an entire household needs to isolate, as well as changes to physical distancing requirements in 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.”

Along with CDC guidelines, schools can now decrease the minimum spacing between students from 6 feet to 3 feet, unless Austin-Travis County is in Stage 5 of the Austin Public Health Risk-Based Guidelines.

For more COVID-19 information and updates from the City of Austin, click here.


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