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Masks required in Austin through the end of 2020, health officials say

Austin-Travis County Health Authority extended the existing COVID-19 emergency rules, which includes masks requirements and social distancing for restaurants.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Nov. 10, the Austin-Travis County Health Authority extended the existing emergency rules that promote the health and safety of Austin-Travis County residents in the fight against COVID-19.

The extension takes effect on Nov. 10 and will last until Dec. 31. 

These coronavirus emergency rules include mask requirements and social distancing for diners and restaurants. 

The extension comes after the Austin-area has experienced a "substantial increase in our case numbers over the past month," according to Austin Public Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott.

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“Yesterday we reported the highest number of new cases since September. We are up over 140 percent in a little over a month, and 60% in the past week,” said Escott in a Nov. 10 City press release. “A significantly worsening situation here in Travis County from COVID-19 transmission.”    

In the Nov. 9 Austin Public Health media Q&A, Escott said the seven-day moving average of new cases had risen to 135, which is more than double what it was at the "low point" during the last surge (64 on Oct. 4). Admissions were up more than 100% and hospitalizations were up 67% in the same time frame, according to Escott. Escott also said there has been a "significant increase" in the positivity rate and added that the rate for 10 to 59 age groups were all above 5%.

For more information on the extended Health Authority emergency rules, visit the City website here.

WATCH: COVID-19 numbers are on the rise in Austin-Travis County | KVUE

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