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A few Austin-area businesses starting to go back to mask requirements

This comes as Austin-Travis County encounters four cases of the delta variant.

AUSTIN, Texas — Some Austin area businesses are taking proactive measures after four cases of the coronavirus delta variant hit Austin-Travis County this week. 

Austin Public Health announced on Thursday that Austin-Travis County would return to Orange, or Stage Three out of five stages, of its coronavirus risk-based guidelines. 

RELATED: Four COVID-19 delta variant cases confirmed in Travis County, APH says

While the delta variant is mainly to blame, Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said there has been a 191% rise in coronavirus cases in the last week alone. 

Owner John Kunz of Waterloo Records said the decision to require masks again was a difficult one.

Unfortunately, with Covid infections rising in Austin, even some of the fully vaccinated getting infected, the...

Posted by Waterloo Records on Thursday, July 15, 2021

"I probably would have waited for Stage Four to kick in before we went back to it, but, you know, we just didn't want to be responsible for being the place where someone might have contracted the delta variant," Kunz said.

Part of his decision to require masks had to do with two big events his store is hosting over the weekend, National Record Store Day on Saturday and the Rocky Erickson Tribute on Sunday. 

For the safety of his staff and customers, he chose to change up his rules again. 

While most people have accepted the change, Kunz said he would not be surprised if it angered some customers. This happened the first time businesses required masks last summer. 

"I think it is the safe and smart thing to do," he said.

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