AUSTIN, Texas — While everyone is urged to stay home and practice social distancing in order to stop the spread of coronavirus, a watering hole near Barton Springs Pool was packed with Austin residents Tuesday, March 24.
Hours after Austin leaders announced that they are placing a "stay-at-home" order in the city, a picture was posted on Facebook, showing dozens of Austin residents at a popular outdoor spot in Austin near Zilker Park and Lady Bird Lake. In the photo, which Cord Shiflet said he took between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on March 24, people are seen standing, swimming and playing in close proximity to each other.
Shiflet's post garnered thousands of shares, comments and reactions.
"Lockdown. Social distancing," the post read. "Working well I see. While you all are freaking out about the beaches in Florida....how about you freak out about our own backyard? This is Zilker Park about an hour ago. Not. Cool. The City of Austin's shelter-in-place orders begin tonight. Stay the hell at home. The Trail will be here for us all when we get through this difficult season. Protect your parents. Protect my parents ... "
The shelter-in-place order Shiflet is referring to is the City's "stay-at-home" order, which was also announced in Williamson County. It means that residents are being asked to stay home unless it's necessary for them to leave their homes, and businesses that are not essential are ordered to close.
The orders are an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt called the orders an aggressive but necessary measure.
KVUE's Brad Streicher asked Austin's mayor about the photo.
"The health of this community, the welfare of this community, is dependent of there not being large gatherings of people in the parks," Mayor Steve Adler said. "If that's happening, it has to stop."
Adler went on to say that the City may decide to close certain areas if people don't abide by the order to stay home.
"Again, if we find that people are congregating or aggregating in ways that really hurt the community and put lives in jeopardy, then we're going to have to stop those or close those," he said.
Social distancing means that people must stay six feet away from others and not gather in groups.
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