The City of Austin has enacted Emergency Rules to reduce the continuing spread of COVID-19 in our community. These rules, in effect July 14, 2020, through November 12, 2020, include specific requirements for individuals and work sites, as well as additional requirements for construction sites.

Businesses and individuals must follow these requirements or potentially face legal action and civil penalties. Work sites that do not comply could be identified as a Public Health Nuisance and subject to civil suit, while individuals can be fined up to $2,000 per day if they do not follow the requirements.

In an effort to support worker and community safety, please review the Notice of Emergency Rule Adoption – Public Health Authority Rules and ensure these practices are used consistently at any work site(s) you maintain or operate. Please also ensure all employees on site know about these requirements and their importance.

Rules Applicable to Individuals

2. Rules Applicable to Individuals.

   2.1. Face Coverings.

      2.1.1. Except as provided in 2.1.2, an individual must wear a face covering when outside of his or her residence.

      2.1.2. Exceptions. A face covering is not required for:
 any person younger than 10 years of age (though it is still recommended for children two years of age and older);
 any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
 any person while the person is eating or drinking, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink;
 any person while the person is (a) exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors and (b) maintaining a safe distance from others not in the same household;
 any person while the person is driving alone or with passengers of the same household as the driver;
 any person obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening, or the need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a personal care service involving the face, but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal;
 any person while the person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water;
 any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
 any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship;
 any person while the person is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience; or
 any person while temporary removal of the face covering is necessary for communication by or with a person who is hearing impaired; or
 any person who is alone, or in the presence of only members of the same household or residence, in a separate room or single space not accessible to the public, and not in an indoor common area.

   2.2. No more than ten individuals may stand or gather together.

   2.3. Physical Distancing

      2.3.1.  Except as provided in 2.3.2, an individual must be at least six feet apart from another individual.

      2.3.2.  Exceptions. An individual is not required to stay six feet from another individual in the following circumstances:
 When passing another individual is incidental and momentary.
 When all individuals reside in the same household.
 When it is not feasible to maintain six feet distance between a service provider and patron.
 When individuals are dining in groups of less than ten.

      2.3.3.  A parent or guardian of a child who is under the age of 10 is responsible for maintaining physical distance between the child in their household and others’ households.

      2.3.4.  A group of ten or fewer individuals must be at least six feet from another group of ten or fewer individuals except when the groups are seated at tables that are at least four feet apart and separated by a solid barrier.

   2.4. Positive Test, Pending Test, Known Exposure, or Symptomatic.

      2.4.1.  If someone in a household is COVID-19 positive or is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test, the entire household shall isolate and avoid travel outside of the City of Austin except to seek medical attention until the household is cleared by Austin Public Health.

      2.4.2.  When seeking medical care or emergency medical care, an individual who is COVID-19 positive, is experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or experienced a known exposure must notify the healthcare provider in advance or, in the event of an emergency, the 9-1-1 call taker and first responders.

      2.4.3.  An individual who tested positive shall: 
 notify Austin Public Health if the residence does not allow for physical separation from other household contacts (separate room and bathroom);
 notify Austin Public Health if a member of their household is over the age of 65 and/or if they have underlying medical conditions identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of increasing the risk of complications from COVID-19; or
 remain in home quarantine for at least 10 days following the onset of their illness and at least three days (72 hours) after the conclusion of their illness (resolution of fever without medications and improvement in cough and shortness of breath), whichever is longer.

Rules Applicable to Sites

3.1. General. Rules 3.1-3.3 do not apply to a site that where child care programs operate.

3.2. A person in control of a site must:

   3.2.1.  require each individual to wear a face covering except as provided in 2.1.2;

   3.2.2.  clean and disinfect high touch items at least twice per day;

   3.2.3.  limit the number of individuals who gather or stand together to ten or less;

   3.2.4.  require at least six feet between groups of individuals except when the groups are seated at tables that are at least four feet apart and separated by a solid barrier;

   3.2.5.  conduct a general health pre-screening of each worker every day before the worker begins his or her shift;

   3.2.6.  keep toilets clean, sanitary and operational at all times and ensure proper disposal of waste from these facilities;

   3.2.7.  provide single use disposable paper towels and no-touch trash receptacles in restrooms and breakrooms;

   3.2.8.  mandate workers wash their hands for at least twenty seconds at the following times: before workers begin work; after workers remove gloves; before and after the use of shared items such as tools, electronic; devices or multi-user devices; before and after any meal or restroom breaks; and after a worker’s shift or work time ends; and

   3.2.9. for workers confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, follow all directions from Austin Public Health concerning that worker and other workers that may have come in contact with the infected worker.

3.3. Signs required. A person in control of a site shall post:

   3.3.1.  at least one face covering signs at or near each entrance;

   3.3.2.  at least one Austin Public Health “Help Prevent Disease” signs at each entrance and on each restroom door; and

   3.3.3.  where information for workers is customarily posted, at least one sign in English and at least one sign in Spanish that explains the requirement to remain at least six feet apart and the requirement to wear a face covering.

Rules Applicable to Construction Sites

5.1. Construction Sites. A person in control of a construction site shall comply with Rules Applicable to Sites and:

   5.1.1. institute staggered shifts for sites with more than 10 active workers and post at these sites, in languages understood by all persons working there, a notice showing the sizes and types of shift crews working there, and directions on how the person in control is limiting crew sizes and rotating shifts;

   5.1.2.  ensure handwashing station and restroom(s) are spaced six feet apart or more from each other;

   5.1.3.  prohibit the use of community water coolers;

   5.1.4.  provide individual water bottles or instruct workers to bring their own;

   5.1.5.  designate a COVID-19 safety monitor who is always on-site; and

   5.1.6.  ensure that each worker who enters a jobsite has signed in and keep a list of and contact information for each worker that enters the jobsite every day for the purpose of identifying and notifying workers if they have shared a jobsite with someone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19.

View the full text for the July 14, 2020 Emergency Rules Adoption - Health Authority Rules