Coronavirus in Austin: Fines possible for violating mask rule | kvue.com

At the city council meeting, council members discussed new ways to enforce state and local orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

AUSTIN, Texas — At a special-called Austin City Council meeting Thursday morning, council members voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that states a person who violates a health authority rule during the coronavirus pandemic could face a $2,000 fine through December 31.

This means that Austin residents who refuse to abide by Gov. Greg Abbott's order to wear face masks in public places are subject to the fines. Abbott sent a letter to Mayor Steve Adler Wednesday supporting the measure. 

Also mentioned in Abbott's letter to Austin's mayor was the possibility of passing a resolution that would allow the city to take civil action against a person who owns a business that doesn't follow the health standards mandated by the city and state.

Officials say that although police will be able to issue citations, the aim is still to get voluntary compliance.

At the meeting, council members also discussed new ways to enforce state and local orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As coronavirus hospitalizations surge and Travis County nears Stage 5 orders, Austin leaders said they will likely not move into a Stage 5 status Thursday, KVUE's Tony Plohetski confirmed. Here's a breakdown of what Stage 5 status would entail if leaders were to recommend it.

WATCH: Austin-Travis County Stage 5 explained

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