COVID-19 Impact

Austin residents face $2,000 fine for not wearing face coverings

Austin residents face $2,000 fine for not wearing face coverings

Accel Lifestyle COVID-19 face mask
Austin City Council passed the measure on July 9. Photo courtesy of Accel Lifestyle

KVUE — 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.

The ordinance directs the public health authority to come up with a list of what those rules are, but as of Thursday evening, the rules were still not clear. One example of a possible rule is wearing a face covering or social distancing.

CultureMap content partner KVUE has learned the fine will be enforced similarly to other fines in the city, through tickets and prosecuted through the Municipal Court.

In terms of enforcement, it's still not clear if violations will be reported to Austin 311 or 911, nor which agency will respond to calls.

"The goal isn't just issuing fines, our goal should really be to get compliance across the community because this really is a life-or-death matter," said Austin City Councilmember Greg Casar. "So I hope that you bring together members of the executive team to think about all of the places where city employees are and how we can proactively make sure people are following the orders along with taking the 311 calls."

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To read the full story, head to KVUE.