New Announcements by the City of Austin, Travis County and the CDC

Updated July15, 2020 – Tuesday July 14th, Austin-Travis County’s Interim Health Authority, Dr. Mark Escott, adopted a series of rules to help fight the continued rise of COVID-19.

We recommend reading the full update here and will summarize below as well: FOX 7 Austin: Austin-Travis County health authority adopts emergency COVID-19 rules, orders.

Effectively, Travis County and the City of Austin have instituted social distancing and mask orders which now, among other things, will continue until at least November 12th. 

As part of that order, and up until at least November 12th, there can be no groups of ten that congregate anywhere other than family and relations in a private home.  Other stipulations apply, but in general there is a defined limitation of crowds of any kind, in any open space to be under 10 persons and that group must be otherwise separated by at least 6 feet from others.  

In addition to the above, schools of any kind may NOT open for physical schooling until after September 7th, and this requires the submission of a full plan made available to all constituents (parents, teachers, students, stakeholders) in the community, at least two weeks in advance.  

We understand each new update can be confusing, so please take a moment to read the full report here.

Updated July 3, 2020 – Effective at noon today, (July 3, 2020), City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler has banned any gathering – in any space in Austin (commercial or public) – of 10 persons or more.  The order is in effect until August 15th, 2020 – or otherwise noted by the City of Austin.  Please see the summary of Mayor Adler’s order here.

Mozart’s outdoor tables are spaced with very specific safe social and physical distance criteria in mind.  They are each a minimum of 8 feet apart and accommodate patrons on multiple levels to allow for the type of distancing that can be comfortable and convenient for all our guests.  Our decks are limited to our Mozart’s patrons coming for our food, services, and offerings within Mozart’s Bakery, Coffee and our Boat Towne Market. 

 You will find signage that appears on our property informing our guests that no tables, regardless of size or capacity, shall host more than 8 people at a time.  We are intent on remaining in compliance and have set that standard to ensure it can be manageable and clear for both staff and customers.  Please know that our employees are conscientiously focused on ensuring their own safety, the safety of all our customers, and the safety of the ATX community.  We are intent on doing so by being in compliance with all our newly adopted State, County and City rulings designed to promote individual responsibility for safeguarding against the spread of the novel coronavirus.  Your cooperation with this intent is something we ask you to kindly consider as you visit our beautiful surroundings here on Lake Austin. 

We are open each and every day at 7AM and encourage you to enjoy your upcoming holiday and the days ahead of us in a safe, healthy manner.  

Updated July 2, 2020 – July 2nd at 5:30PM Central Time Governor Abbott issued a Texas statewide order making “masking” mandatory in the State of Texas . This applies to all citizens over the age of 10 in counties where there are more than 20 COVID cases (ie – wearing a mask in all business transactions with essential businesses and all occasions where there is not the ability to fully social distance). 

Mozart’s is, has been, and will remain a Mask Mandatory facility for transacting business. Since March 16th, (at the beginning of the national, state and local shutdowns), Mozart’s initiated its mask guidelines following the advice of the CDC. Our policies are of course fully compliant with Governor Abbott’s now mandatory facial covering order. 

This statewide requirement is now operating in parallel with orders already issued by Travis County and the City of Austin (where Mozart’s is located), making our business liable to fines for not enforcing those mask requirements on our patrons and employees within our interior facility. Governor Abbott’s new statewide mask order makes an initial infraction (ie – not wearing a mask in public places and essential businesses) subject to a warning issued by local law enforcement. A second infraction can result in a $250 fine. 

As a health and safety convenience for our customers and the ATX community, Mozart’s offers disposable masks, available at each entry point into our facility. More than 15,000 combined Businesses, First Responders, Restaurants, Health Care Facilities, and a range of individuals in Austin, throughout greater Texas, and across the US have made a choice to fulfill their mask needs through our direct, next day shipping online business offering. This includes Designer MasksSport & Active Wear MasksNurse Made & Approved MasksReusable Masks and Bulk Disposable Masks.

The Cotton & Silk backing of my Asaf Designs Mask doesn’t irritate my skin.  The French style and quality allow me to feel special and not drab. 
Kimberly Dallas, Texas

SportsFlex breathes when I work out.  Other people’s masks are heavy, hot and I can’t believe this has three layers each with a filter.  I get compliments all the time. 
JR – Cambridge, Massachusetts

I’ve bought at least a dozen Nurse Made since the fabrics are so easy to accessorize my outfits.  I like that this product benefits front line, health care workers.   
Lorrie – Novi, Michigan

Seems pretty cool that Mozart’s would offer a mask that you can put a Coffee filter in!  I drink their coffee, now I’m staying safe with their coffee filters, pretty cool. 
Joseph – Cedar Park, Texas

I needed bulk disposable masks for my shop – Mozart’s allowed us to buy 50# cheaper than big box stores.  I like they donate one box to health care providers for every one you buy. 
Allison – Austin Texas

Updated Tuesday, June 23 – Mayor Adler summarized the Travis County/City of Austin Mask business requirements as follows on Facebook Live.  
This order went into effect for all businesses in the City of Austin, Monday June 22nd at 11:59PM.   It remains in effect until August 15, 2020 or until otherwise modified. 

You can see the full “Stay Home, Mask, and Otherwise Be Safe City of Austin Order” here:  https://talk1370.radio.com/articles/adler-new-order-strengthens-mask-requirement-for-businesses

In summary, here are some of the updates:
– All essential, and now non-essential businesses and offices as well, must comply;
– Cafes, restaurants, Bakeries, Bars, … etc are defined as essential businesses;
– All staff and patrons must wear a mask inside the facilities of businesses to transact business;
– Patrons above the age of 6 must wear masks;
– The requirements are to remain in place until at least August 15, 2020.

Here’s when going without a mask is permissible:
– When in outdoor common areas where businesses are maintaining 6 feet social distancing;
– When in the act of eating and drinking;
– When wearing a mask would contribute to other health risks;
– When communicating with someone with hearing impairments;
– If you’re under the age of 6;

Penalty:
– $1000 fine for businesses not in compliance, for each act of non-compliance.

Read the full details here.

Updated Tuesday, June 16 – In light of a recent spike in the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations, city and county leaders have issued updated recommendations that move Travis County into Stage 4 restrictions, and extended local stay-home orders to Aug. 15.

Stage 4 recommends that lower-risk individuals avoid gatherings with more than 10 people. Higher-risk people should limit gatherings with more than two people.

Stage 4 guidelines also recommends low-risk people avoid any non-essential travel and limits the opening of workplaces to expanded essential businesses.

For more details, please see the full article here:  https://www.statesman.com/news/20200615/travis-county-2-more-coronavirus-deaths-stay-home-orders-extended-to-aug-15

Updated Friday, June 12 – Today, the CDC has issued its long awaited precautionary measures for mitigating the spread of coronavirus.  Additionally, the City of Austin has unanimously voted to cancel July 4th activities.   

Together these announcements address what is a clear trend of the “return” of cases in particular geographic regions in our country.  The State of Texas, Travis County, and Austin are in fact part of that trend of “spiking” and “returning” infection rates.  

Please see a short summary of the CDC precautionary measures here: https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-06-12/cdc-posts-long-awaited-tips-for-minimizing-everyday-risk

The guidelines repeat earlier advice about wearing face coverings, especially if it’s difficult to keep at least 6 feet away from others.

Please see a short summary of the City of Austin July 4th cancellations here:  https://www.austindailyherald.com/2020/05/july-4-fireworks-2020-pool-season-cancelled/

The recent spike in the combination of: new hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients, coronavirus new cases recorded, and an increasing % of positive testing outcomes as a rate of total tests (all within Travis County and the City of Austin) has Travis County and the City of Austin jointly encouraging precautions be taken by residents to help mitigate the localized spike. 

Please see Mayor Adler’s communication today here: https://www.kvue.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/austin-coronavirus-updates-cases-spike/269-5e7306b0-244e-481c-bf40-1f20e798bbed 

The summary of Mayor Adler’s position statement includes the expectation that either today, or Monday June 15th, prior to the expiration of the Travis County and City of Austin combined orders for sheltering at home, these orders will be *extended* until further notice.  The practical application of these orders is confusing for residents considering that the State of Texas has issued its own decree which lifts any localized County and Municipal sheltering orders.  Should you have specific questions related to what this means for you as a resident of the City of Austin or Travis County, we encourage you to contact the City of Austin and/or the Travis County Department of Health. 

Mozart’s will adhere to the State of Texas requirements while at the same time following the advisement of any and all precautionary measures provided by these recent communications.  

Mozart’s continues to practice safe social and physical distancing in a manner that places the overall community, our employees and our patrons interests above any individual preference that may believe or feel these precautions to not be warranted.  We were visited by the City of Austin COVID-19 enforcement division on Thursday, June 11th and they applauded our requirements for:
– Mandatory mask wearing for all transactions conducted in Mozart’s Cafe, Bakery & The Boat Towne Market;
– Mandatory 6′ line spacing for all individual groups queuing up to enter the Cafe along with those within the interior spacing of the Cafe and Market while waiting for Order Fulfillment;
– Mandatory NO MOVE requirement of all Mozart’s exterior tables arranged purposely on the deck with 8′ distancing between each table.

We consider ourselves fortunate to be open and privileged to be operating in a primarily “outside” open-air environment wherein recent scientific research has suggested provides a better, more mitigated environment for the spread of the novel coronavirus.  As a result, we intend to continue to remain vigilant in these advised precautionary practices for the benefit of the entire ATX community – indefinitely.  Please see the recent COVID-19 “Indoors vs Outdoors” research report and abstract here: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.28.20029272v2

We appreciate all our employees, customers and individual community efforts intent on keeping ATX safe as we adhere to the advice of our Health, Safety, and State, County and Municipal authorities seeking to work together to make our community a model environment where we have all helped mitigate the risk of further spread of this pandemic.

Updated Friday, June 5 – As we begin June, it is worth noting we have now operated within COVID-19 State, County and City orders for more than 80 days.  This duration of operating under a range of requirements intent on safeguarding the public’s health represents more than ½ the year here in 2020.  

Mozart’s does not have a prediction as to how long the ongoing operating criteria, (advocating a range of proactive and preventative health and safety measures), will remain in place.  We do know that we at Mozart’s will remain in line with observing the best practices advised by our local and state health officials and as regularly updated in their communications. 

This week Austin-Travis County Health Department officials have publicized new data that indicates there has been a significant spike in newly recorded cases beginning Monday in Travis County.  The rate recorded for these initial days of June compared with any other week since the beginning of the pandemic shows a higher daily new count case.  Our  health officials have attributed this rise to expected outcomes connected with the phasing in of the opening of the economy along with increased access to testing.   

Our response to such a trend is we are remaining steadfast in our policies currently in place.  We believe it is important we observe these trends, remain vigilant in our procedures, and continue doing what we can do in our own way to operate safely and safeguard our employees, customers and the community’s health and welfare. 

Our decks are open for your enjoyment.  Our tables are distributed in a manner where we are continuing to observe 8 feet separations between each table and we ask our patrons to observe these safeguards and not alter their placement.  We continue to require, and will do so indefinitely, that all transactions within our Cafe and Market occur with a mask worn by both our customers and our patrons.  Our employees are required to wear gloves at all times and we continue to practice table, surface and equipment sanitization at 20 minute intervals.  We have hand sanitizer stations liberally set up across our facility.  

Thank you for helping keeping our ATX community safe.

Updated Monday, May 18 – On Monday May 18th at 2PM, Governor Abbott initiated Phase II protocols for the phased in re-opening of the Texas economy.  
You can see the full transcript of the Governor’s update here.
Relevant to our team here at Mozart’s, the Governor shared “… restaurants may expand their occupancy to 50% beginning May 22 … these occupancy limits do not apply to outdoor areas that maintain safe distancing among parties.”

On Friday, Mozart’s will double its current 25% outside seating to 50%.  While the decree exempts outside seating, we at Mozart’s believe this is prudent to maintain “safe” distancing as intended by our Governor and experts.  We hope you enjoy that and our beautiful decks.  The Governor also clearly stated that ” …ask all Texans to continue heeding the guidance of our state and federal medical experts and do their part to protect public health”  Part of that is Mozart’s maintaining and joining market-leading companies such as American Airlines, Costco, and Target to adhering to safe and health requirements for their staff and patrons transacting business.  Our store requires face masks to make a purchase but in the open air of our decks, and with our tables properly spaced, you may enjoy the environment with or without as you choose.  

Updated Friday, May 8At 10:30AM today, May 8th, Mayor Adler & Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt had a joint press conference to extend City and County Shelter at Home Orders through May 31st and June 15th respectively.  See the synthesis and clarification for understandable confusion here

Updated Monday, April 27 – At 2:30PM today, April 27th, Governor Abbott issued a statement regarding the new proclamation (GA – 18).  Our Governor clearly clarified a number of forthcoming measures the State of Texas is pursuing towards the re-opening the Texas economy.  

Nothing shared here by Mozart’s should conflict with our Governor’s actual statements made, please find them here.  

Important Summary Information:

  • When: Goes into Effect, Friday May 1st at 12:00AM
  • What Changes:
    • Restaurants may reopen with capacities limited to 25% of their stated occupancy limits
  • What does NOT Change:
    • Essential businesses (Grocery stores, To-Go, Carryout, Delivery, Pickup, DriveThrus) are NOT impacted and will continue to operate as of the last State, County and City of Austin mandate
    • Physical & Social Distancing provisions remain intact and unchanged (as clear recommendations from the CDC and DHHS) 
    • Queuing and line requirements for spacing remain unchanged
    • Travis County & City of Austin Mask requirements in Travis County & City of Austin remain intact
  • What CAN BE expected to Change in the Future:
    • The Governor has mentioned May 18th as the next period of “evaluation” and advice.

What does this Mean at Mozarts:

  • Opening Schedule: Mozart’s has been open, uninterrupted during the COVID-19 crisis by conforming to essential business requirements operating as  “to-go”, “carryout”, “pickup”, “take-out”, “Black N Brew Drive Thru” and our new Grocery Store – the Boat Towne Market.
    • Effect: No Change
  • Seating Availability: Mozart’s modified its seating in our common deck area at the beginning of the COVID-19 Presidential orders and removed 75% of the usable tables – leaving Mozart’s already in direct compliance with the 25% occupancy rule published today by our Governor.  
    • Effect: No Change
  • Queuing/Line-Flow: Mozart’s adopted CDC revised requirements of 13’ of line queuing distance to enter the flow of pick-up.  
    • Effect: Due to the anticipated increase in flow with the staggered reopening together with contained infection rates, Mozart’s will relax line flow queuing to the mandated 6 Feet
  • City of Austin/Travis County Mask Requirement: The Governor’s new proclamation does not revise this local ordinance but it does eliminate the capacity for County and City of Austin officials to levy fines or criminal charges for non-compliance.  The Governor’s order plainly states an explicit recommendation that people wear face masks in public  Mozart’s agrees with the Governor and will, as a private business, require that while transacting business in the store a mask is worn. You are free on our deck seating, appropriately spaced via our tables arranged for safe social and physical distancing- use your mask (on or off) as you wish.
    • Effect: No change

As these provisions continue to change, we will update our customers. 

We believe Governor Abbott is very sensible in favoring that we all pursue coordinated measures for a staggered reopening.  “Opening Texas must occur in phases.”  Our City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler stated that the State of Texas position on reopening of business, and the general provisions of GA – 18 align with Austin’s requirements so long as phased in transactions between customers and business remain “contactless”. 

Mozart’s remains committed to keep all its employees, customers and our community safe.  We will remain vigilant in doing so as we consider it a privilege to be open and serving. 

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