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Texas AG sues city of Austin over Covid-19 dining restrictions for New Year’s weekend


The #Texas AG sued the city of #Austin on #Wednesday after local officials placed new #Covid-19 restrictions on dining services for the #New #Year’s weekend.

#Attorney #General #Ken #Paxton, a #Republican, filed a petition for temporary injunction and a temporary restraining order in #Travis #County #District #Court against the directive, which limited restaurants to drive-thru, curbside pickup, takeout, and delivery services between 10:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. from #Thursday to #Sunday.

#Austin #Mayor #Steve #Adler and #Travis #County #Judge #Andy #Brown, both #Democrats, introduced the new four-day restriction to limit social gatherings over the holiday weekend after the state reported a record number of hospitalizations and new cases.

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#In a letter on #Wednesday, #Paxton said the new directive violated a previous order by #Gov. #Greg #Abbott and directed both officials to rescind or modify the order.

“Mayor #Adler and #Judge #Brown do not have the authority to flout #Gov. #Abbott’s executive orders by shutting down businesses in #Travis #County and our state’s capital city,” #Paxton said in a statement. “The fact that these two local leaders released their orders at night and on the eve of a major holiday shows how much contempt they have for #Texans and local businesses.”

#Paxton’s lawsuit names #Adler, #Brown, the city of #Austin and #Travis #County as defendants.

#Adler said on #Wednesday he consulted with doctors, educators and city attorneys, calling the city of #Austin in “critical” condition.

“We are now facing our most dangerous surge prospects,” he said during a news conference.

#Brown called the order “the most narrowly tailored thing we could think of” to curb the spread of the coronavirus over #New #Year’s weekend.

#Dr. #Mark #Escott, medical director of the city of #Austin and #Travis #County, urged residents to “stay home as much as possible and not gather with people outside their households.”

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“We are now experiencing uncontrolled widespread community transmission of COVID-19, particularly in circumstances where masking and distancing are not possible, making bars and similar establishments extremely concerning over this holiday weekend,” #Escott said in a statement.

#Texas logged a record of almost 12,000 hospitalizations and 27,000 new #Covid-19 cases on #Tuesday, according to the state health department’s #Covid-19 dashboard.

#As of #Thursday, #Travis #County has recorded a total of 49,648 confirmed cases and 534 deaths, according to the data.





[ source link ]
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/texas-ag-sues-city-austin-over-covid-19-dining-restrictions-n1252618

##Texas #sues #city ##Austin ##Covid19 #dining #restrictions ##Years #weekend

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