The Greater Austin Metropolitan Area Goes on Lockdown to Prevent the Spread of the Coronavirus

Laura Lorek
5 min readMar 25, 2020

(Texas Virus News Podcast)

Stay home, stay safe.

That’s the message from most major metropolitan areas in Texas. Many County and city leaders have now issued stay at home, shelter in place orders requiring Texans to remain in their homes.

On Tuesday, Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell and Austin Mayor Steve Adler held a noontime press conference and announced that they have all issued orders requiring residents to remain home except to get groceries and other supplies and to individually exercise outdoors.

The order went into effect at midnight on Wednesday.

“We’re asking our community to stay home to the greatest extent possible,” said Travis County Judge Eckhardt.

All nonessential businesses have been closed under the order.

The move is being taken to flatten the curve of the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Austin-Travis County reported 98 cases of people with the Covid-19 virus as of Tuesday night. Williamson County had 14 cases.

San Antonio and Bexar County reported 69 confirmed cases Tuesday.

Harris County and Houston also issued lockdown orders on Tuesday. That follows on the heels of Dallas, San Antonio, Waco and Galveston.

The University of Texas at Austin has shown city officials models that shows Austin will be overrun by May if the city and its citizens don’t take action today to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus, said Dr. Mark Escott, interim health authority for Austin Public Health.

Austin has enough equipment to get through the next three to four weeks, but if it doesn’t take action today, the city is going to run out, Dr. Escott said.

Austin is still in the process of ramping up testing and getting more personal protective equipment for healthcare workers is needed, according to public officials.

Right now, Austin is at 50 percent social distancing and that has bought valuable time, Dr. Escott said. This Stay Home Stay Safe order will get everyone to 75 percent, but we need to be at 90 percent, he said.



Laura Lorek

Chief Creative Officer at, host of the Ideas to Invoices Podcast and veteran technology journalist: 5 newspapers, 1 magazine & 1 startup.