Local officials put that order in place throughout the weekend, including Jan. 1 and Jan. 2. However, after a legal challenge from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling Jan. 1 that will block further enforcement of the order.
Special Order Issued: https://t.co/YVgm8chCbD.
— Supreme Court of TX (@SupremeCourt_TX) January 2, 2021
In a statement Jan. 1 as his office brought the appeal to the state Supreme Court, Paxton said state orders override the actions of the local authorities.
“We cannot have local declarations conflicting with Gov. Abbott’s clear order,” Paxton said in the release.
After the Supreme Court’s decision, Travis County Judge Andy Brown said he was disappointed by the news.
“I continue to encourage everyone in Travis County to celebrate and eat safely at home until our overall COVID-19 numbers have decreased. I also would ask everyone to consider supporting local restaurants by ordering food for takeout as I did with my family last night,” Brown said in a release.
Austin and Travis County are at Stage 5, the highest risk level, under local COVID-19 guidelines. Between Dec. 1 and Jan. 1, the seven-day average of new COVID-19 hospitalizations increased from 30 to 68.1. As of Dec. 30, according to a the area’s three major hospital systems, the 2,473 hospital beds in the Austin area ae 78% occupied and the 483 Intensive Care Unit beds are 85% occupied.