In September, RRISD approved a mask matrix tied to the risk levels of transmission in Williamson and Travis counties. Williamson County and Cities Health District announced Nov. 15 that it would use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data tracker to determine the level of risk to residents. This puts the county in the orange/substantial community risk range and brings the district's mask matrix to orange/Stage 4. While this may signal a very slight reduction in risk from red/Stage 5, masks remain required on RRISD campuses for those without an exemption.
Students and staff who have already submitted exemption forms do not have to resubmit them, according to the district. Although the district includes parts of Travis County, the matrix is based on the higher level of risk, currently in Williamson County. Austin Public Health rates the risk of transmission in Austin/Travis County as Phase 3, corresponding to yellow/Stage 3 in the district's matrix, when masks would be "strongly recommended" but not required. This is the first time the matrix has shifted down the spectrum since its approval by the district.