Restaurants in Austin and Travis County with questions about COVID-19 regulations and issues now have access to a hotline, launched by Austin Public Health. The Helping Austin Restaurants Today (HART) hotline is active as of today, Monday, April 13.
Businesses can call (512) 978-4278 (which spells out “HART”) from 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. People who have questions during off-hours can leave voice messages or send emails to EHSD.Service@AustinTexas.gov.
“We know that it’s challenging for [restaurants] to keep abreast of frequently changing federal, state, and local COVID-19 regulations, guidelines, and scientific findings,” said Don Hastings, the assistant director of APH Environmental Health Services Division (EHSD) through a press release.
L’Oca d’Oro co-founder and general manager Adam Orman previously told Eater how he received contradictory emails from seven different organizations regarding novel coronavirus protocols, from three nonprofits, three different government offices, and the restaurant’s health care provider.
Currently, Austin bars and restaurant dining rooms have been closed for nearly a month and will remain so through Friday, May 1, in accordance with city policy, but restaurants are still able to stay open for takeout and delivery service.
In addition to regulating closures, there have also been government guidelines around health. APH released requirements for Austin restaurants and trucks in mid-March, which include hourly disinfection and sanitization of high contact touch points, hand sanitizer availability for staffers and customers, and requiring that sick employees with fevers of 100.4 degrees or more stay at home.
APH is working with the Texas Restaurant Association and its Austin chapter to circulate information as well.