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Federal Versus State Policy in a COVID-19 World

Nearly instantaneously upon his arrival, President Biden had ink to paper. By late afternoon on Jan. 20, he had signed executive orders mandating COVID-19 mitigation efforts elicited by the CDC be followed by all interstate travelers and agencies.

Fast forward to March 2; Governor Greg Abbott of Texas issued a press release notifying his constituents of his intent to lift his state’s mask mandate as well as to allow businesses in all sectors reopen to 100%.

Those changes are set to go into effect on March 10th – tomorrow, as of writing this article. So I set out to see what it looks like right now in a place where both federal and state policies come head to head: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), typically home to the bustling transit of thousands per day, has had to figure out how to get just as many to remain distanced and sanitary during a worldwide pandemic. What proceeds aims to be a photo analysis of the evolving tactics employed by the various private entities, local, state, and federal governments that all interact symbiotically day-by-day to keep the 32nd busiest airport (based on information obtained from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics) running.