COVID-19 watch

Austin moves down to Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions, officials say

Austin moves down to Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions, officials say

Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin
City health officials say key indicators are moving in the right direction. Photo by David Hensley/Getty Images

Austin health officials moved the city back to Stage 4 of its COVID-19 response guidelines on Tuesday, February 9.

The announcement comes as Austin's hospital admissions keep moving in a downward trend. Austin Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said that even though they are dropping the area to Stage 4, he was concerned about Super Bowl parties bumping it back to Stage 5.

“Particularly given the presence of a more contagious variant in our community, we would like individuals to continue to take protective actions,” Escott said in a February 9 press release. “We have been successful because of the choices the community has made to be safe and follow the data-driven risk guidelines.”

What changes between Stage 4 and Stage 5?

In Stage 5, everyone is advised to stay home and only leave for essential trips. Businesses are encouraged to do contactless options only.

In Stage 4, high-risk people are recommended to avoid gatherings of more than two people and avoid non-essential travel, dining, and shopping. Low-risk people are recommended to keep social gatherings to groups of less than 10 and also avoid non-essential travel. Businesses are encouraged to operate at 25 to 50 percent capacity in Stage 4.

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