COVID UPDATE

Austin officially moves back to Stage 5 risk level for COVID-19

Austin officially moves back to Stage 5 risk level for COVID-19

Coronavirus COVID-19
Mask up, Austin. We're back at Stage 5. CDC

KVUE — For multiple days, Austin and Travis County have surpassed the threshold for Stage 5 of the city's COVID-19 risk-based guidelines. Now, leaders have officially placed the city under Stage 5.

As of Wednesday, August 4, the seven-day average for new hospital admissions is at 67 and an average of 389 people are hospitalized, according to Austin Public Health. The threshold for Stage 5 in Austin-Travis County is 50 to 90 new hospital admissions, depending on the rate of increase.

"This surge is by far the fastest and the most aggressive that we've seen," said Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes on August 5, weeks after another surge of coronavirus cases hit the Austin area.

Earlier this week, Austin Public Health said it's considering rethinking the Stage 5 guidance in light of the delta variant.

At a joint meeting with the Travis County Commissioners Court and Austin City Council Tuesday, Walkes said there are some guidelines she knows will be included in the “Stage 5 Delta Recommendations.” Walkes said vaccinated people will be asked to wear a mask.

Walkes said recommendations will include asking that vaccinated, high-risk individuals avoid large gatherings where masks aren’t required. APH will also encourage vaccinated people to talk with their unvaccinated loved ones about getting the vaccine.

Unvaccinated people are recommended to avoid all gatherings and travel and choose curbside and delivery options when possible. They are asked to wear a mask if “you must go out” to conduct essential activities.

Austin-Travis County moved to Stage 4 on July 23.

---

Continue reading this story on KVUE.com.