City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Orders serve to outline strong recommendations for individuals, businesses, and organizations
Austin, Texas – Today, Dec. 23, the City of Austin and Travis County released orders related to the move to Stage 5 of the COVID-19 risk-based guidelines. This is the first time since the beginning of the pandemic that Austin-Travis County has moved to Stage 5, the highest stage.
This change was made today based on a rapid increase in hospital admissions, cases, and test positivity rates across the community. Other key indicators for stage changes, include the number of patients in the ICU, ventilator usage, and the 7-day moving average of cases, are all trending upward.
"We are entering a dangerous time,” said Travis County Judge Andy Brown. “If our community does its part and follows the Stage 5 recommendations being presented today, we can stop the spread of COVID-19 and the necessity for more restrictive measures."
Information about today’s move to Stage 5 can be found here: austintexas.gov/news/austin-public-health-increases-covid-19-risk-stage-5-highest-level.
As a result of the move to Stage 5, the City of Austin and Travis County have released updated sets of orders. They can be viewed on the COVID-19 Rules and Orders page under “Current Orders.”
The City of Austin orders supplement the “Stay Home, Mask, and Otherwise Be Safe” City orders that were updated on Dec. 15. The orders take effect at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 23, 2020 and will be in effect until Jan. 11, 2021.
The Travis County orders supplement the “Stay Home, Mask, and Otherwise Be Safe” County orders that were updated on Dec. 15. The orders take effect at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 23, 2020 and will be in effect until Jan. 11, 2021.
The orders do not constitute a change in regulations for the City of Austin, but instead serve to highlight strong recommendations that Austin Public Health, the City of Austin, and Travis County encourage individuals, businesses, and organizations to take.
The orders contain recommendations for individuals about staying home, utilizing low-contact or contactless dining and retail options. They also contain recommendations on actions for restaurants, retail stores, and schools.
The orders also note that a failure to implement these recommendations may result in more stringent measures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
"We are in Stage 5 – but there is a light on the horizon,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler, “The vaccine – the miracle we have been waiting for – has arrived in Austin. Please stay with us for the last leg of this race. We have the power to impact whether or not our hospitals are overrun and how many neighbors face serious illness or death over the holidays. It’s up to us – it always has been."
For more information about COVID-19, visit AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.