Austin-Travis County is currently in Stage 3
Austin Public Health (APH) has published a color-coded chart to help residents of Austin-Travis County understand the stages of risk and provide recommendations on what people should do to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
APH is currently exploring the most effective indicators to help determine the level of risk in the local community. Provisional triggers are being modeled based on the number of hospitalizations because of their general correlation with numbers of cases, use of ventilators, deaths, and availability of effective treatment and vaccination.
View a color chart of risk-based guidelines in the following languages:
View a color-blind friendly chart of risk-based guidelines in the following languages:
The new risk-based guidelines set out five distinct stages of risk, from the lowest threat, Stage 1, through the most serious, Stage 5, along with recommended behaviors for each stage.
For lower-risk individuals, defined as those with no substantial underlying health conditions who have a lower risk of complication and death from COVID-19, the recommendations are as follows:
|Stage 1: Practice good hygiene, stay home if sick, and avoid other people who are sick. APH is working on recommendations for maximum sizes of gatherings. Businesses are recommended to operate up to 100% capacity.|
|Stage 2: Includes the recommendations for Stage 1 and adds: Maintain social distancing and wear fabric face coverings in public. Individuals are urged to avoid dining and shopping except with precautions, and to avoid gathering in groups of more than 25 people. Businesses are recommended to operate up to 75% capacity.|
|Stage 3: Includes the recommendations for Stage 2 and also urges individuals to avoid all gatherings with social groups greater than 10. High-risk individuals should also avoid non-essential travel. Businesses are recommended to operate up to 50-75% capacity.|
|Stage 4: Includes the recommendations for Stage 3 and advises individuals to avoid non-essential travel. Businesses are recommended to operate up to 25-50% capacity.”|
|Stage 5: Includes the recommendations for Stage 4 and urges individuals to avoid all gatherings outside of the household and avoid dining and shopping except as essential. Businesses are recommended to only operate through contactless options such as curbside and delivery.|
Additional protective measures are recommended for people at higher risk, namely those aged over 65 or people with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, obesity, or those who are otherwise immunocompromised.
For example, higher-risk individuals are urged to avoid dining and shopping except with precautions, and avoid gatherings of more than 25 people, even at the lowest level, Stage 1. As the stages progress from 1 through 4, higher-risk individuals are advised to limit the size of their gatherings, and their dining and shopping, to a greater extent than lower-risk individuals. However, by Stage 5, all individuals are advised to limit their activities and exposure to the same degree, whatever the condition of their health.
The thresholds for the stages have/will change as Austin Public Health communicates with our hospital systems and monitor the University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium projections. APH also evaluates the resources such as staffing, supplies, and space in counties across the state. Thresholds are one of many factors used to determine the risk level.
View a color PDF chart of the risk-based guidelines thresholds in the following languages:
View a color-blind friendly PDF chart of the risk-based guidelines thresholds in the following languages:
***Staging thresholds are subject to change as additional information is received. While the primary indicator is new hospital admissions, additional indicators are looked to for stage changes including the 7-day moving average of hospitalizations, number of patients in the ICU, ventilator usage, positivity rate, and the 7-day moving average of cases.