Austin-Travis County is currently in Stage 4

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.


Masking Recommended for all Indoors Masking Recommended for all Indoors 

Masking is recommended indoors for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Cases and hospitalizations continue to increase in Travis County as new variants, such as the Delta variant, spread throughout the community. 


alert As we obtain more information about the variants, we will update the recommendations.


View a color chart of risk-based guidelines:

  risk based guidelines chart

These are also available in the following languages: EnglishSpanish, Arabic, Burmese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Urdu, Vietnamese

View a color-blind friendly chart of risk-based guidelines:

 risk based guidelines chart 

These are also available in the following languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Burmese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Urdu, Vietnamese


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.

Regardless of vaccination status or stage, individuals need to continue to follow the additional requirements of local businesses, venues and schools.

For Vaccinated Individuals the recommendations are as follows: 

Stage 1: Participate in indoor or outdoor private gatherings and dine or shop without precautions. Travel with precautions.
Stage 2: Same recommendations as Stage 1.
Stage 3: Same recommendations as Stage 1.
Stage 4: Participate in indoor or outdoor private gatherings, dine or shop, and travel with precautions. 
Stage 5: Same recommendations as Stage 4.

Additional protective measures are recommended for people who are partially or not vaccinated

For example, partially or not vaccinated individuals should take precautions for all activities in Stages 1 through 5. In Stage 3, higher risk individuals, namely those aged over 65 or people with underlying health conditions, should avoid all activities unless essential. And in Stages 4 and 5, all partially or not vaccinated individuals, regardless of risk should avoid all activities unless essential.

 alert As we obtain more information about the variants, we will update the recommendations.


Thresholds

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.

View a color PDF chart of the risk-based guidelines thresholds:

  risk based guidelines chart

These are also available in the following languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Urdu, Vietnamese

View a color-blind friendly PDF chart of the risk-based guidelines thresholds:

risk based guidelines chart

These are also available in the following languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Urdu, Vietnamese


Stage 4, Variant/Vaccine Version (2021) FAQs

 alert As we obtain more information about the variants, we will update the recommendations.

Are we in a lock down/stay at home?

No, we are not asking people to stay home/shelter in place. We are asking those who are unvaccinated to display similar behaviors we previously requested -- avoid gatherings, only travel and shop as essential, and get vaccinated.

How are these guidelines different than the CDC or the World Health Organization?

Our guidelines offer additional recommendations beyond what the CDC and WHO broadly set for the general population. The CDC and WHO consistently recommend following the advice and recommendations of local public health officials since our recommendations are tied directly to what we are seeing on the ground, in our community.

What does Stage 4 mean?

Stage 4 means the public must take extra precautions to prevent the transmission of the Delta variant. Data shows it spreads easier and can infect even those who are vaccinated. Unvaccinated individuals are at significant risk and should get fully vaccinated or avoid gatherings and only travel/shop as essential. If going out, unvaccinated individuals should wear a mask.

What does Stage 4 mean for my business/organization?

Businesses looking for guidance on maintaining a safe environment can visit www.ATXrecovers.com for recommendations to help prioritize the well-being of employees and customers.

What are you asking people to do?

First and foremost, people should get vaccinated. Once you are fully vaccinated, we recommend taking extra precautions and wearing a mask indoors. When you are outdoors and cannot physically distance, you should also wear a mask.

If you are unvaccinated, please get fully vaccinated or avoid gatherings and only travel/shop as essential. If going out, unvaccinated individuals should wear a mask.

Does it make a difference if you are vaccinated or unvaccinated?

Yes, it does. Vaccinated people have that extra layer of protection that can prevent serious illness and/or hospitalization. Almost all of those who are hospitalized or die are unvaccinated.

Why does it make a difference?

Not getting vaccinated leaves you vulnerable to serious illness, hospitalization, and even death. Those unvaccinated can also be a host to new variants because the virus can mutate easier with less protection.

Are you asking people to mask up once again?

Yes, for everyone regardless of vaccination status. Masking helps prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.

Will there be orders issued again?

We do not anticipate issuing orders at this time. We are calling on our community once again to step up and do what is necessary to stop the spread of this virus and its variants; to help us prevent disease, promote health, and protect our community’s well being.

Why are you suggesting the guidelines may change?

Anytime the virus changes, we need to look at the data and see if we need to make adjustments in our guidance. We will continue to keep our residents updated with the latest data and recommendations to make the best decisions for themselves and loved ones.

What about kids who can’t get vaccinated?

Consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics, we recommend that children over 2 years of age who are unvaccinated wear a mask. We anticipate that the vaccine will be approved for children under the age of 12 sometime this fall 2021.

What does this mean for the school year?

Masks work. We know this because they worked last school year to keep infection rates in Austin schools much lower than the community at large. With the first day of school right around the corner, it’s crucially important that students wear masks at school -- especially in elementary school, where children are not yet eligible for COVID vaccinations.

Every parent has the right to insist that their child wear a mask while in school. If you tell an Austin ISD school that your child should wear a mask, Austin ISD will make sure your child wears a mask--and has a great school year.