AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin health officials could officially elevate the area to Stage 4 COVID-19 risk-based guidelines Friday as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
Health officials are holding a video conference at 10:30 a.m. Friday to address the rise in cases and subsequent change in recommendations for the public to take to drive cases back down. Stage 4 recommendations are to put masks back on regardless of vaccination status, and those who aren’t fully vaccinated to avoid travel and dining/shopping unless it’s essential.
As of Friday morning, the county’s COVID-19 dashboard reports the seven-day rolling average of new hospitalizations is 35, five above the Stage 4 threshold. The positivity rate for the area is 9.6%, a figure that’s accurate as of July 17, and 302 new cases were reported Thursday with 39 new hospital admissions.
Austin-Travis County Local Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes moved the area to Stage 3 just a week ago.
Here’s a chart made by KXAN showing the days Austin-Travis County has spent at the different stages:
Local hospitals are getting the brunt of the increase in cases and hospitalizations as intensive care units are filling up and staffing is becoming strained. Walkes said in a briefing July 15 that she has asked the state for help in providing more staff to hospitals in the area.
We will stream the video conference in this story and on Facebook.
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