AUSTIN, Texas - Austin Public Health has announced that it is moving to Stage 3 of its COVID risk-based guidelines. The announcement came at a joint session of Austin City Council and the Travis County Commissioners Court.
Dr. Desmar Walkes with Austin Public Health says the seven-day moving average for hospitalizations has decreased. She says there's also been a decline in cases and a gradual reduction of people in ICUs and needing ventilators.
The risk-based guidelines correlate with five distinct stages of risk for Austin-Travis County and are not changes to local rules or regulations for businesses; they are guidelines and recommendations for individual actions and behaviors based on levels of risk of exposure in the community.
People are still being urged to get vaccinated, for both COVID and the flu, and to get your booster shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine if you're eligible. Officials say vaccinations and wearing masks continue to be the key in preventing the spread of COVID.
COVID-19 vaccinations are free and require neither identification nor insurance. Residents can locate providers in their area using Vaccines.gov or they can text their zip code to 438829 (822862 in Spanish) to find a nearby clinic.
WHAT ARE STAGE 3 RECOMMENDATIONS?
Fully vaccinated individuals are able to participate in both indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask. They can also dine and shop without a mask, depending on the requirements of individual businesses.
People who are partially or unvaccinated are advised to wear a mask for indoor and outdoor activities and to avoid them if they are high risk unless it's essential. That also applies to dining and shopping.
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