CDC raises Travis County COVID-19 Community Level to medium
AUSTIN, Texas - The Centers for Disease Control has raised the COVID-19 Community Level in Travis County to medium due to a recent uptick in the amount of virus spread and cases in Austin.
When the Community Level is at medium, officials say if you are at high risk for severe illness you should talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions. You should also stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if you have symptoms.
Other counties in Central Texas that have COVID-19 Community Levels at medium include Blanco, Hays, Caldwell, Williamson, Milam, Bell, and Lampasas.
Fayette County's Community Level is currently at High.
Austin Public Health recommends the following guidelines when the Community Level is medium:
- For people who are up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines: Masking is optional when gathering, dining and shopping. Mask when social distancing is not possible.
- For people who are at-risk: Indoor masking when gathering, dining, and shopping.
APH says it supports wearing a well-fitting mask and practicing social distancing as additional layers of protection to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
About Community Levels
Austin Public Health updated its risk-based guidelines to align with CDC Community Level metrics in March. Community Levels are determined by a combination of factors, including new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population in the past seven days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days.
The CDC shifted to Community Levels as much of the country achieved high levels of vaccination. The Community Levels model aims to protect those at the highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and reduce strain on healthcare systems.
Free N95 respirators
Wearing a well-fitting mask offers protection for yourself and those around you. Free N95 respirators are available at some local pharmacies. Use a feature on the CDC’s website to find a location near you.
Free COVID-19 tests
APH encourages testing before and after gatherings, especially if you plan to be in close contact with individuals who are at risk. A third round of free mail-order COVID-19 test kits are available through the federal government. You can also pick up free rapid antigen tests at APH's Metz Elementary testing site (84 Robert T. Martinez Jr. St., Austin, TX 78702).
Testing and Vaccination Information
Find vaccine providers using Vaccines.gov (Vacunas.gov in Spanish) or by texting your zip code to 438829 (822862 in Spanish) to find a nearby clinic.
APH clinics offer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations without an appointment, although creating an account online in advance saves time. COVID-19 vaccinations are free and require neither identification nor insurance. For more information and to schedule an appointment, call 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000 or visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.
A list of Travis County vaccine distribution events can be found online.
The APH Mobile Vaccination Program brings vaccine clinics to businesses, churches and more. APH is asking all organizations to fill out an online form to request a pop-up clinic.