Austin-Travis County moves to Stage 3 coronavirus risk

Photo of a gloved hand holding a vial marked "COVID-19"
Austin-Travis County has dropped to Stage 3 coronavirus risk-based guidelines. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Austin-Travis County has dropped to Stage 3 coronavirus risk-based guidelines. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The city of Austin and Travis County have moved to Stage 3 pandemic risk-based guidance as of Oct. 12.

The shift follows a decline in coronavirus-related hospitalizations, dropping from a moving average of 27.6 on Oct. 4 to 19.4 on Oct. 11. Additionally, the number of available intensive care unit beds has improved throughout Texas' Trauma Service Region O, which includes Travis County, with 54 beds available, up from zero at the height of the delta variant's surge in Central Texas. As of Oct. 11, there were 90 coronavirus patients in Austin-area ICUs, down 62% from 237 on Aug. 22.

However, Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County health authority, urged community members to remain vigilant against the spread of COVID-19, especially in the midst of flu season.

“Now is not the time to let our guard down. While our numbers are dramatically better than they were at the peak of this surge, we need to remain committed with the widespread, highly transmissible delta variant,” Walkes said in a news release. "Flu season is just beginning, and it will not take much to trigger another surge of cases and overburden our hospital systems again. Get vaccinated, get tested and stay home if you are sick.”

Walkes said the delta variant, which is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States and Travis County, remains highly transmissible and calls for vigilance in protective behaviors. However, she said the Austin community had made it to the other side of the summer's delta variant surge. The community entered Stage 5 guidance during the surge in early August before declining to Stage 4 Sept. 28.


Now under Stage 3 guidance, unvaccinated individuals are asked to mask up in indoor settings as well as outdoor settings when social distancing is not possible. Fully vaccinated individuals are asked to continue masking while traveling.
By Olivia Aldridge

Reporter, Central Austin

Olivia joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in March 2019. She covers public health, business, development and Travis County government. A graduate of Presbyterian College in South Carolina, Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas. Her work has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times.



MOST RECENT

Austin's Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission certified its final City Council district map plan for the 2020s Oct. 27. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin's updated City Council district map certified; new boundaries will last through 2020s

The decadelong mapping plan was developed by a panel of city residents in a process designed to be independent and nonpartisan.

Aerial photo of Aldrich Street
Mueller district announces six new businesses, including a new Veracruz All Natural taco shop location

In addition to the acclaimed taco purveyor, a cookie shop and ramen restaurant are headed to Mueller's Aldrich Street.

The French Legation State Historical Site will reopen to the public Oct. 30. (Courtesy Texas Historical Commission)
French Legation Historic Site in Austin reopens after 2-year restoration

The Texas Historical Commission is inviting the public to the grand reopening of the Austin French Legation State Historic Site on Oct. 30.

The toll increases are higher this year, as a result of inflation increasing the consumer price index over the past year. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
Central Texas tolling agency moves forward with 5% toll increases for 2022

The increases range from $0.02 to $0.10 per toll and will take effect Jan. 1.

ExxonMobil has held office space at Hughes Landing in The Woodlands. (Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corp.)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: ExxonMobil to bring Hughes Landing employees back to Spring location; Dave's Hot Chicken to open in Plano and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 27.

The second segment of the trail was split into two parts due to flood plain issues. The first part is expected to wrap up by the end of 2022.  (Courtesy Austin Public Works Department)
Austin begins work on second section of Northern Walnut Creek Trail

The city aims to have another 1.3 miles of the 19-mile trail complete by the end of 2022.

The Park and Recreation Board voted twice to deny a request to allow beer and wine to be sold in the area around Zilker Cafe. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Planning Commission turns down plan to sell beer, wine at Zilker Cafe

Eight commissioners voted in favor to deny the applicants request while two voted against the motion. Commissioner Awais Azhar abstained from voting.

Photo of Austin's skyline
Austin health authorities outline COVID-19 surge risks while eyeing possible shift to Stage 2

While Austin and Travis County remain under Stage 3 guidelines, hospitalizations have moved into possible Stage 2 territory.

Giselle Copa, an Austin Community College pharmacy student, prepares a COVID-19 vaccine for administration. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
At least 81% of Austin ISD staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, per district data

After the district had staff sign up for bonuses only available to fully vaccinated employees, the district can count its vaccinated employees at over 8,000.

"The Dude" is the signature burger at Lebowski's Grill. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Lebowski's Grill upends expectations in Austin; first Houston-area Costco Business Center opens in Stafford and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 26.

More than 35,000 passengers traveled through the airport on Oct. 25, the Monday following the 2021 F1 U.S. Grand Prix. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport sees busiest day ever following 2021 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix

The new record topped the previous busiest day by more than 3,000 passengers.