Austin-area businesses can now move to 75% occupancy

Austin-Travis County businesses can now increase capacity to 75 percent, the city and county said.

On Saturday, the Texas Department of Health announced previous COVID-19 restrictions on occupancy requirements and restrictions, as outlined by Governor Greg Abbott’s Order GA-32, for Trauma Service Area O, which also includes Austin-Travis County , have been repealed.

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The state restrictions could be lifted in Austin on Saturday

Austin is still in the fifth phase. However, according to health officials, hospitalization rates will soon be less than 15 percent of total capacity.

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GA 32 requires additional restrictions on businesses and hospitals after COVID-19 hospital stays, which account for 15 percent of all hospital stays, have been performed for seven consecutive days in a government trauma service area. Trauma Service Area O crossed that threshold on January 10, but as of Saturday January 30, COVID-19 hospital stays in the area were below 15 percent for seven consecutive days.

The city and county say local businesses, including restaurants and retailers, are now allowed to operate 75 percent from 50 percent for this reason and allow hospitals to perform reelected surgeries.

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“This is a clear sign that the COVID-19 situation in our region is improving,” said Dr. Mark Escott, Austin-Travis County Interim Health Agency. “We can’t let go now, though. Let us lead the way as a church flattens a curve and keeps it flat. With fewer restrictions, more responsibility comes with it. We must keep staying home and reducing risk to save lives.”

Despite the easing of occupancy restrictions, Austin-Travis County remains in Phase 5 of the COVID-19 community risk level. the highest level. The fifth stage recommendations include:

  • No gatherings with anyone outside your household
  • Eating and shopping should be limited to essential excursions
  • Avoid unnecessary travel
  • Businesses are advised to work through contactless options (e.g., roadside, delivery).

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WATCH: Weekly questions and answers on COVID-19 virtual media with APH guidance

Austin Public Health (APH) provided its leadership team with weekly virtual media Q&A to give reporters the opportunity to ask questions about COVID-19.

“It is critical that everyone continue to take protective measures,” said Stephanie Hayden-Howard, Austin public health director. “Wearing a mask, washing your hands, keeping your distance and avoiding gatherings were life-saving measures during this pandemic. We won’t be able to vaccinate our path to flatten the curve right now, so we have to take it upon ourselves to protect you our community to further reduce transmission. ”

COVID-19 hospital data for the five-county Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) can be found on Austin Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboards. You can find historical data and raw data in the COVID-19 Data Hub.

Further information on COVID-19 can be found here.

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