Austin may soon move to Stage 5 restrictions with citywide curfew

KVUE – Austin could enter phase 5 of the risk-based guidelines set by the city’s health officials if new coronavirus cases don’t slow down, the top doctor said in a briefing two weeks after Thanksgiving.

The 7-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Austin-Travis County is up 131 percent from the previous month. More than 300 are in the hospital and 100 of them are in the intensive care unit.

Dr. Austin Health Department Mark Escott said if we continue to see new cases at this rate, the city may have to cut things even further by the start of the Texas legislature on Jan. 12.

“If the broadcast stays as it was, we will begin this legislature in Phase 5,” Escott said at a meeting of the Travis County Commissioners Court.

Austin and Travis Counties are currently in phase 4 of the city’s risk-based guidelines. Phase 5 advises everyone to avoid all gatherings with anyone outside of your household and to avoid personal dining and shopping. Phase 5 recommends that businesses, including restaurants, only use contactless options such as curb and delivery.

Escott said he could also recommend stopping extracurricular activities in schools and imposing a curfew on the city if level 5 is deemed necessary.

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