New guidelines, restrictions on the table if Austin moves to Stage 5

New guidelines, restrictions on the table when Austin moves to level 5

As the city of Austin enters the fifth phase of the COVID-19 risk response, several new guidelines and restrictions will be on the table, according to Mayor Steve Adler.

For the second straight day, the weekly average for hospital admissions is 50, the trigger for Austin to be placed in the 5th level COVID-19 risk category.

However, the Austin Public Health Authority says they will monitor the data for a few days before making a phase change decision.



In a statement, Austin Public Health said:

“Unfortunately, the key indicators of changes in the level of risk, including the 7-day moving average of hospital stays, number of patients in the ICU, ventilator use, positivity rate, and 7-day moving average of cases, are all on the up Next couple of days of data from the key indicator dashboard and the UT Modeling Consortium projections will be crucial in thinking about moving phases and we will monitor the trends closely.

During this pandemic, Austin-Travis County kept our COVID-19 numbers comparatively low, not by accident or luck, but through community engagement and action. Again, the actions we are taking over the coming days and weeks may move us either in the right direction or in the direction of a deadly wave like the one we have seen across Texas. “

RELATED: Austin-Travis County extends Evacuation Protection through February 1st

A Travis County spokesperson released a statement that read, “Travis County Judge Andy Brown is still in consultation with Dr. Escott to determine what additional recommendations he has for restrictions or recommendations that would help that Reduce transmission of COVID-19. “

For the second straight day, the weekly average for hospital admissions is 50, the trigger for Austin to be placed in the 5th level COVID-19 risk category.

As the Austin room moves to Level 5, Mayor Steve Adler says several new guidelines and restrictions will be on the table, including:

  • Ask the Austinites not to eat indoors or shop at retail stores indoors
  • Recommended people go home at 10:30 p.m. and may impose a curfew
  • Ask schools to cancel extracurricular activities
  • Enact new rules for bars that are currently classified as restaurants
  • When you request the community, you limit contact to their immediate household
  • Encouraging customers to keep a distance of two meters in all major business areas

“I think if you see a spike and if we go to level 5 we will because we are in danger of overflowing our intensive care units. And we will not do it until and until this seems like a significant risk” said Adler.

A spokesman for the hospital said on Friday that the intensive care units in the region are currently 80 percent occupied.

Adler said there was also the possibility of a more targeted curfew. “There has been some discussion about putting a curfew at least on New Year’s Eve so we don’t have a lot of people out that night,” he said.

RELATED: Austin-Travis County COVID-19 Orders Extended Through February 16

The Texas Restaurant Association said it appears that proposed restrictions are specifically targeting restaurants that they fear will only result in more gatherings in less regulated locations.

“We don’t have any data to suggest they are part of the spread. We certainly don’t have data to suggest that they are part of the spread at certain times of the day, and yet the knee jerk always seems to be with elevated cases . ” be restaurants, “said Kelsey Erickson Streufert, vice president of government relations and advocacy for the Texas Restaurant Association.

“It’s not a good idea to hang out with people. Well, it just so happens that people do this mostly in restaurants and retail outlets, and that’s why the rules do it, but we also encourage people not to come to their home Friend to go for a gathering and a party, “Adler said.

Restrictions have already cost thousands of business owners a living. According to TRA, a voluntary reduction in occupancy will only result in more layoffs.

RELATED: Over 110,000 Restaurants Across The Country Closed Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

“I don’t think that very many restaurants will close or just take out … From a financial point of view, it’s just completely unsustainable and they can’t afford it,” said Streufert.

Over 110,000 restaurants across the country closed due to COVID-19 pandemic

According to a survey by the National Restaurant Association, 17% of restaurants have closed and it is projected that 10,000 more will close by the end of the year.

Restaurant owners said the threat of more guidelines out of town was especially frustrating after the mayor ignored his own advice to stay home if possible in early November.

RELATED: Mayor Adler writes an open letter to apologize for traveling to Cabo San Lucas

“I made a mistake and apologized, but people need to understand the rules and their behavior so that they can try their best to protect the community and save lives,” Adler said.

The mayor said he is also encouraging people to order take-out from restaurants as often as possible and leave a larger tip than usual to offset the effects of restrictions.


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