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What would entering Stage 5 mean?

Austin-Travis County officials haven't recommended that we officially enter Stage 5 yet. But what would happen if they did?

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin-Travis County has met the criteria for a Stage 5 coronavirus response, although Austin Public Health (APH) officials haven't recommended that we officially move into that stage just yet. 

But what would it mean if we did? 

RELATED: Austin health leaders meeting Wednesday to decide whether or not to enter Stage 5

There are a lot of recommendations for what people should do if and when we hit that level. Here's a breakdown:

First, there are the general recommendations – the things leaders recommend doing during all stages of the pandemic. These include practicing good hygiene, staying home if you're sick, avoiding sick people, maintaining social distancing practices and wearing face coverings.

At stages one through four, the guidelines in the other columns of APH's chart are different based on whether you're considered high-risk or low-risk. High-risk people are those older than 65 or who have underlying health risks.

But being in Stage 5 basically means those columns are the same. Everyone should act like they're high-risk.

Credit: City of Austin
Each stage is in response to the risk of spread of COVID-19. Austin-Travis County will reach Stage 5 once the 7-day average of new coronavirus hospitalizations hits 70.

In Stage 5, the City of Austin and Travis County say everyone should avoid all gatherings outside of their households, all nonessential travel and any dining or shopping that isn't essential.

Those guidelines don't come with any specific new orders, but local leaders have said they want to work with Gov. Greg Abbott on what should happen in our area if they do officially declare that we are in Stage 5.

WATCH: Austin-Travis County close to entering Stage 5


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