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Travis County moves back to 'low' threat level for COVID-19

A higher number of new cases had recently led health officials to move the county up to the "medium" level.

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — A week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) elevated Travis County from low to medium on the Community Levels chart, the area has now moved back down to the low level.

On June 9, the CDC moved the county to the medium level amid an increase in new virus cases per 100,000 residents in the previous seven days, a key metric in determining Community Levels. The county's Community Level shifted to medium when the metric hit 200, per CDC guidelines. 

However, on June 16, Austin Public Health stated that the CDC has lowered Travis County's Community Level from medium to low.

According to APH's dashboard showing Community Level key indicators, as of June 17, the area sits at 190.12 new cases per 100,000 residents in the last seven days.

Community Levels are also determined by new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 residents in the last seven days and the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by coronavirus patients.

Under the guidelines, recommendations for people who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines are: 

  • Low: Precautions optional when gathering, dining and shopping
  • Medium: Precautions optional when gathering, dining and shopping. Masks recommended when social distancing is not possible
  • High: Use precautions when gathering, dining and shopping

Recommendations for people who are at risk are:

  • Low: Precautions optional when gathering, dining and shopping
  • Medium: Use precautions when gathering, dining and shopping
  • High: Use precautions when gathering, dining and shopping 
Credit: Austin Public Health

APH said precautions include wearing a mask, washing hands and practicing social distancing. At all levels, people can wear a mask if they choose, informed by their personal level of risk. APH says people with symptoms, a positive COVID-19 test result or exposure to someone who has COVID-19 should wear a mask.

APH updated its risk-based guidelines in March 2022 to align with the recommendation from the CDC. There are now three levels  – low, medium and high – each with corresponding guidance for people who are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines and people who are at risk.  

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