The city’s risk-based guidelines have been raised as a result of the surge in cases in the Austin/Travis County area and the emergence of the Delta strain. This is the first time these guidelines have been raised since the winter storm in February.
The number of cases daily has tripled in the last week, from 30 cases a day to 90, while the number of hospitalizations as a result of coronavirus has doubled. Austin health officials have begun requesting reinforcements in hospitals.
Officials attribute some of these rises to the Delta strain, a highly transmissible coronavirus variant.
As part of the Stage 3 guidelines, unvaccinated individuals should avoid poorly ventilated indoor areas, crowds, dining out, shopping, and traveling. Vaccinated people should take the precautions necessary.
30 percent of the eligible population of Austin/Travis County have not gotten their first dose of the vaccine.
While Austin public health officials have raised the guidelines to Stage 3, there is no legal backing behind the recommendations since Gov. Abbott has abandoned all pandemic mandates.
Businesses have not received new recommendations since all mandates were lifted in March.
“We cannot pretend that we are done with a virus that is not done with us,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said during a Thursday news conference.