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Local Health Leaders Refine Criteria for Pandemic

November 8, 2021
Local Health Leaders Refine Criteria for Pandemic

Local regional public health leaders are saying there are no plans to loosen pandemic restrictions anytime soon. On Friday, they made the announcement there is, in fact, a new method of tracking the threat level of the coronavirus in the community.

Local Community Transmission Rate

The Austin-Travis County health authority, Dr. Desmar Walkes, has said the Austin Public Health is also going to consider the weekly community transmission rate. That is when to decide whether or not to downgrade the agency’s risk-based guidelines.

Ranging from Stage 1 to Stage 5 are the Austin Public Health guidelines. Also, each comes with a varying level of recommendations by the agency which is based on how severe COVID-19 transmission is at the time. It is considering very severe and in fact, it was triggering in early August. Then it was after the highly contagious delta variant did cause a deadly surge in the community. Moreover, there were increasing vaccination efforts and then mask-wearing which slowing the virus to help bring the Austin area back to Stage 3 on October 12th.

New Hospital Admissions for COVID-19, Rolling 7-Day Average 

There is a rolling seven-day average, according to the Austin Public Health. It is based on daily new hospital admissions for COVID-19 to determining the threat of what is calling a community spread. In fact, Stage 5 is the highest level.

On Friday, the rolling weekly average of new daily hospital admissions did go up slightly. However, the community transmission average was 51.4.

The Austin Public Health is going to consider whatever number is, in fact, higher, whether that is the community transmission rate or the rolling weekly average of new daily hospitalizations. It is based on determining the risk-based guidelines.

Thresholds for Community Transmission

There is new thresholds for community transmission rates are as follows:

• Stage 1: When the community transmission rated is below 5

• Stage 2: When the community transmission rated is between 5 and 10

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