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Austin enters Stage 3 territory for hospital admissions

Austin has officially dipped below 30 daily hospital admissions.

AUSTIN, Texas — Days after Austin Public Health moved Austin-Travis County to Stage 4 of its risk-based guidelines for COVID-19, the Austin area has officially entered Stage 3 territory for hospital admissions.

As of Sept. 30, the seven-day average for hospital admissions hit 29.7 per day, according to the Austin COVID-19 dashboard. The threshold for Stage 3 when it comes to the hospital admissions metric is a seven-day moving average of 15 to 29 admissions.

However, hospital admissions is not the only metric health officials consider when determining what stage the city should be operating at. Officials monitor several key indicators, including the 7-day moving average of new hospital admissions, positivity rate and current ICU and ventilator patients. 

In the past, when the area's COVID-19 metrics have moved into a new threshold, officials monitor the statistics for several days before moving Austin-Travis County into a new stage.

In Stage 4, fully vaccinated people should wear a mask when participating in indoor gatherings, traveling, dining or shopping and should wear a mask for outdoor gatherings if they cannot socially distance themselves. Partially or unvaccinated people should avoid gatherings, travel, dining and shopping unless essential and should wear a mask when conducting essential activities. 

Under Stage 3, vaccinated people are urged to wear a mask except at outdoor gatherings and while dining and shopping, while the unvaccinated are urged to wear a mask at all times.

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