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City revises Covid-19 guidelines chart

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Anyone watching the city’s Covid-19 dashboard and its key indicators chart knows that numbers in the region are climbing; 67 people were hospitalized with the virus Tuesday, and the 7-day moving average is currently at 55, and in an orange Stage 4. On Tuesday, the city adjusted the chart used to define the stages, softening the threshold of when the city will cross into a red Stage 5. Under the old calculations, a seven-day average of 70 would put Austin/Travis County into Stage 5 restrictions. Now that threshold is an average of between 70 and 123 cases. A press release from the city explains that the new numbers take into account 1,500 hospital beds available to treat Covid-19, and the average length of hospital stays, which according to the press release “changes daily.” The release elaborates, “In Stage 4, the exact hospitalization average trigger will depend on the rate of increase. A faster increase in the daily average will trigger Stage 5 risk recommendations when the number reaches the lower end of this range.” At the moment, in Stage 4, higher-risk individuals over the age of 65 and with chronic medical conditions should avoid social gatherings and meeting with more than two people. Everyone in the community is asked to avoid groups larger than 10, practice social distancing, wear masks, wash their hands, and avoid touching their face. The new chart is embedded below.

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