AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Public Health has updated the risk-based guidelines chart it uses to assess how the area is handling the pandemic and what steps the public needs to take to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The adjustment is based off current local hospital capacity and data from the hospital systems.
As of June 30, Travis County is operating at Stage 4 and will be able to remain in Stage 4 for a longer period of time before crossing into Stage 5 by following the University of Texas’ revised hospitalization triggers for the chart.
However, 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, APH says.
APH reports the five-county Metropolitan Statistical Area has approximately 1,500 beds available to treat COVID-19 patients. Along with hospital capacity, the revisions also account for average length of hospital stay, which changes daily. Currently, the majority of COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized stay in the hospital nine days or less.
APH’s new stage thresholds are as follows:
- Stage 1 (Green): Zero (0) new COVID-19 hospital admissions in a 7-day period
- Stage 2 (Blue):Average of less than 10 new COVID-19 hospital admissions in the MSA in 7-day period
- Stage 3 (Yellow):Average of 10-39 new COVID-19 hospital admissions in the MSA in a 7-day period
- Stage 4 (Orange): Average of 40-(70-123) new COVID-19 hospital admissions in the MSA in a 7-day period
- Stage 5 (Red): Average of greater than 70-123 (dependent on rate of increase)