COVID-19 Levels Force Austin-Travis County to Move to Stage 4 Restrictions
(Austin) – As Austin-Travis County raises the COVID-19 Risk-based Guidelines level to Stage 4, the second highest level, Central Health is urging residents to reconsider holiday plans. Central Health, the Travis County Healthcare District, created a simple quiz to gauge and score the risk level of holiday plans and provide ideas for lower-risk celebrations.
“November and December include several holidays that are popular for friends and family to get together – often in large numbers and over long periods of time.” Mike Geeslin, President and CEO of Central Health said. “The “Spread Joy, Not Germs” quiz encourages people to reflect on the upcoming holidays and determine if their plans are too risky.”
By answering questions about general COVID-precautions as well as the size, location and travel required for the gathering, respondents score their holiday plans and determine if they are low, medium or high risk.
“The safest way to celebrate the holidays during this pandemic is to stay home and not host gatherings or parties,” said Dr. Alan Schalscha, chief medical officer of Central Health-affiliated CommUnityCare Health Centers. “Ultimately, we each have choices we can make to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We hope this simple quiz makes people think twice about some of their holiday choices, and even adjust their plans to stay safe and healthy.”
Austin-Travis County is moving to Stage 4 because of a variety of factors, including the upcoming holidays and substantial increase in COVID-19 cases, positivity rates, hospital admissions, hospitalizations, patients in Intensive Care Units, and ventilator usage over the past two weeks.
If you do plan to celebrate the holidays in-person with people outside of your household, the quiz provides tips to protect yourself, your family and friends:
- Gather outside.
- Avoid physical contact.
- Keep the group as small as possible.
- Wear masks when not eating and drinking.
- Meet for a shorter period of time to minimize exposure.
Download Holiday Plan Quiz
(English & Spanish)