AUSTIN, Texas — The delta COVID-19 variant is raging, a large portion of the Texas population remains unvaccinated, and a tipping point was reached Thursday in Travis County.

What You Need To Know

  • Austin-Travis County moved into Stage 5 of Austin Public Health's risk-based COVID-19 guidelines on Thursday 

  • Comes as the seven-day average for new hospitalizations sits at 67 

  • Guidance includes more stringent recommendations for high- and low-risk people as well as the vaccinated and unvaccainted

  • Texas on Wednesday reported more than 19,000 new cases of COVID-19, most of them involving the delta variant 

Citing mounting hospitalizations and a dwindling availability of ICU beds, Austin Public Health has moved the Austin-Travis County region back to Stage 5 of its risk-based guidelines, which includes the most stringent recommendations to mitigate the spread of the disease.

The seven-day average of new hospital admissions is at 67 as of Wednesday. A total 390 people are currently hospitalized, according to Austin Public Health.

The threshold of hospital admissions to reach COVID Stage 5 in Travis County is 50 to 90 admissions. There were 91 new admissions as of Wednesday.

Travis County just moved into Stage 4 COVID guidelines July 23.

Under Stage 5 recommendations, private indoor gathering are not recommended for those who are unvaccinated, those who are only partially vaccinated and those who are vaccinated but are still at a high risk of developing complications from the virus.

In addition, for high-risk people, neither indoor nor outdoor private gatherings are recommended. Travel is discouraged unless essential. Dinning should be limited to outdoors with protections in place, and shopping should be limited to takeaway or curbside.

It’s recommended that people at low risk only attend indoor or outdoor gatherings with precautions and that dining should be outdoors with precautions.

The Texas Department of State Health Services on Wednesday reported a staggering 19,003 new cases of COVID-19, 15,558 of which are confirmed and 3,445 of which are probable. Sixty new fatalities were reported.

By executive order, Texas agencies that receive state dollars are not permitted to enact mask or vaccine mandates.