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Austin businesses may up capacity as COVID hospitalizations fall
(Laura Figi)

An alternate care site at the Austin Convention Center opened earlier this month to care for COVID patients amid rising hospitalizations.

Trauma Service Area O, an 11-county region that includes the Austin area, no longer qualifies as a high-hospitalization area according to state guidelines. As a result, certain businesses may increase their capacity limits from 50% to 75% and hospitals may resume elective surgeries.


The threshold for high hospitalization status is reached when the portion of COVID-19 patients in a trauma service area's hospitals exceeds 15% for seven consecutive days.

The Texas Department of State Health Services sent a letter to Travis County Judge Andy Brown on Saturday alerting him that Trauma Service Area O no longer qualifies.

"While our community has taken measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19, this new development does not mean this deadly virus is no longer a threat," Brown said in a statement. "I continue to encourage everyone in Travis County to take extra steps to help mitigate any further spread of COVID-19."

Trauma Service Area O surpassed this threshold on Jan. 3, as confirmed cases and related hospitalizations surged in the wake of the holiday season.

Since Jan. 9, however, the average number of daily hospital admissions due to COVID has generally trended downward. The daily average number of COVID-related hospital admissions in the five-county Austin metro is now 75 per day, down from 94 on Jan. 9, according to Austin Public Health. The daily average number of new confirmed COVID cases has also declined, from a high of 702 on Jan. 17 to 519.

Although Trauma Service O is no longer in the high-hospitalization range, Travis County remains in Stage 5, the most acute stage, according to APH's risk-based guidelines.

Popular

Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation


🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway