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Austin Public Health is helping those 80 years old and older get quick access to vaccines. Although vaccine appointments opened up to the general public in Texas on Monday, APH will also continue to book appointments for first responders, people 50 and older, those with an underlying health condition and teachers before offering appointments to the public.

APH is asking residents 80 and older to call 3-1-1 for a quicker appointment set up. Those who qualify can call and provide their name and phone number so that the department can call back with an appointment time.

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(Sonia Garcia/Austonia)

An unmasked employee at UnBARlievable on Rainey Street takes down social distancing signs around the bar as it is no longer enforcing COVID restrictions.

When Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the mask mandate and said businesses could open at 100% capacity, some Austin bars rejoiced. For bars that have opened as restaurants for months now, however, shifting back wasn't something they felt ready for.

Going against the governor's wishes, Austin leaders are urging businesses to follow the local order that keeps the mask mandate even as Abbott's restrictions are lifted statewide. On Wednesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton even threatened legal action on the city if Austin continued to hold the order in place.

With tensions high and a city in limbo, Austonia staff visited several bars across the city to see how both businesses and customers have reacted. But it wasn't exactly the roaring 20's the day the order was lifted. Here's what they saw.

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Two hours after Gov. Greg Abbott announced that state mandates on wearing masks and limiting business capacities would be lifted, Mayor Steve Adler wrote a letter to the city urging residents to keep their masks on and stay safe.

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Austin's COVID-19 risk has been moved from Stage 5 to Stage 4 effective Tuesday, according to Austin Public Health authorities.

Under Stage 4, experts recommend Austinites avoid non-essential travel and gatherings over 10 people. Masking and social distancing should still be maintained when in contact with those who are not members of one's immediate household. While Stage 5 recommends not dining out, Stage 4 gives the ok to dine out. Businesses may operate between 25-50% capacity. Schools should limit attendance at sporting events to those participating in those events.

Officials expected to move to Stage 4 in the second half of February. Although hospitalization levels are still at Stage 5 rates, levels continue to be on a downward trend. Officials also said Austin could go back into Stage 5 as a result of Super Bowl weekend gatherings.