AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin-Travis County region has gone through many COVID protocol stages, shifting its mandates and suggestions in response to the virus’ impact on the community.

Not long ago, the area was categorized as high risk, according to the COVID-19 Community Level tracker. But since its recent move to a low COVID risk, the area is now free of emergency orders. This means masks are now optional, with the exception of the airport, clinical settings and jails.

“We have not eliminated the virus but adapted to it. We now have knowledge and tools to fight COVID-19 when we are called to do so,” said Austin-Travis County Health Authority, Dr. Desmar Walkes. “I am confident that the community will come together if the need arises again, as they have for the past two years of this pandemic.” 

Health officials have been basing their judgments on a Community Level tool, and Austin-Travis County is looking to be in good shape as it relates to COVID-19 vaccinations, hospitalizations and deaths.

In Adler’s Notice of Termination of Health Authority Rules, he stated, “The current high levels of immunity provided by 72% of the population being fully vaccinated and a large portion of the population that has natural immunity there is less risk of people in our community requiring hospitalization or dying from COVID-19.”

COVID-19 testing and vaccinations are still available for those in need of resources.