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COVID-19

Williamson County Moves From Red To Orange Phase Of Coronavirus-Based Recommendations

A worker directs traffic at a mass vaccination event held by the Williamson County vaccination hub, Family Hospital Systems, on March 4.
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT
A worker directs traffic at a mass vaccination event held by the Williamson County vaccination hub, Family Hospital Systems, on March 4.

Williamson County has moved a step down from its highest phase of risk-based recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the area.

The county had been in the red phase since November. On Thursday, it moved to orange.

The levels of risk and recommendations are based on criteria from the Williamson County and Cities Health District. The WCCHD looks at the county’s cases, hospitalization rates, and trends over time when assigning a level.

In the orange phase, the WCCHD recommends people avoid gatherings of more than five people and postpone large events.

It also advises people to continue to wear masks and socially distance. Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide order earlier this month saying masks are no longer required.

Allison Stewart, lead epidemiologist for the WCCHD, said she is starting to see “the light at the end of the tunnel,” but urges people to not relax safety protocols too early.

“I know it's not required anymore, but it's still very strongly recommended that any time you're in public, even if you are vaccinated, that you continue to wear your mask, continue to watch your social distancing and continue to do your hand hygiene,” she said. “Those are all still really important.”

She said the number of new daily infections is plateauing, but not going down, which would be required before the county moved into lesser phases.

“I'm hoping that if people continue to be real diligent about following these guidelines, that we can eventually move into the yellow phase and hopefully someday move into the green phase as well,” Stewart said. “But if people start kind of easing up on all these recommendations, there's a real chance that we could move back to red.”

Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said earlier this month he would be wearing a mask until he is vaccinated.

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