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Only 4 COVID-19 cases linked to ACL Weekend 1 so far, Austin health officials say

Austin Public Health said, as of Friday, ACL has had little impact on COVID-19 numbers in Austin-Travis County.

AUSTIN, Texas — Four COVID-19 cases have been reported as a result of Weekend 1 of the Austin City Limits Festival, Austin Public Health (APH) said Friday at its weekly COVID-19 Q&A session

Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said APH is aware of four attendees that tested positive for the coronavirus.

“The event organizers have taken on that responsibility of ensuring that the mitigation measures are being enforced,” Walkes said.

Janet Pichette, APH's chief epidemiologist, said, as of now, ACL has had a “very little" impact on COVID-19 cases.

APH announced it had identified additional opportunities for “mask-zone education and enforcement” during Weekend 2 of the festival earlier this week. Walkes said ACL organizers will set up more stations and signs and send out audio reminders to wear a mask.

ACL Fest is requiring all attendees to show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event. Masks are also required in areas "where it is difficult to maintain social distancing." 

“Those people who are at the event, you know, if you’re encountering people that you’re not familiar with, you need to consider masking,” Pichette said. “I saw photos where a lot of people were not masked.”

Pichette said if people are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, they should stay home and not attend ACL.

“If you’re going out to ACL, get your blinged-out masked, put it on and have a good time,” Interim Director of APH Adrienne Stirrup said.

RELATED: Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Austin Public Health provides COVID-19 update

Austin returned to Stage 4 of its risk-based COVID-19 guidelines a few days before the start of ACL Weekend 1. On Sept. 30, the City reached the threshold for Stage 3.

Walkes said it is “very likely” that Austin will move back to Stage 3 early next week if the downward trend in cases and hospitalizations continues.

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