APH: COVID-19 numbers continue downward trend but "we have to be really careful"

"This is not the time to hold big parties, to have pool parties, barbeques for Labor Day. Certainly not the time to go to bars or places that were formerly known as bars," Dr. Mark Escott with Austin Public Health says. "We have to be really careful."

That was the message from Dr. Escott as he provided an update to the Travis County Commissioners Court on the latest COVID-19 data.

Austin-Travis County continues to see a downward trend when it comes to the coronavirus numbers but officials urge the public that residents must remain vigilant, especially as the Labor Day holiday approaches.


Some highlights from Dr. Escott's briefing:

  • 7-day moving average of new cases is 89. Lowest since June 10. Dr. Escott cautions though that three weeks after June 10 we reached peak of more than 550 and that it took us two months to get the number back down.
  • New admissions continue to go down. 7-day moving average is 18 which is the lowest since June 12.
  • Hospital capacity is good and Dr. Escott says people should go get checkups, immunizations, and other medical procedures they've been putting off due to the coronavirus. 7-day moving average is 152 for hospital beds being occupied, 55 for ICU and 35 for ventilators.
  • In terms of hospitalizations by race/ethnicity, Hispanic/Latinx is at 50.5% & African-American is at 11.9%. These groups are still over-represented.
  • In terms of age, uptick in 70-79 group and in 50-59 age group. 10-19 age group saw decrease. 
  • Travis County positivity rate is currently at 6.2% for Week 33. Continues to drop. Dr. Escott says the data indicates slow but progressive decrease
  • Dr. Escott says when it comes to COVID-19 cases in schools there are four primary & secondary school clusters representing more than 25 cases. Several associated with strength & conditioning activities w/ athletics.

Dr. Escott says that Travis County continues to remain in Stage 3 on the COVID-19 risk chart and urges people to still take precautions like practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings.


RELATED: Health officials recommend Travis County moves to stage three

Under stage three, residents within Travis County would still be recommended to avoid social gatherings outside of their households, to keep gatherings to ten people or less, and for those with underlying health conditions to continue to limit unnecessary contact. 

With the transition to stage three, there is not much of a change, with the only main difference being in shopping and dining and non-essential travel. However, according to the city, “no facilities will be opening as a direct result of the move to Stage 3; the risk-based guidelines are recommendations for individual behaviors.”