AUSTIN, Texas - Now that Thanksgiving is over, Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott laid out his concerns in his weekly Travis County Commissioners Court update.
“Stephanie Hayden had suggested that if you did go to a Thanksgiving function where you had more people than immediate family or live with, , it made it sound like you should have a test,” said Commissioner Gerald Daugherty.
Escott confirmed that to be true, and echoed the Austin Public Health Director.
Monday, Austin reported 332 new cases. Escott said right now, we are seeing a decrease in the moving average of cases, which might sound good, but he warns against getting too comfortable looking at these numbers.
“Over the past six or seven days we've had a decrease in that moving average of cases which is fantastic, but we've got to be a bit cautious. What we see is people delaying their care and delaying presentation to the hospital because they don't want to be hospitalized over the holidays,” said Escott.
Hospitalizations and ICU use look to be flattening. But incoming numbers over the coming days and weeks could change that. “We will be watching the data this week because of that phenomenon and the risk of increased transmission during the holidays themselves,” said Escott.
Some good news in the fight to also report, Flu season is not shaping up to be as bad, with a less than one percent positivity rate. Health officials believe the last thing Austin needs is a “twindemic.” Escott encourages all to get a flu shot, keep masking, social distancing, and get tested if you gathered with those outside of your household for the holiday.
He is concerned about moving into Stage Five around Christmastime if precautions aren’t taken by the public.