APH highlights "5-phase plan" to monitor and respond to possible Coronavirus cases in Travis County

Austin Public Health (APH) has taken to social media to highlight it's '5 phase plan' that is currently in place in for the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The plan details how APH will monitor and react to any Coronavirus cases that may occur in Travis County. 

According to APH, no one has currently tested positive for COVID-19 in the Austin or Travis County area.

Health officials are telling the public that they are ready to react to any cases that may arise. 

APH has activated its Department Operations Center in order to allow for "enhanced response coordination," and has also reviewed and adapted the current pandemic flu plans for COVID-19. They have also highlighted its plan to coordinate response operations through a plan that consists of five phases. 

APH is currently in phase one, known as "Persons Under Monitoring."  According to the organization, in this phase, APH receives three daily manifests from the CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services that detail Travis County residents who have recently traveled to China. 


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APH then contacts these individuals and gives them a "control order" that minimizes their movements and interactions with other people for a 14-day period. During this 14-day period, APH checks the individuals for COVID-19 symptoms twice a day. At the end of the monitoring period, APH will offer an end-of-monitoring letter to the person that they may present to their employer or school. 

APH mentions that it continues to maintain communication with federal, state, and local partners and provides information to health care professionals, businesses, schools, and the general public.

“The health of the Austin community is our highest priority,” said Dr. Mark Escott, interim Austin Health Authority. “Preventing the spread of disease isn’t a singular effort; it requires commitment and behavior change from the entire community, which is why we need your help. We ask everyone to practice frequent hand washing, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, cover coughs and sneezes and stay home if you’re sick. These changes in personal hygiene practices represent our best defense against the person-to-person spread of COVID-19, influenza, and other respiratory pathogens.”

As a final reminder, APH has reminded the general public to prevent all disease by practicing and maintaining general hygiene. 

You can find more information on COVID-19 on the City of Austin's website.