AUSTIN, Texas - Austin health officials are strongly encouraging all to remain vigilant against the COVID-19 threat.
“When we look at data from last week, compared to the previous week, our case numbers have increased by 90 percent,” said Dr. Mark Escott, interim health authority.
In a Wednesday briefing, Austin Public Health presented data highlighting the increase in hospitalizations, the rolling seven-day average is now at 22 a day.
“You can see we were oscillating between about 8 and 10 new admissions a day and now our seven-day moving average is sustained above 20 which necessitated our movement along with other indicators which is stage 4,” said Escott.
Escott said most people are in the hospital for fewer than nine days. However, there are plenty of beds available at this time. “The concern is what's going to happen three four or five weeks from now,” he said.
The viral threat is serious, just ask Antonio Aggular who spent 38 days in the hospital and 18 on a ventilator. “I’m thanking God I’m still alive,” he said. He said he felt symptoms that he couldn’t ignore.
“It was like a fever, like the flu but after three days it was harder to breathe. I said it's time to go to the hospital,” said Aggular.
As the city reopens and more exposures occur, Austin Public Health will be using a new phone line for those without access to the internet.
“It helps mitigate some of the barriers our community was facing, so you no longer need a computer or email access to register for a test,” said acting director Adrienne Sturrup.
When it comes to testing, APH continues partnering with CommUnity Care to develop a map and game plan to get mobile testing sites to targeted zip codes that are underserved. The North Central Austin hotel is being used as an isolation facility and has had 312 people admitted and 285 discharged.
Contact the APH nursing line at 512-972-5560. After completing an assessment, the call taker will help schedule a test.
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