AUSTIN, Texas - In a weekly commissioner court update, Dr. Mark Escott provided the latest concerns with the virus. "Yesterday we reported 955 new cases. This was a combination of Jan. 10 and Jan 11. That 955 moves our moving average to 588," said Escott.
"We have seen a blunting of significant increase in cases we have seen over previous weeks. Our hope is that this is the beginning of a flattening period. While we had a decrease in the past couple of days of moving average of admissions, we are still up 102 percent from a month ago...still significant surge in the hospitals. We still believe a surge beyond 200 is inevitable."
In addition, Austin Public Health, in conjunction with the Texas Department of Emergency Management has now opened the Austin Convention Center for use as an alternate care site, should hospital patients need to be transferred there.
"The staff utilized are the same staff from the El Paso alternate care site and the site in Harlingen. So they have experience with COVID and alternate care sites," said Escott.
Another troubling trend is the positivity rate in the county's schools being reported at a higher rate than the community. The middle school positivity rate is the highest, sitting at 27 percent. Escott strongly is encouraging parents to keep kids at home to learn.
"If your child can learn virtually please choose it this week," he said.
Austin Public Health said it will be rolling out a vaccine registration portal for all who qualify. Escott hopes people continue to do what they were doing before to flatten this curve.