AUSTIN, Texas - It's almost time for the holidays, but gathering with family is the last thing Dr. Mark Escott advises people to do.
He says as of Sunday, the average number of new COVID-19 cases per day is at 135. “When we look back at the low point following our surge that was Oct. 4 when we had 64. So it more than doubled in a little over a month
Doctor Escott said both Austin and Travis County have seen a substantial increase in cases over the past few weeks. There is also a larger number of people who have serious complications with the virus. “In hospitalizations, our moving average yesterday was 129, which is up 67 percent from Oct. 4,” he said.
ICU use also doubled.
Escott and his team have begun their contact tracing efforts. “Based on some of our case investigation we are able to identify and beginning to see the impact of Halloween gatherings,” said Janet Pichette, chief epidemiologist.
Austin Public Health said until a vaccine is widely distributed, Austin will have to continue to take precautions, and buy some time and avoid a second surge
“We don't have to have a second surge. My preference is we suppress cases enough to buy us more time to get the vaccine in place. We have to reenergize our efforts to act in protective ways,” said Escott.