AUSTIN, Texas - In a briefing to the Travis County Commissioners Court Tuesday, Interim Health Authority Mark Escott warned Austin is not out of the woods yet.
“Over the past week or so we've been trending in an upward direction. Our concern is that upward trend is going to continue,” he said.
On Monday, Austin/Travis County had 86 new reported cases of COVID-19....a new record for a single day. “With increasing risk-taking behavior, decrease in use of masks, anecdotally we expect to see a surge begin to happen,” said Escott.
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He said the message remains clear, take proper precautions. “What's happening is the public is hearing mixed messages and they are not sure what to do,” said Escott.
“You go to Lake Travis, there are tethered boats and you can walk to one boat to the other. I don't know what you have to do to get through to those people unless you declare Martial law, and say you’re not going to leave your house, that's now going to happen,” said Travis County commissioner Gerald Daugherty.
In addition, Austin Public Health has finished testing most of the nursing homes they were required to test.
“We have I believe no more than eight remaining to test. Some we had tested previously. Some sites we were able of course with our task force, and strike teams, said Eric Carter, chief emergency management coordinator for Travis County.
Escott believes we are at least nine months away from a viable vaccine. In the meantime, he doesn't want Austin to let its guard down. “We really need to be cautious if we are going to be out in public. This is evidence if we stop facial coverings, and social distancing, we are going to enter a surge,” he said.
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