AUSTIN, Texas - After seeing record-breaking COVID-19 cases numbers, Mayor Steve Adler said the “stay-at-home order” set to expire June 15th will likely be extended.
Travis County leaders held a press briefing Thursday to discuss the rise in cases. On Monday a set record of 118 COVID-19 cases were reported, that record was broken on Tuesday with 161 cases, and then the county saw a dip on Wednesday with 133.
Interim Austin Public Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said there is a delay in diagnosis and reporting. The surge in cases can be linked to activity that dates back a couple of weeks.
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“We really need to act carefully when we are going out, when we are doing things, when we are going out to restaurants, when we are going out to see other people because the disease is still here, it is still impactful,” said Dr. Escott. “It is still going to lead to hospitalizations and death.”
Health officials are monitoring hospital capacity and hospitalizations. Judge Sarah Eckhart said the county sits at 13 COVID-19 hospitalizations a day on average. However, if the number of hospitalizations increases to 20 or more for a seven-day average Eckhart said measures will be taken. More than 3,000 social distancing complaints have been made to 3-1-1. According to the county’s complaint dashboard, only two citations have been issued.
“This is a blinking yellow light warning moment,” said Adler. "It’s still early and we still have the opportunity to be able to get a handle on this but it is going to take the entire community being really disciplined and really diligent.”
The Latinx community accounts for more than half of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Travis County. The city of Austin is planning to host a Facebook Live community meeting in Spanish to discuss what resources are needed to help mitigate the spread.
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