AUSTIN, Texas - During Austin Public Health's COVID-19 briefing today officials announced, they saw the highest increase of cases, in children ages 10 to 19 last week. This is especially concerning as schools are opening back up for students to learn both virtually and in-person.
"The only thing I want to point out judge is the gray line you can see that points out our 10-19 age group which is representing 6.1% of the hospitalizations from last week. This is the highest it's been in terms of percentages throughout this pandemic. That's 8 individuals in that 10-19 age group, that age group is significantly higher."
On Tuesday Dr. Mark Escott delivered a concerning update on the amount of cases Travis County is seeing in COVID-19. "That's certainly significant as kids have been back at school we know that UT mostly individuals living off campus. We'll continue to work with our schools and University of Texas and other schools in Travis County to identify cases and get folks tested to case investigation and contact tracing and contain the spread in these young people."
The American Academy of Pediatrics says it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children but states should continue to provide detailed reports on COVID-19 cases, testing, hospitalizations - and mortality documented and monitored.
Dr. Escott says, "we expect the state to start publishing data on school districts." Dr. Escott says right now the best things schools can do is enforce masks, social distancing, and hand hygiene.
Meanwhile, the Travis County population as a whole may also need to brace for another increase. "Judge we expect to start seeing people getting ill in the next two weeks if we see a spike from Labor Day," Dr. Escott adds.
As of Tuesday morning, Travis County is still in Phase 3 of COVID-19 risk-based guidelines and Dr. Escott says with the help of contact tracing, ongoing masking, and social distancing, he's hopeful we can go back down to Stage 2 within the next 30 days.