Officials: Austin-Travis County expected to top 10K coronavirus cases after Wednesday numbers

Megan Armstrong San Antonio News Leave a Comment

Austin Public Health officials said in its weekly news conference Wednesday that Austin-Travis County is expected to surpass 10,000 cases on Wednesday. Austin and Travis County is currently in Stage 4 of its COVID-19 risk-based levels. Stage 5 would trigger the closing of non-essential businesses.

The risk-based levels are measured on the new cases hospitalized in a seven-day moving average. On Tuesday, there were 67 new hospitalizations. If the new hospitalizations surpass 70, Dr. Mark Escott, interim health authority for Austin Public Health, said he will advise Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe to re-enter a stay-at-home order.

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“Right now, it does not indicate that officials need to do so at this moment,” Escott said. “… but the next several weeks are critical for us to make real changes to protect ourselves, protect our families and protect our community.”

Escott said he is also “concerned” about Austin’s neighbors in San Antonio after Bexar County reported 1,268 new infections on Tuesday, which is the county’s largest one-day increase. If cases continue to increase in Bexar County, Escott said it could result in new patients heading to Travis County due to an overflow in San Antonio’s hospitals.

With the Fourth of July weekend coming up, Austin-Travis County will use the Warn Central Texas system to send an emergency alert to residents, urging them to stay home during the holiday, according to a news release issued on Wednesday.

The Austin area has seen a 400 percent increase in hospitalizations and a 370 percent increase in cases of COVID-19 since June 1, according to the news release. As of Tuesday, the county has 9,527 cases and 369 hospitalizations.

“I know we want to celebrate; I know we want to get together with our families; I know we want to have firework shows and barbecue and do the things we normally do, but now is not the time for that,” Escott said in the release on Wednesday. “Now is the time we have to be strong together by staying home, by doing things within our own household, by watching the fireworks on TV.”

Priscilla Aguirre is a general assignment reporter for | [email protected] | @CillaAguirre



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