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[Lashaundra Shaw Moderator Molly Oak KVUE Speakers are: Stephanie Hayden Director, Austin Public Health Dr. Mark Escott, Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Janet Pichette, Chief Epidemiologist Cassandra DeLeon, Assistant Director, Interim Austin Public Health Dr. Jason Pickett, Alternate Austin-Travis County Health Authority]

[00:00:07]

GOOD MORNING.

I'M LASHONDRA SHAW PIO FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

AND I AM THE MODERATOR FOR TODAY'S MEDIA AVAILABILITY.

SPANISH INTERPRETATION IS ON ATX IN THREE TO START AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR.

STEPHANIE HAYDEN WILL FIRST SAY A FEW WORDS FOLLOWED BY DR.

MARK S. SCOTT, INTERIM AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY HEALTH AUTHORITY.

THEN JANET PICHETTE AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST FOLLOWED BY DR.

JASON PICKETT, ALTERNATE AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY HEALTH AUTHORITY.

WE WILL THEN OPEN IT UP TO OUR POOL REPORTER WHO WILL ASK QUESTIONS ON BEHALF OF THE MEDIA.

STEPHANIE.

GOOD MORNING.

WE ARE VERY EXCITED TODAY THAT OUR, OUR PORTAL IS ACTIVE IN LINE.

UM, YOU CAN, UM, GO ONTO OUR WEBSITE.

IF YOU CURRENTLY HAVE BEEN TESTED BY AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, PLEASE USE THE SAME CREDENTIALS, USE THAT ACCOUNT TO SIGN UP.

AND SO WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT THE VACCINE.

WE HAVE TO EMPHASIZE.

IT IS VERY LIMITED, AS YOU ALL KNOW, WE ONLY RECEIVED 12,000 DOSES, UM, TO PROVIDE OUR COMMUNITY.

AND AS WE KNOW, UM, WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE PROVIDE AND PRIORITIZE THE PRIORITY RIGHT NOW IS INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE 65 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER, UM, INCLUDING OUR COMMUNITIES OF COLOR.

AND SO IT IS GOING TO BE SO IMPORTANT THAT WE, UM, IF WE HAVE ELDERLY FAMILY MEMBERS IN OUR FAMILY, THAT WE SIGN THEM UP, THAT WE PUT THEM AHEAD OF THE LINE SO THEY CAN RECEIVE THEIR BACKSEAT.

ONE OF THE THINGS I'D ALSO LIKE TO REMIND FOLKS IS, IS THAT WE CANNOT, UM, PROVIDE ENOUGH VACCINE TO THE PUBLIC DURING THIS TIME BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE IT.

SO IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO CONTINUE TO WEAR YOUR MASK, WASH YOUR HANDS, WATCH YOUR SOCIAL DISTANCE, UM, ONLY MAKE ESSENTIAL TRIPS FROM YOUR HOME.

UM, IF YOU'RE ABLE TO, UM, STAY HOME AND WORK AT HOME, OUR PREFERENCE IS THAT YOU DO THAT.

WE ARE STILL, UM, IN A, IN A HUGE SURGE AND WE NEED TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN DO, UM, TO BRING THE NUMBERS DOWN.

SO WHAT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO STAY THE PATH AND CONTINUE TO DO THOSE PROTECTIVE, UM, HEALTH PREVENTION METHODS THAT WE HAVE BEEN USING AT THIS TIME.

I'LL TRANSITION OVER TO DR.

S SCOTT, THANK YOU, STEPHANIE.

AND AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN SAID, WE SIMPLY CANNOT VACCINATE OURSELVES OUT OF THIS OR GETTING OUT OF THIS SURGE IS GOING TO REQUIRE ALL OF US TO WORK HARD, TO MAKE SACRIFICES AND TO STAY HOME.

THE ONLY GO OUT IF WE HAVE TO.

AND IF WE MUST GO OUT TO DO SORT OF LIMITED FASHION ONLY TO DO THINGS THAT WE HAVE TO DO ONLY IN CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE WE CAN MASK AND DISTANCE AND FOLLOW THOSE PROTECTIVE MEASURES WHILE WE'RE ALL FRUSTRATED, FRUSTRATED ABOUT THE NUMBERS OF VACCINES THAT WE HAVE AVAILABLE.

WE HAVE SOMETHING ELSE THAT WORKS VERY WELL, AND IT'S THOSE PROTECTIVE MEASURES, THE MASKING, THE DISTANCING, THE HAND WASHING IT PREVENTS DISEASE ALSO.

AND IT'S GOING TO HAVE TO CONTINUE UNTIL WE CAN GET A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF OUR POPULATION VACCINATED.

SO AGAIN, AT A TIME RIGHT NOW, WHEN WE ARE FACING UNPRECEDENTED SURGE, UNPRECEDENTED TRANSMISSION OF DISEASE IN OUR COMMUNITY, WHICH IS UNCONTROLLED, WE HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY TO DRIVE DOWN THE DISEASE, SPREAD AND FLATTEN THE CURVE AGAIN, TO PUT OUR HOSPITALS IN A BETTER SITUATION AND BUY US TIME TO GET MORE PEOPLE VACCINATED WITH THAT.

I'LL PASS IT OVER TO JANET MICHELLE.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

UM, I'M JUST GONNA REPEAT A LOT OF WHAT YOU'VE HEARD ALREADY, BECAUSE IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT EVERYONE STAYS THE COURSE.

WE KNOW VACCINE IS ROLLING OUT IN OUR COMMUNITY AND INTO OUR, UH, CITIZENS.

AND I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYONE, UH, IS REMINDED THAT, UH, THEY NEED TO CONTINUE WITH THE PREVENTION MEASURES.

THEY NEED TO MAKE SURE THEY'RE MASKING SOCIAL DISTANCING, STAYING HOME, IF THEY'RE ILL AND, UM, AND, UH, JUST MAKING SURE THAT, UH, YOU'RE NOT HEADED OUT AND CONDUCTING THINGS, STAY HOME IF YOU'RE NOT DOING, UM, IF THERE AREN'T ANY ESSENTIAL, THE ESSENTIAL ACTIVITIES THAT YOU NEED TO DO, YOU NEED TO, UH, MAKE SURE YOU DO THOSE IN LIMITED, IN A LIMITED WAY.

IF YOU NEED TO GO SHOPPING

[00:05:01]

SOME, ONE PERSON FROM YOUR HOUSEHOLD OUT, UH, JUST DON'T PUT YOURSELF AT RISK BECAUSE WE ARE SEEN AS, AS DR.

ESCADA AND BOTH STEPHANIE HAVE MENTIONED AN UNPRECEDENTED NUMBER OF NEW CASES THAT ARE OCCURRING.

WE'RE STILL SEEING THE IMPACT FROM THE NEW YEAR'S, UH, HOLIDAY AND PEOPLE WHO ARE TRAVELING, UH, OVER THE CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR'S HOLIDAY AS WELL.

SO, UH, IT'S GOING TO BE VERY, VERY CRITICALLY IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO CONTINUE WITH THOSE PREVENTION ACTIVITIES.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYBODY.

AND, UH, I CAN'T POSSIBLY ADD TO WHAT MY COLLEAGUES HAVE SAID HERE ONLY TO SAY THAT OUR ALTERNATIVE CARE SITE IS NOW OPEN AND IT IS TAKING PATIENTS.

AND, UH, THAT FACT ALONE THAT WE ARE, UH, HOUSING PATIENTS AND TAKING CARE OF THEM IN THE CONVENTION CENTER, THAT OUR HOSPITALS ARE OVERWHELMED.

THAT SHOULD DRIVE HOME HOW SERIOUS WE ARE RIGHT NOW WITH THIS SITUATION.

UH, THE STEPS THAT YOU TAKE AT HOME ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS THAT, UH, REALLY RIGHT NOW WILL HELP THIS SPREAD.

UH, JUST AS, UH, JANET AND STEPHANIE AND MARK HAVE SAID, AND I WILL TURN IT BACK OVER TO OUR POOL REPORTERS.

THANK YOU.

AT THIS TIME, WE WILL HAVE MOLLY OAK, UM, OPEN UP THE QUESTIONS ON BEHALF OF THE MEDIA OUTLETS, MOLLY.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

THANKS FOR ALWAYS DOING THIS.

OUR FIRST QUESTION IS FROM KVO.

DR.

ASCOT SAYS THE POSITIVITY RATES IN ALL TRAVIS COUNTY SCHOOL AGED STUDENTS ARE OUTPACING COMMUNITY.

WELL, THIS SUGGESTION TO LEARN FROM HOME EXTEND INTO NEXT WEEK.

AND IS IT UNSAFE TO BE IN SCHOOL BUILDINGS NOW? WELL, AGAIN, I I'M CONCERNED ABOUT THE NUMBER OF POSITIVE CASES, THE POSITIVITY RATES IN OUR YOUNG PEOPLE, UH, AS I'VE DISCUSSED BEFORE, ONE OF THE CHALLENGES THAT WE HAVE TO REALIZE IS THAT THINGS ARE DIFFERENT NOW THAN THEY WERE IN THE FALL.

THE POSITIVITY RATE IS MUCH HIGHER, FOUR TIMES WHAT IT WAS IN THE FALL.

UH, WE HAVE A NEW VARIANT, WHICH IS ALMOST CERTAINLY IMPACTING THE SPREAD OF DISEASE HERE.

AND WE HAVE INCREASED IN-PERSON ACTIVITY IN OUR SCHOOLS WITH SOME OF OUR SUPERINTENDENTS REPORTING THAT, THAT SOME INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS ARE BETWEEN 70 AND 90% OF OCCUPANCY.

THIS IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER.

IT'S A RECIPE FOR OUTBREAKS IN OUR SCHOOLS.

AND, YOU KNOW, IN ADDITION TO THE IMPACT ON OUR CHILDREN'S HEALTH, ON OUR TEACHERS AND SCHOOL STAFF, SO IS THE CONTINUITY OF EDUCATION.

AND, YOU KNOW, WE ARE GOING TO QUICKLY SEE THAT WE'RE GOING TO RUN OUT OF TEACHERS IN ORDER TO PROVIDE IN-PERSON EDUCATION.

UH, SO I CONTINUE TO STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT PARENTS CHOOSE VIRTUAL EDUCATION FOR NOW AND THAT OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS WORK AS MUCH AS THEY CAN WITH EA, UH, IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT WE CAN HAVE THAT CONTINUITY, THAT EDUCATION THROUGHOUT THE SEMESTER.

UH, IT'S GOING TO BE A STRUGGLE FOR INSTITUTIONS RIGHT NOW, SCHOOLS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS AS WELL TO CONTROL OUTBREAKS THAT WE WERE ABLE TO CONTROL IN THE PAST.

OKAY.

OUR NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM CVS.

AUSTIN.

WHEN DO YOU EXPECT AUSTIN TRAVIS COUNTY TO OPEN A COVID 19 VACCINATION MEGA SITE? WILL IT BE LOCATED AT THE TRAVIS COUNTY EXPO CENTER OR SOMEWHERE ELSE? OUR PLANS ARE A SCALABLE PLAN.

UM, WE, WE TYPICALLY, UM, ARE, HAVE THE ABILITY TO HAVE A, A LOCATION IN COMMUNITY SITES.

WELL, WE KNOW THAT FOLKS NEED THAT ACCESS IN THEIR COMMUNITIES.

SO WE HAVE SITES THAT ARE SMALLER COMMUNITY LEVEL SITES.

WE ALSO, UM, HAVE LARGER SITES THAT WE ARE USING NOW, UM, THAT HAS THE ABILITY TO, UM, PROVIDE OVER 2000 VACCINES A DAY.

AS I STATED EARLIER, UM, WE HAVE LOOKED AT SEVERAL OPTIONS THROUGHOUT OUR CITY AND COUNTY, AND WE DO HAVE THE ABILITY TO BE IN THOSE LOCATIONS.

ONCE WE KNOW THAT THE VACCINE THAT WE HAVE IS COMING, WE'LL BE CONSISTENT AND WE CAN PLAN AROUND THAT VACCINE BEING DISTRIBUTED IN OUR COMMUNITY.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM ESTONIA.

WHAT IS THE DEMAND FOR THE INFUSIONS IN TERMS OF DOCTORS REFERRING COVID PATIENTS THERE FOR TREATMENT? IS IT GROWING? THE DEMAND FOR INFUSIONS IS, UH, FAR OUTSTRIPPING THE SUPPLY, UH, NOT ONLY THE INFUSIONS THAT WE ARE PERFORMING AT OUR REGIONAL INFUSION CENTER, BUT ALSO THOSE THAT ARE PERFORMED

[00:10:01]

AT OUR AREA HOSPITALS.

UH, WE ARE WORKING HARD RIGHT NOW TO EXPAND THE CAPABILITIES AT THE INFUSION SITE OUT TO PERFORMING, UH, 75 INFUSIONS PER DAY.

WE ARE ALSO WORKING WITH A CONTRACT HERE FOR PERFORMING INFUSIONS AT NURSING HOMES AND ON PATIENTS WHO ARE VULNERABLE AND HOME BOUND AS WELL.

UH, BUT I EXPECT GIVEN THE NUMBER OF CASES IN OUR COMMUNITY RIGHT NOW THAT, UH, THE DEMAND WILL STILL OUTSTRIP THAT SUPPLY.

WE ARE WORKING RIGHT NOW ON A MUCH BETTER REFERRAL SYSTEM, UH, SO THAT, UH, WE CAN TAKE MORE PATIENTS THAT THROUGHOUT OUR COMMUNITY WHO ARE REFERRED BY PRIVATE PHYSICIANS, UH, AS WE OPENED UP THE INFUSION CENTER LAST WEEK, WE'VE BEEN CONCENTRATING OUR EFFORTS ON THE UNDERSERVED PEOPLE OF COLOR, UH, AND FOLKS FROM AREAS THAT ARE HARDEST HIT BY THIS PANDEMIC.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM PATCH.COM, WE CONTINUE TO SEE DISPROPORTIONATE RATES OF ILLNESS AMONG MINORITIES.

WELL, THESE SEGMENTS OF THE POPULATION BE GIVEN PRIORITY IN RECEIVING VACCINES, PROBABLY SUBJECT TO OTHER THERAPIES TO MITIGATE ALL THIS.

SO OUR, OUR, OUR SITE SELECTION PROCESS FOR, UH, THE VACCINE DISTRIBUTION FACILITIES THAT WAS INTENTIONAL, IT WAS, UH, DESIGNED TO BE LOCATED IN THOSE AREAS THAT HAVE BEEN HARVESTED IN OUR COMMUNITIES OF COLOR.

UH, WE WANT THEM TO HAVE EASE OF ACCESS FOR THOSE, UH, THOSE COMMUNITIES, UH, WHO HAVE BEEN JUST INCREDIBLY DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED, UH, HERE LOCALLY.

UH, SIMILARLY AS, AS DR.

PICKETT MENTIONED, UH, WE HAVE PRIORITIZED THOSE COMMUNITIES FOR, FOR THOSE INFUSIONS OF MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES WITH LOCATED THAT SITE, UH, IN AN AREA THAT HAS BEEN HARD HIT TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR FOLKS TO GET THAT FREE TREATMENT.

UH, SO WE ARE TRYING TO WORK VERY HARD, UH, TO, TO PROVIDE ACCESS, EASE OF ACCESS TO THOSE COMMUNITIES IN ADDITION TO, UH, MAKING VACCINE AVAILABLE TO THOSE GROUPS.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM .

CAN YOU CONFIRM IF THERE'VE BEEN ANY NEW CA ANY CASES HERE IN TRAVIS COUNTY OF THE NEW VARIANT OF COVID-19 WE WERE IN FARMED, THERE MIGHT POSSIBLY BE A CHILD IN DELL, SETON WHO TESTED POSITIVE WITH IT, IS THIS TRUE? UM, UH, TO MY KNOWLEDGE AD HAS NOT BEEN CONFIRMED OR REPORTED TO US AS FAR AS HAVING A NEW VARIANT.

WE ARE AWARE OF THE VARIANT, UH, THAT UK VARIANT THAT WAS DETECTED IN THE HOUSTON AREA, IN A PERSON WHO, UH, HAD NO TRAVEL HISTORY AT ALL, UH, WHICH, WHICH TELLS ME THAT IT IS LIKELY CIRCULATING IN OUR STATE WITHIN OUR STATE AND COULD VERY WELL BE IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

HOWEVER, UH, WE, THERE HAVE BEEN NO, UH, SPECIATION STUDIES FOR THAT SPECIFIC VARIANT FOR US TO DETERMINE IF, UH, WE HAVE THAT SAME, UM, VARIANT CIRCULATING HERE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

WELL, I'LL JUST MENTION ALSO THAT IT'S, IT'S IMPLAUSIBLE TO THINK THAT IT'S NOT HERE IN TRAVIS COUNTY, IF IT'S IN TEXAS, AS WE'VE LEARNED FROM, FROM THE INITIAL PHASES OF COVID-19, IF WE'RE SEEING IT IN THE STATE, IT'S HERE ALSO, UH, IT'S VERY LIKELY, ALMOST CERTAINLY CONTRIBUTING TO THE SPREAD THAT WE'RE SEEING.

ONCE AGAIN, WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE WITH THIS, WITH THIS BARRIER.

IT IS EASIER TO CATCH FROM THE DATA THAT WE HAVE NOW.

IT IS LIKELY CONTRIBUTING TO THE SERVICE THAT WE'RE SAYING.

UH, AND WHAT THAT MEANS FOR ALL OF US IS THAT WE HAVE TO TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTION.

WE HAVE TO ENSURE THAT OUR ENCOUNTERS ARE ONLY, UH, MASK ENCOUNTERS, WHERE BOTH PEOPLE ARE WEARING MASKS, UH, WHERE THEIR SOCIAL DISTANCE, UH, WE SHOULD STAY HOME.

ALL THOSE THINGS WILL STILL WORK FOR THE NEW VARIANT.

UH, BUT WE'VE GOTTA BE MORE CAREFUL.

NOW, COMMUNITY IMPACT ASKS.

WE'VE HEARD REPORTS OF SOME PEOPLE RECEIVING THE VACCINE WHO DIDN'T PREREGISTER OR QUALIFY FOR PHASES, ONE A AND ONE B, BUT SIMPLY SHOWED UP AT A VACCINATION CENTER.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THESE PEOPLE IN TERMS OF GETTING A SECOND DOSE, WILL THE SECOND DOSE BE SET ASIDE FOR THEM IN THE FUTURE? ULTIMATELY, THE GOAL IS, IS FOR US TO PROVIDE THE VACCINE TO OUR COMMUNITY.

AND SO WE, WE TYPICALLY THE PLAN IS FOR US, IS TO PROVIDE VACCINES TO PEOPLE IN THE ONE, A AND ONE B CATEGORY.

HOWEVER, IF OTHERS HAVE RECEIVED THE VACCINE,

[00:15:01]

UM, YOU KNOW, EACH OF US AS PROVIDERS, WE ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE THAT SECOND DOSE TO THEM.

WE WILL NOT, UM, PROVIDE AN INITIAL INITIAL DOSE, UM, AND, AND NEGLECT THOSE PEOPLE AND NOT PROVIDE THAT DOSE TO THEM.

AND SO, YES, THEY WILL BE PROVIDED THEIR SECOND, UM, DOSE.

AND SO, UM, IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE JUST CANNOT EMPHASIZE, UM, THAT WE WANT US TO PRIORITIZED.

UM, I UNDERSTAND THAT EVERYONE IS VERY EAGER TO GET THE VACCINE.

UM, WE'RE VERY EXCITED THAT IT IS HERE IN OUR COMMUNITY, BUT WE MUST PRIORITIZE, UM, OUR ELDERLY FAMILY MEMBERS TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE TAKING CARE OF THEM FIRST, PLEASE MAKE THEM YOUR PRIORITY.

AND W LET ME JUST ADD ON TO THAT BY SAYING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THE STATE GOVERNMENT, THE CITY AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT, OUR SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES, ARE WORKING VERY, VERY HARD TO GET VACCINE OUT.

WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT WE ARE ABOUT A YEAR PAST WHEN THIS VIRUS WAS FIRST IDENTIFIED, AND WE'RE ALREADY TALKING ABOUT VACCINATING MILLIONS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ACROSS THE UNITED STATES AND ACROSS TEXAS.

UH, WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE REALITY.

THE REALITY IS THAT VACCINES STILL HAS TO BE MADE.

IT STILL HAS TO BE SHIPPED.

IT STILL HAS TO BE STORED AND GIVEN, AND THOSE THINGS TAKE TIME.

WE ARE WORKING LOCALLY AT THE STATE AND FEDERAL LEVEL TO RAMP UP OUR ABILITY TO VACCINATE PEOPLE QUICKLY.

WHEN THAT SUPPLY IS HERE UNTIL THAT STAGE, WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO REMEMBER THAT WE CAN PROTECT OURSELVES.

WE CAN PROTECT OUR FAMILIES.

WE CAN PROTECT OUR COMMUNITY BY FOLLOWING THE SIMPLE STEPS THAT WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR A YEAR, WASHING OUR HANDS, STAYING HOME, DISTANCING, AND MASKING THOSE THINGS WORK.

AND WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO DO THOSE UNTIL WE CAN OFFER VACCINE TO EVERYBODY.

CO-OP ASKS THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE, DESCRIBE TEXAS'S VACCINE ROLLOUT AS A QUOTE, GAME OF LUCK AND CHANCE AND QUOTES.

WELL, MORE VACCINE DOSES AND MASS INOCULATION SITES RELIEVE OR EXACERBATE THIS DIM VIEW OF THE PROCESS SO FAR.

LIKE AGAIN, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE ARE WORKING AS HARD AS THEY CAN TO GET THIS VACCINE OUT TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE.

UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK OFTEN WHAT PEOPLE CALL TO MIND IS, UH, YOU KNOW, A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE WHO FELL OUTSIDE, THE ONE A OR ONE BIG GROUP GOT VACCINATED.

THE ABSOLUTE PRIORITY FOR EVERY VACCINE PROVIDER IS, DO NOT WASTE A VACCINE BECAUSE THIS VACCINE REQUIRES ULTRA COLD STORAGE AND IT HAS TO BE THAWED.

AND THERE'S A SHORT LIFE SPAN OF THAT VACCINE.

ONCE IT'S THAWED, WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO SEE CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE PEOPLE OUTSIDE THAT ONE A AND ONE BIG GROUP GET VACCINATED IN SMALL NUMBERS BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO GET IT OUT.

SOMETIMES THAT'S WITHIN A FEW HOURS, SOMETIMES A LITTLE BIT LONGER, BUT THE VACCINE HAS TO BE USED.

VACCINE IS NOT WASTED IF IT IS IN THE ARM OF A TEXAN.

AND THAT REALLY NEEDS TO BE OUR FOCUS AND PRIORITY.

UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT IT'S LIKELY THAT WE'LL SEE SUBSTANTIAL INCREASES IN VACCINE AVAILABILITY, PARTICULARLY WHEN THE ASTRAZENECA PRODUCT IS, IS APPROVED FOR DUA.

AND I THINK WE'LL SEE THE MARKET FLOODED VERY QUICKLY, BUT UNTIL THEN, I THINK WE HAVE TO HAVE SOME FORGIVENESS FOR GROUPS THAT ARE REALLY TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING.

AND THAT IS GET VACCINE THE TEXANS, THIS NEXT ONE FROM K U T WHAT PROOF OF UNDERLYING CONDITIONS WILL AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH REQUIRE FOR ITS VACCINE SITES.

UH, WE CANNOT, UH, EXAMINE OR ASK PATIENTS FOR THAT INFORMATION.

UH, SO IT IS A CONVERSATION FOR A PERSON TO HAVE WITH THEIR PHYSICIAN.

AND, UH, IT IS THAT, THAT IS NOT THE TYPE OF INFORMATION THAT WE COLLECT AT THE, UH, AT THE VACCINE SIDE.

I, I, WE'RE NOT, WE CAN'T CHECK A BLOOD SUGAR ON SOMEBODY TO PROVE THAT THEY HAVE DIABETES.

UH, SO, UH, THAT IS THE IN REVIEWING THE PR THE, UH, THE CATEGORIES, UH, IT IS FOR THAT INDIVIDUAL TO MAKE THAT DETERMINATION WITH THEIR PHYSICIAN, IF THEY FALL INTO THAT ONE B CATEGORY.

AND I'LL JUST ADD THAT, YOU KNOW, UH, WE KNOW THE VACCINES HERE.

WE KNOW THAT

[00:20:01]

THERE IS AN OVERWHELMING, UH, NEED FOR IT AND WANT AND DESIRE TO GET VACCINATED IN OUR COMMUNITY.

UH, WE JUST REALLY NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT, UH, PEOPLE ARE AWARE LIKE UNTIL YOUR TIME, UH, IS PRESENTED TO YOU TO GET VACCINATED, THAT YOU NEED TO BE MINDFUL OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE AT HIGHEST RISK, UH, AND TRY TO ALLOW THEM TO GO FIRST.

UH, AND YOU KNOW, WE'RE ASKING PEOPLE TO FOLLOW THE RULES AND FOLLOW THE STRATEGIES.

AND, UH, YOU KNOW, WE'RE JUST HOPING THAT, UH, EVERYBODY IS PATIENT, UH, AND IN THE INTERIM TIME PERIOD, BEFORE THEY RECEIVED THEIR VACCINE, THAT THEY CONTINUE TO USE, UH, PR PREVENTIVE TO CONTROL THE SPREAD OF THIS ILLNESS.

THIS QUESTION IS FROM AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN.

DOES DR.

MARK SCOTT BELIEVE THE 25 STAFFED BEDS AT THE AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER WILL BE ENOUGH TO TREAT COVID 19 PATIENTS IN THE COMING WEEKS OR WILL MORE STAFF BEDS LIKELY NEED TO BE ADDED.

UM, MORE STAFFED BEDS WILL BE ADDED, UH, WILL BE ADDED.

WE ACTUALLY HAVE STAFFED BEDS THERE.

WE HAVE 250 OF THEM, AND WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO EXPAND THAT OUT TO ABOUT A THOUSAND WHEN LOOKING AT OUR PROJECTIONS RECENTLY HERE, UH, WE ANTICIPATED AN INITIAL ROLLOUT OF 100 BEDS AND, UH, THIS, UH, THIS RESOURCE IS SCALABLE.

SO WE'VE OPENED THOSE 25 BEDS.

WE CAN VERY QUICKLY OPEN THE NEXT 25 AND THE NEXT 25, THE NEXT 25, UH, AND SO FORTH AS NEEDED.

UH, BUT AS OUR EXPECTATION, UM, BASED ON WHAT WE SAW IN EL PASO, UH, AND THE NUMBER OF BEDS THAT WERE REQUIRED AT THEIR ALTERNATE CARE SITE, THAT, UH, WE WOULD NEED TO START AROUND A HUNDRED AND THEN SEE WHERE WE GO FROM THERE.

THE DAILY TEXAN ASKS, WHAT WORK HAS THE CITY DONE WITH UT AUSTIN TO MINIMIZE THE RISKS OF POTENTIALLY TENS OF THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS ARRIVING IN THE NEXT WEEK FOR THE START OF THE SEMESTER, WHILE THE PANDEMIC IS REACHING? THE WORST THAT HAS BEEN IN AUSTIN, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS HAVE, HAVE BEEN GREAT PARTNERS WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

UH, SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC, UH, THEY IMPLEMENTED PROACTIVE TESTING, TESTING, THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF EACH WEEK, THEY PLANNED TO CONTINUE THOSE EFFORTS.

UM, YOU KNOW, THEY, I THINK THEIR MESSAGING HAS BEEN STRONG THAT, UH, THE VIRTUAL OPTION A IS AN OPTION THAT, THAT FOLKS SHOULD CHOOSE NOT TO HAVE LIMIT THE ON-CAMPUS POPULATION.

AND I FEEL STRONGLY THAT THEY WILL CONTINUE TO BE OUR PARTNERS IN THIS AS WE MOVE FORWARD IN OUR VACCINATION EFFORTS.

UH, SO AGAIN, WE'RE PROVIDING UT THE SAME ADVICES AS OUR, AS OUR SCHOOLS.

AND THAT IS IF YOU CAN GO VIRTUAL GO VIRTUAL, IF YOU CAN'T MINIMIZE THE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE IN PERSON IN BUILDINGS TO REDUCE THE RISK OF SPREAD, UH, ULTIMATELY THOUGH FOR ALL OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE AND REALLY ALL OF OUR COMMUNITY, IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT HOW YOU CONDUCT YOURSELVES IN AN, AT SCHOOL OR COLLEGE OR WORK SETTING.

IT'S ABOUT HOW YOU CONDUCT YOURSELVES OUTSIDE AS WELL.

AND WE ARE AT A STAGE RIGHT NOW WHERE IF YOU CAN'T DO SOMETHING WITH A MASK ON AND DISTANCE, YOU SHOULD NOT BE DOING IT.

AND THAT MEANS SOCIAL GATHERINGS.

THAT MEANS NEEDLES WITH PEOPLE OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSEHOLD.

UH, WE REALLY DO NEED TO REDUCE THE RISKS SUBSTANTIALLY RIGHT NOW IN ORDER TO FLATTEN THE CURVE SO THAT WE CAN PUT OUR HOSPITALS IN BETTER SITUATION AND HELP OUR VACCINE EFFORTS AS WELL.

AND I'LL JUST ADD THAT UT AUSTIN HAS LIKE DR.

S SCOTT MENTIONED BEEN A GREAT, UH, PARTNER WITH US, UH, NOT ONLY HAVE THEY BEEN, UM, YOU KNOW, TAKING CARE OF THOSE, UH, FACULTY AND STAFF THAT ARE ON CAMPUS AND, AND STUDENTS, UH, THEY'VE BEEN WORKING WITH US VERY CLOSELY SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS, UH, PANDEMIC ON CASE INVESTIGATION AND CONTRACT TRACING OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE POSITIVE WERE EXPOSED WITHIN, WITHIN THE 40 ACRES.

UH, WE'VE BEEN WORKING WITH THEM VERY CLOSELY.

WE HAVE WEEKLY MEETINGS WITH THEM JUST TO MAKE SURE, UH, THAT IF THEY HAVE ANY ISSUES OR IF THERE ARE ANY CLUSTERS OF CASES IDENTIFIED THAT WE CAN ASSIST THEM, UH, WITH ANY KIND OF, UH, INTERVENTION OR, UM, UP.

SO AGAIN, THEY HAVE BEEN, UH, A STRONG

[00:25:01]

PARTNER FOR US AND WE APPRECIATE THEM BEING IN OUR COMMUNITY.

ONE THING I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO ADD IS, IS, UM, WE, WE HAVE BEEN WORKING VERY CLOSELY WITH, WITH UT DELL MEDICAL SCHOOL AS WELL.

UM, THEY HAVE REALLY, UM, REALLY BEEN AN EXTENSION OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

AND SO IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO ESTABLISH THOSE COLLABORATIONS, UM, NOT WITH, YOU KNOW, JUST THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, BUT THERE ARE, UM, OTHER PARTNERS ACROSS THE CITY, UM, THAT ARE WORKING WITH, UM, WHETHER IT'S, UM, AT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT LEVEL, UM, OR HIGHER ED, BUT THE PARTNERSHIP HAS REALLY CONTRIBUTED TO, UM, US AS A COMMUNITY BEING IN, IN A, IN A REALLY GOOD PLACE OVERALL WITH OUR PARTNERSHIPS AND ABLE TO, UM, GET THINGS DONE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

THIS NEXT ONE IS FROM BOX SEVEN, CIRCLING BACK ON YOUR ANSWER TO THE LARGE VACCINATION SITES, OTHER CITIES LIKE SAN ANTONIO HAVE DESIGNATED LARGE VACCINE SITES, SUCH AS THE ALAMO DOME.

IS THERE ANY REASON APH IS NOT DOING THIS AND RELEASING SITE INFO TO THE PUBLIC? THEY, THE SITE INFORMATION, UM, WILL BE RELEASED ON TOMORROW, UM, BECAUSE INDIVIDUALS ARE, ARE WE'RE PORTAL IS LIVE TODAY.

WE'VE HAD, UM, OVER 20,000, UM, INDIVIDUALS THAT HAVE SIGNED UP WITH ACCOUNTS.

AND SO, UM, AS YOU CAN SEE 20,000 INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS, AND AS YOU KNOW, WE RECEIVED 12,000 DOSES OF VACCINE.

AND SO, UM, WHAT IS GOING TO BE ESSENTIAL FOR US? UM, WE KNOW THAT OUR, OUR PLANS ARE SCALABLE.

UM, WE HAVE VIEWED SEVERAL SITES AND WE ARE A RERATING TO ESTABLISH, UM, SMALLER SCALE AS WELL AS LARGE SCALE EVENTS, UM, EVEN, UM, HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO, UM, DRIVE THROUGH LOCATIONS, ET CETERA.

SO WE HAVE MULTIPLE PLANS IN PLACE.

WE ARE DEFINITELY READY TO ACTIVATE, BUT WE MUST HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT KIND OF VACCINE WE ARE GOING TO PROVIDE IN OUR COMMUNITY TO MOBILIZE AND ESTABLISH THOSE SITES.

THIS ONE COMES FROM KICKS, I N ON SOCIAL MEDIA, THERE ARE A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF POSTS ABOUT PEOPLE JUST SHOWING UP AND GETTING BACKDATED AT A SPECIFIC ONE OF YOUR SITES.

PEOPLE SAID, DESPITE SAYING THE OPPOSITE, YOU DID NOT NEED AN APPOINTMENT.

ARE YOU AWARE OF THIS? WHAT HAPPENED? DO YOU FEEL PEOPLE GOT VACCINATED YESTERDAY WHO WERE NOT IN PHASE ONE, A OR ONE B, WE ARE AWARE, UM, THAT, UM, ARE THOSE PODS ARE CLOSED POLITICS.

THOSE PARTS WERE, UH, ESTABLISHED FOR, UM, THE MAJORITY OF ONE, A, UM, AND SOME ONE D FOLKS.

AND SO, UM, WITH INDIVIDUALS, UM, SENDING THE WORD OUT, USING SOCIAL MEDIA, WE ARE AWARE THAT THAT IS OCCURRED.

AND THIS IS A MESSAGE TO ANYONE THAT IS GOING TO SHOW UP THERE TODAY AND ANTICIPATE THAT THEY WILL RECEIVE A VACCINE.

WE CANNOT PROVIDE YOU A VACCINE.

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AN APPOINTMENT, WE CAN PROVIDE YOU INFORMATION ABOUT HOW TO GO ONTO OUR SITE AND TO SCHEDULE YOU A VACCINE.

BUT MOVING FORWARD, WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PROVIDE VACCINES TO INDIVIDUALS THAT SHOW UP AT THOSE SITES AND DON'T HAVE AN APPOINTMENT.

ULTIMATELY, OUR GOAL IS, IS WE'RE NOT GOING TO WASTE THE VACCINE.

WE HAD PEOPLE THAT WERE IN THE LINE THAT HAD STAYED IN THE LINE.

AND SO AT A COMMON COURTESY, WE DECIDED TO GO AHEAD AND PROVIDE THAT VACCINE TO THEM OUT OF BEING COURTEOUS TO THEM IN THE FUTURE.

WE HAVE TO JUST EMPHASIZE THAT IT'S NOT GOING TO BE THE CASE MOVING FORWARD.

THIS QUESTION IS FROM KVU.

CAN YOU ADDRESS THE ISSUES WITH THE VACCINE REGISTRATION SITE THAT PEOPLE FACE THIS MORNING? ADDITIONALLY, WHAT ARE VACCINE PROVIDERS DOING WITH VACCINES THAT ARE LEFT OVER IN VIALS AT THE END OF DAY? OKAY.

WE CAN, WE CAN SPEAK TO WHAT HAS HAPPENED AT OUR VACCINE, UM, CLINICS THAT WE'VE SET UP OUR CLOTHES POTS.

UM, WE HAVE USED ALL OF OUR VACCINE.

WE HAVE NOT, UM, HAD

[00:30:01]

ANY WASTE, UM, IN THE VACCINES.

UM, ON THE FIRST DAY OF OUR POD, WE, WE SERVED 850 PEOPLE.

UM, YESTERDAY WE SERVE 1,640 PEOPLE.

AND SO PRIOR TO THAT, WE RECEIVED THE 1300 AND WE'VE PROVIDED THOSE VACCINES AS WELL THROUGH OUR, UM, WELLNESS, PUBLIC SAFETY, UM, LOCATION.

THEY HAVE, UM, PROVIDED THOSE AS WELL.

AND SO THE GOAL IS, IS THAT YOU, YOU REALLY DON'T WANT TO WASTE SCANNING VACCINE.

UM, AND THE GOAL IS CAUSE YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO REVIVE THAT VACCINES.

YOU WANT TO GET IT.

UM, YOU WANNA PROVIDE THE VACCINE TO PEOPLE, UM, AND YOU DON'T WANT TO WASTE ANY OF IT.

I'LL ADD TO THAT, TALKING TO OTHER VACCINE PROVIDERS IN THE COMMUNITY, THEY'RE TAKING A SIMILAR APPROACH AND THEY KNOW, UH, AS WE ALL DO TO HOW PRECIOUS THIS VACCINE IS, AND WE'RE MAKING SURE THAT NOT A SINGLE DOSE IS GOING TO GO TO WASTE.

SO THEY'RE AS CONSISTENT WITH THE GUIDANCE FROM THE STATE.

UH, THEY ARE PUTTING VACCINE INTO PEOPLE'S ARMS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, AND ONE A AND ONE B AND, UH, MAKING SURE THAT EVERY SINGLE SHOT GETS USED AND NOTHING GOES TO WASTE.

AND I'D JUST LIKE TO ADD THAT, YOU KNOW, UH, WE RECOGNIZE THAT THERE'S AN OVERWHELMING DEMAND FOR VACCINE RIGHT NOW.

AND I THINK THAT'S BEEN DEMONSTRATED BY PEOPLE GOING TO OUR REGISTRATION SITE, UH, AND, AND HAVING, UH, CHALLENGES, UH, LOGGING IN AND THOSE TYPES OF THINGS.

UH, WE'LL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH, UH, OUR ITE PARTNERS TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT'S OPERATIONAL AND UP AND RUNNING.

AND I THINK THERE, AGAIN, LIKE WE'VE SAID, UH, JUST, JUST WE'RE ONE PROVIDER OF MANY IN THE COMMUNITY.

AND, UH, WE'RE ALL WORKING IN OUR VERY HARDEST TO GET A VACCINE TO THE POINT WHERE IT'S AVAILABLE TO THE COMMUNITY.

BUT WE, UH, CONTINUE TO ASK FOR PATIENTS, UH, FOR THOSE FOLKS, UH, FOR OUR PROVIDERS, UH, WHO MAY HAVE CLOGGED PHONE LINES AND, UM, ACCESS ISSUES TO THE COMPUTER TO GET, UH, REGISTERED.

SO, UH, AGAIN, WE CONTINUED PATIENTS, PATIENTS IS WHAT WE'RE ASKING FOR CBS AUSTIN ASKS HOW MANY PATIENTS ARE CURRENTLY AT THE ALTERNATE CARE SITE.

HOW WOULD YOU DECIDE THEIR CONDITION? UH, AT THE MOMENT, THERE ARE NO PATIENTS AT THE ALTERNATE CARE SITE, ALTHOUGH WE ARE EXPECTING SEVERAL TRANSFERS TODAY FROM THE HOSPITALS, UH, REGARDING CONDITION, THE ALTERNATE CARE SITE IS FOR PATIENTS OF LOW TO MODERATE ACUITY, MEANING THEY NEED SOME ADDITIONAL OXYGEN ASSISTANCE AND ASSISTANCE WITH MEDICATIONS.

UM, BUT, UH, THEY ARE NOT CRITICALLY ILL.

UH, IF A PATIENT IS, UH, CRITICALLY ILL, THEN THEY WILL BE AT A HOSPITAL.

I JUST WANT TO ADD THAT, UH, WE WILL BE WORKING, UH, TO DISPLAY THOSE, UH, ALTERNATE CARE SITE NUMBERS ON A DAILY BASIS THROUGH OUR REGULAR UPDATES, UH, EACH EVENING.

SO I WILL HAVE A SPECIFIC NUMBER TO REPORT EACH DAY FOR THE ACS ASKS IN TERMS OF CURRENT CASE INVESTIGATIONS, WHAT ROLE ARE 20 TO 29 YEAR OLDS PLAYING IN SPREADING THE VIRUS, OUR CASES BEING TRACED TO BARS, SOCIAL GATHERINGS? WELL, I'LL, I'LL START GENERALLY, UH, AGAIN, POST CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS, UH, 40 TO 50% OF, OF THE NEW CASES EACH WEEK ARE IN THAT 20 TO 29 AND 30 TO 39 AGE GROUP.

AS WE'VE SEEN FOLLOWING PREVIOUS HOLIDAYS, WE'RE STARTING TO SEE SOME SPREAD OUT TO OLDER AGE GROUPS AS WELL THIS WEEK AND, AND, UH, AND LAST WEEK.

SO AGAIN, UH, YOU KNOW, OUR, OUR CONCERN IS THAT THAT YOUNG PEOPLE MAY NOT HAVE AS SEVERE OF A COURSE.

UH, THEY MAY NOT, UH, END UP IN THE HOSPITAL AS OFTEN AS OLDER PEOPLE THAT THEY CAN SPREAD DISEASE EFFICIENTLY.

AND THAT'S WHY EVERY AGE GROUP NEEDS TO TAKE PROTECTIVE ACTIONS TO PROTECT THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY.

AND I WILL ADD FROM THE CASE INVESTIGATION PERSPECTIVE, UM, WE ARE DEFINITELY SEEING SURGE

[00:35:01]

RELATED TO, UH, YOU KNOW, THE HOLIDAY GATHERINGS AND NEW YEAR'S EVE.

UH, WE ARE SPECIFICALLY SEEN AN INCREASE IN TRAVEL ASSOCIATED, UH, EXPOSURES AND ILLNESS.

SO PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY WENT OUT OF TOWN TO, UH, CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS WITH FAMILY MEMBERS AND LOVED ONES AND WHO ARE RETURNING, AND NOW THEY HAVE DISEASE OR HAVE, UH, YOU KNOW, EXPOSED SOMEBODY ELSE WHO, UM, WHO THEY'D BEEN CONTACT SINCE HER RETURN FROM THOSE, UH, THEIR VACATION.

SO, UM, YOU KNOW, IF YOU TRAVEL OUT OF TOWN, ESPECIALLY IF YOU TRAVEL BY AIR, YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE USING YOUR PREVENTION MEASURES, UH, MAKING SURE THAT YOU'RE WEARING YOUR FACE COVERINGS TO PROTECT YOU FROM EXPOSURES TO OTHERS ON THE PLANE.

UH, AND WHEN YOU RETURN, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A SEVEN DAY SELF QUARANTINE PERIOD WITH A FOLLOWUP TEST.

UH, IF POSSIBLE, BEFORE YOU GO ABOUT, UH, RETURNING TO WORK AND OTHER ACTIVITIES, I JUST ALSO WANT TO ADD THAT AGAIN.

UH, WE HAVE TESTING FREE THROUGH AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, UH, SO IT'S VERY EASY AND IT'S NO COST FOR FOLKS TO GET THAT PROACTIVE TESTING, EVEN IF THEY DON'T HAVE SYMPTOMS BEFORE THEY TURNED TO WORK AFTER, AFTER THEY RETURNED FROM A TRIP.

UH, I ALSO WANT TO REMIND OUR COMMUNITY THAT WE HAVE ISOLATION FACILITIES AS A HOTEL.

IT IS FREE FREE FOOD, FREE WIFI, FREE TV, UH, AS A PLACE THAT PEOPLE CAN GO, IF THEY HAVE SYMPTOMS, IF THEY'VE BEEN EXPOSED AND WANT TO PROTECT THEM, UH, THE REST OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD, THAT THEY CAN GO THERE AND DO THAT TO PREVENT THAT HOUSEHOLD TRANSMISSION.

A LOT OF WHAT WE'RE SEEING AFTER THE HOLIDAYS IS HASSLED TRANSMISSION.

UH, AND IN ONE WAY FOR US TO TRY TO MITIGATE THAT RISK IS FOR FOLKS WHO'VE BEEN INFECTED TO MOVE TO A SEPARATE FACILITY, IF THEY CAN'T ISOLATE EFFECTIVELY IN THEIR OWN HOME TO PREVENT SPREADING TO ONE ANOTHER PATCH.COM, WHY THE PFLUGERVILLE TESTING SITE WAS CHANGED TO APPOINTMENT ONLY DEMAND WAS CITED AS AN EXAMPLE.

SO MY QUESTION IS HOW MANY RESIDENTS HAVE USED THIS SITE AND, OR USE ON A GIVEN DAY, AND WHAT IS THE RACIAL AND ETHIC MAKEUP? WE CHANGED THAT LOCATION, UM, TO APPOINTMENT ONLY, UM, LOCATION, BECAUSE THAT MADE IT ALIGNED WITH WHAT THE OTHER SITES WERE DOING.

UM, THAT TYPICALLY WORKS BETTER, UM, FOR AN INDIVIDUAL TO KNOW WHAT TIME THEY NEED TO BE AT THAT LOCATION.

UM, AND IT'S AN EASY PROCESS FOR THE THEM TO BE IN AND OUT OF THE FACILITIES.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, UM, WE HAVE TO BE HAVING AWARENESS ABOUT THE TRAFFIC CONTROL, UM, BECAUSE IF, IF YOU DON'T SCHEDULE THE APPOINTMENTS, UM, THAT CREATES MORE TRAFFIC.

AND SO IT WAS A SAFETY HAZARD, UM, FOR PEOPLE TO, UM, CROWD AROUND THAT FACILITY.

UM, THEY LINED UP FOR SEVERAL HOURS WAITING ON THE, UM, AND, UM, AND THEN THE SAFETY FROM THE PARKING.

UM, AT THIS TIME I DO NOT HAVE THE, UM, THE, UM, DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION FOR THAT LOCATION.

UM, THAT SITE, UM, DEFINITELY WAS VERY, A VERY BUSY SITE FOR US.

UM, AND THAT WAS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY WE HAVE, UH, WANTED TO MAKE THE CHANGES, UM, TO MAKE IT TO BE MORE EFFICIENT WITH APPOINTMENTS.

THIS QUESTION IS FROM UNIVERSITY ON, IS PROOF OF RESIDENCY IN OUR COUNTY REQUIRED TO BE ABLE TO GET THE VACCINE.

HOW WILL WE PREVENT PEOPLE FROM OTHER COUNTIES FROM GETTING VACCINATED, ACCORDING TO THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES, UM, ANYONE CAN RECEIVE A VACCINE AT ANY LOCATION IN THE CITY OF, UH, CITY OR COUNTY, UM, IN THE STATE OF TEXAS, WE DO, UM, CAUTION FOLKS THAT IT WOULD, IT WOULD PROBABLY BE EASIER FOR YOU TO, UM, GO TO A TESTING SITE IN YOUR COMMUNITY.

UM, DEFINITELY WITH THE LIMITED ACCESS.

UM, WE FEEL LIKE IT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOU, UM, TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT IN YOUR COMMUNITY.

HOWEVER, THERE

[00:40:01]

IS NO, UM, RESIDENCY, UM, THAT YOU NEED TO PROVE, UH, WHICH CITY OR COUNTY THAT YOU LIVE IN.

THIS QUESTION IS FROM CO-OP FROM THE VAX FAX DOCUMENT CIRCULATED BY APH.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT QUOTE, THE ABILITY TO RESPOND TO THE CURRENT SURGE IN COVID-19 WILL DETERMINE OUR ABILITY TO DISTRIBUTE VACCINE.

SO I'M HAPPY TO ANSWER THAT ONE.

UH, WE HAVE TO ALL REMEMBER THAT THE, THE ENTITIES, THE PEOPLE WHO ARE PROVIDING VACCINE ARE HEALTHCARE WORKERS, THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING TESTING IS HEALTHCARE WORKERS, THE PEOPLE WHO ARE CARING FOR THIS OVERWHELMING SURGE OF PATIENTS IN OUR HOSPITALS AND OUR CLINICS IN OUR URGENT CARES IN OUR EMERGENCY ROOMS IN THE ALTERNATE CARE SITE ARE HEALTHCARE WORKERS.

SO WE HAVE A MASSIVE FOCUS RIGHT NOW ON CARING FOR PEOPLE, RAMPING UP THE CAPABILITIES OF THE HOSPITAL, RAMPING UP THE CAPABILITIES OF TESTING.

AND IT'S GOING TO BE MORE CHALLENGING FOR US, NOT ONLY IN THE CITY AND COUNTY, BUT ACROSS THE STATE AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

IF WE ARE FOCUSED ON AN UNPRECEDENTED SURGE IN OUR COUNTRY, TO BE ABLE TO RAMP UP APPROPRIATE RESOURCES FOR VACCINE SHOULD A MUCH LARGER NUMBER OF VACCINE BECOMES AVAILABLE.

I THINK ONE OF THE BEST SOLUTIONS THAT, THAT WE CAN IDENTIFY IS THAT IF WE CAN REDUCE TRANSMISSION, IF WE CAN REDUCE THE IMPACT ON THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM AND OUR HEALTHCARE WORKFORCE, IT'S GOING TO ALLOW MORE RESOURCES TO BE MOVED OVER TO THE VACCINE EFFORT TO ALLOW US TO SCALE UP VERY QUICKLY.

CAN YOU T ASKS FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE READ PRE-REGISTERED, BUT DON'T QUALIFY FOR A VACCINE JUST YET.

WILL THEY BE CONTACTED BY APH WHEN VACCINES BECOME AVAILABLE FOR THEM? YES.

UM, OUR GOAL IS, IS TO, TO GET AS MANY PEOPLE REGISTERED ON OUR SITE.

UM, AND, UM, AND WHEN WE HAVE MORE, UM, VACCINES AVAILABLE, UM, THEY WILL BE, UM, CONTACTED, UM, BASED UPON WHEN THEY CONTACTED US.

UM, OUR HOPE IS, IS THAT THERE ARE OTHER PROVIDERS, UM, AND THEY'RE LOOKING AT THE, UM, DISHES WEBSITE, UM, TO SEE WHEN, WHERE THAT VACCINE IS AVAILABLE AS WELL.

SO THEY WOULD BE LOOKING AT WHAT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH HAS AVAILABLE, BUT THEN LOOKING AT THE, IF THE DISHES WEBSITE TO SEE IF THERE'S ANY PROVIDER, UM, THAT THEY CAN GO TO.

IN THE MEANTIME, THIS ONE'S FROM AUSTIN, AMERICAN STATESMAN IS AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH FORESEE OTHER VACCINE PROVIDERS IN AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, JOINING THE VACCINE PRE-REGISTRATION SYSTEM.

HAS ANYONE SHOWN INTEREST OR STARTED THE PROCESS OF JOINING? WE, UM, HAVE HAD, UM, CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER COUNTIES.

UM, WE'VE HAD CONVERSATION WITH, WITH WILLIAMSON HAYES AND, UH, BASTROP COUNTY, UM, WITH OUR SALESFORCE PLATFORM, UH, WILLIAMSON COUNTY AND BASTROP OUR CURRENT PARTNERS WITH US FOR OUR TESTING EFFORTS.

AND SO WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE THOSE CONVERSATIONS, BUT THAT IS SOMETHING THAT WE ARE OPEN TO WITH OUR OTHER PARTNERS, UM, IN THE REGION.

AND I'LL, I'LL ADD TO THAT BY SAYING THAT WE HAVE OTHER VERY LARGE PARTNERS WHO ARE CAPABLE OF DOING HIGH VOLUME VACCINATIONS, UH, SUCH AS THE AGB SYSTEM WHO'S INDICATED TO US THAT THEY MAY BE ABLE TO DO 4,000 VACCINES A DAY THROUGH THEIR EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE.

SO WHAT WE'RE LIKELY TO SEE IS THAT MULTIPLE LARGE HUBS ARE GOING TO EMERGE OVER THE COMING WEEKS AS THE VACCINE SUPPLY BECOMES MORE CLINICAL.

UM, BUT WE ARE HOPEFUL THAT, UH, WE CAN GET SOME OF THOSE HUBS, UH, PARTICULARLY WITH OUR, OUR COUNTY PARTNER, NEIGHBORING COUNTIES, UH, IN PARTNERSHIP LIKE WE'VE DONE WITH TESTING TO ENSURE THAT AS A COMMUNITY, WE HAVE AT LEAST A CENTRAL LOCATION FOR, UH, FOR FOLKS TO IDENTIFY ACCESS TO THOSE PUBLIC HUBS.

UM, AGAIN, WE HAVE FULL CONFIDENCE THAT TODAY THROUGH OUR PARTNERS, WE CAN DISTRIBUTE 10,000 VACCINES A DAY.

UH,

[00:45:01]

WE NEED THE VACCINES.

WE NEED THE ASSURANCE FOR, UH, FOR THE, THE FLOW OF VACCINES AND SUPPLIES FOR THE WEEKS TO COME.

UH, ONCE WE GET THAT WE CAN, WE CAN RAMP UP VERY QUICKLY.

THE DAILY TEXAN ASKS, WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF THE B ONE 17 VARIANT IN TERMS OF ACCELERATION OF THE DISEASES SPREAD WHILE VACCINATION IS LACKING? WELL, WE'RE CONCERNED THAT THE VARIANT, UH, IS, IS MORE CONTAGIOUS.

IT'S GONNA MAKE IT MORE EASY TO SPREAD.

UH, IT'S GOING TO MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT TO CONTROL, PARTICULARLY IN THOSE INSTITUTIONAL SETTINGS, SCHOOLS, JAILS, UH, UNIVERSITIES, OTHER PLACES WHERE PEOPLE CONGREGATE RESTAURANTS, BARS, UH, STORES.

AND THAT IS WHY WE ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGING FOLKS TO STAY HOME, UH, TO, TO WEAR THE MASK, THE DISTANCE, TO NOT GATHER WITH PEOPLE OUTSIDE THEIR HOUSEHOLD.

UH, WE HAVE TO ACT IN A MORE PROTECTED WAY.

PART OF THE CHALLENGE THAT WE HAVE IS THAT, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE THINK ABOUT THE PAST 10 MONTHS AND THEY SAY, WELL, YOU KNOW, I'VE BEEN DOING THIS OR THAT.

AND I HAVEN'T GOTTEN IT FOR 10 MONTHS, SO I CAN DO THE SAME THINGS AND IT'S, IT'S STILL GONNA PROTECT ME.

THAT'S NOT TRUE.

THAT'S NOT TRUE BECAUSE OF THE NEW VARIANT, WHICH IS ALMOST CERTAINLY HERE.

THAT'S NOT TRUE BECAUSE THE POSITIVITY IS SO HIGH RIGHT NOW.

THERE ARE SIMPLY MORE PEOPLE INFECTED OUT THERE IN THE COMMUNITY.

UH, SO THAT MEANS WE HAVE TO MODIFY OUR BEHAVIORS.

WE HAVE TO ACTIVATE MORE PROTECTIVE WAY THAN WE DID IN THE FALL IN ORDER TO FLATTEN THIS CURVE SO THAT, THAT WE CAN BUY MORE TIME TO GET MORE PEOPLE BACKDATED AND REALLY SAVE LIVES.

FOX SEVEN ASKS WITH HERD IMMUNITY AS THE TOP GOAL.

IS THERE ANY CONCERN ABOUT PEOPLE REFUSING THE VACCINE AND NOT ENOUGH OF THE POPULATION BEING INOCULATED? WE DO HAVE SUBSTANTIAL CONCERN ABOUT THAT.

WE HAVE SEEN A LOT OF MISINFORMATION ONLINE, UH, AND THAT HAS BEEN INFLUENCING BEHAVIOR AND MAKING PEOPLE HESITANT TO TAKE THE VACCINE.

UH, WHAT WE KNOW IS THAT DESPITE ALL OF THE EFFORTS THAT YOU'VE SEEN IN MANY PLACES WITH LOCKDOWNS AND DISTANCING AND MASKING, THAT THAT HAS NOT YET BEEN ENOUGH TO STOP THE SPREAD COMPLETELY.

AND THE VACCINATION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT WILL BE THE, I THINK THE NAIL IN THE COFFIN OF THIS VIRUS, UH, IS GETTING PEOPLE VACCINATED.

OUR RECENT HISTORY SHOWS US HOW IMPORTANT THAT IS SMALLPOX, WHICH DEVASTATED THE HUMAN RACE FOR CENTURIES AND KILLED 300 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE 20TH CENTURY ALONE.

WE NEVER ACHIEVED HERD IMMUNITY TO THAT DISEASE UNTIL THERE WAS WIDESPREAD VACCINATIONS.

SO THAT EMPHASIZES THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS VACCINATION IN STOPPING THIS DISEASE.

AND, UH, THERE IS A FLOOD OF MISINFORMATION THAT WE NEED TO COUNTER.

AND, UH, I ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO GO TO RELIABLE SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON THE VACCINE, COME TO OUR AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH WEBSITE, GO TO THE CDC AND THE WHO AND PLACES THAT, UH, CAN GIVE YOU GOOD INFORMATION.

THAT'S FREE OF A LOT OF THE CONSPIRACY THEORIES AND OTHER MISINFORMATION THAT'S OUT THERE.

AND THE LAST QUESTION COMES FROM KX.

I N DO YOU STILL EXPECT AUSTIN HOSPITALS TO RUN OUT OF ICU SPACE TOMORROW? WHAT HAPPENS THEN? SO I CAN TAKE THAT QUESTION TOO.

UH, SO THE PROJECTION IS STILL, UH, ANTICIPATE THAT, UH, THAT, THAT WOULD BE THE CASE TOMORROW.

AGAIN, OUR HOPE IS THAT, THAT WE'RE WRONG ON THAT.

OUR HOPE IS THAT WE'VE CHANGED BEHAVIOR ENOUGH TO AVOID THAT, BUT I DON'T THINK THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN.

UH, SO THAT'S THE MEDIA PROJECTION.

IT COULD VARY, UH, YOU KNOW, I ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY THAT WE WERE AT 190 ADMISSIONS, ARE WE LEAVING 10 LEFT? UH, SO THERE'S NOT A LOT OF ROOM LEFT IN TERMS OF, UH, EXCEEDING THAT, THAT 200 MARK.

UH, SO WHAT HAPPENS? WELL THEN, YOU KNOW, THE, THE 200, UH, NUMBER THAT WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR MONTHS IS THE MAXIMUM THAT ANTICIPATED THAT WE CAN, UH, UTILIZE FOR COBURN WITHOUT IMPACTING,

[00:50:02]

UH, SUBSTANTIALLY THE REST OF THE PEOPLE THAT NEEDED TO BE IN THE HOSPITAL.

THERE ARE CERTAINLY MORE THAN 200 ICU BEDS IN OUR, IN OUR MSA.

THE PROBLEM IS, IS THOSE ARE FULL.

THOSE ARE FULL WITH PEOPLE WITH HEART ATTACKS AND STROKES AND CAR ACCIDENTS.

PEOPLE WHO'VE FALLEN.

PEOPLE WHO HAVE CANCER WHO HAVE LUNG DISEASE OR, OR OTHER CONDITIONS, UH, COVID IS NOT THE ONLY THING GOING ON IN OUR COMMUNITY.

AND OUR HOSPITALS SIMPLY DON'T NORMALLY OPERATE AT A CAPACITY WHERE THERE'S LOTS OF EXTRA SPACE.

UH, SO THAT'S WHY WE'RE TRYING TO KEEP THE NUMBERS DOWN SO THAT WE DON'T IMPACT THE ABILITY OF THOSE OTHER PATIENTS TO BE ABLE TO RECEIVE CARE IN A TIMELY FASHION.

WE ARE ALREADY SEEING AN IMPACT BECAUSE WE'VE HAD TO CANCEL ELECTIVE SURGERIES.

THAT MEANS PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO WAIT LONGER FOR THINGS THAT THEY NEED DONE.

UH, AS THE SITUATION GROWS, AS THE HOSPITALS BECOME MORE OVERCROWDED AND THE ICU SPACE WIDOWS TO ZERO, UH, THAT'S WHAT WE TALK ABOUT.

UH, THINGS LIKE CRISIS STANDARDS OF CARE, HAVING TO TRIAGE WHO GETS THAT TREATMENT AND WHO DOESN'T.

WE DO NOT WANT TO FACE THAT SITUATION HERE.

WE DO NOT WANT TO HAVE TO DECIDE AS A MEDICAL COMMUNITY, WHERE TO DRAW THE LINE ON, ON WHO IS SURVIVABLE AND WHO IS NOT, BUT WE ALL HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER BECAUSE THAT IS A POTENTIAL FUTURE.

IF THIS SERVES CONTINUES IN A MANNER, UH, THAT CONTINUES TO OVERWHELM OUR HOSPITALS.

THANK YOU, DR.

SCOTT.

NOW WE WILL START WITH OUR CLOSING REMARKS.

STEPHANIE, JUST A REMINDER THAT I KNOW THAT EVERYONE IS EXCITED ABOUT THE VACCINE, AND WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT IT AS WELL.

WE KNOW THAT WE ONLY HAVE 12,000 DOSES OF VACCINE.

UM, WE ARE AWARE THAT OVER 20,000 INDIVIDUALS HAVE SIGNED UP TO BE USERS OF OUR SYSTEM.

WE ASK THAT YOU BE PATIENT WITH US.

UM, AS WE HAVE, UM, INFORMATION ABOUT RECEIVING MORE VACCINE ON A CONSTANT BASIS, THAT WE CAN PLAN OUR EFFORTS AROUND, UM, OUR COMMUNITY.

WE'LL SEE MORE LOCATIONS THAT WE'LL BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THE VACCINE, UM, TO OUR COMMUNITY.

IN THE MEANTIME, EVEN IF YOU RECEIVE A VACCINE IT'S IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO STAY AT HOME ONLY, ONLY GO OUT FOR ESSENTIAL TRIPS ONLY, UM, ESPECIALLY WANTING YOU TO CONTINUE TO WEAR THAT MASK, UM, WATCHED YOUR DISTANCE, WASH YOUR HANDS, UM, AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE FEELING ILL, UM, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR MEDICAL PROVIDER.

UM, WE ARE CONTINUING TO PROVIDE TESTING FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

IT IS FREE.

AND SO WE WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT, BUT PLEASE JUST MAKE SURE YOU'RE DOING EVERYTHING TO KEEP YOU AND YOUR FAMILY SAFE, BUT THEN I'LL TRANSITION OVER TO DR.

SCOTT, THANK YOU AGAIN, WE CANNOT VACCINATE OURSELVES OUT OF THIS SURGE.

THAT'S GOING TO TAKE US SACRIFICING MAKING DECISIONS TO PROTECT OURSELVES, PROTECT OUR FAMILY, AND TO PROTECT OUR COMMUNITY.

WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR LOCAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS, OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS, THE STATE OF TEXAS, THE TEXAS DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES, UH, BOTH ARE SUPPORTING THE EFFORTS HERE AT VACCINATION AND TESTING AND ALL CONNECT CARE SITE AND OUR REGIONAL INFUSION CENTER.

UH, WE HAVE TO ALL WORK TOGETHER.

WE HAVE TO STOP THE FIGHTING AND THE DEBATING ABOUT, UH, SIMPLE THINGS LIKE MASKING AND DISTANCING.

WE ALL NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER, AND WE CAN ONLY BE SUCCESSFUL TOGETHER WITH THAT.

I'LL PASS IT OVER TO JIM, MICHELLE.

THANK YOU.

AND I JUST WOULD LIKE TO SAY WE ARE VERY OPTIMISTIC AND GRATEFUL THAT WE DO HAVE VACCINE ROLLING OUT INTO OUR COMMUNITY AND INTO SOME OF OUR, UH, PATIENTS, UH, OR COMMUNITY MEMBERS, UH, YOU KNOW, BUT WE NEED TO STILL, I CONTROL THE SURGE WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY BECAUSE, UH, WHILE THERE'S A HUGE DEMAND FOR THE VACCINE AND, AND WE'RE RESPONDING TO THAT, WE ARE STILL ALSO RESPONDING TO HUGE NUMBER OF CASE CASES, UH, THAT ARE, UH, BECOMING POSITIVE IN THE COMMUNITY.

AND SO, AS YOU'VE HEARD BOTH FROM THE, UH, STEPHANIE AND DR S SCOTT, WE NEED TO MAKE SURE

[00:55:01]

THAT WE'RE DOING ALL THOSE PREVENTION ACTIVITIES TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE, UH, CHAMPION DOWN THE, THE OUTBREAK ITSELF AND, UM, UH, REDUCING TRANSMISSION RISKS WITHIN OUR COMMUNITIES.

AGAIN, AS WE SAID OVER AND OVER THE MASK, SOCIAL DISTANCE, AVOID TOUCHING YOUR FACE, UH, WITH YOUR HANDS, WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY.

AND IF YOU'RE SICK, PLEASE STAY HOME.

UH, UH, CAUSE YOU COULD HAVE, UH COVID-19 AND IF, IF YOU DO HAVE SYMPTOMOLOGY, PLEASE GET TESTED.

UH, THIS WITH THE VACCINE WILL HELP REDUCE TRANSMISSION AND I'LL CLOSE IT OUT BY SAYING, I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT THE VACCINE WHO HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT THE VACCINE SIDE EFFECTS OR LONG-TERM EFFECTS.

THOSE ARE UNDERSTANDABLE.

UH, WE ALL WANT TO MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION ABOUT WHAT WE PUT IN OUR BODIES, AND THIS IS NO DIFFERENT.

WHAT I CAN SAY THOUGH, IS THAT THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THE VIRUS ITSELF ARE FAR WORSE THAN ANYTHING THAT WE HAVE SEEN AS FAR AS NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THE VACCINE.

YOUR CHANCES, CHANCES OF A GOOD OUTCOME ARE MUCH, MUCH, MUCH BETTER BY TAKING THE VACCINE.

AND THIS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT STEP TO ENDING THIS PANDEMIC.

THANK YOU.

THAT CONCLUDES OUR MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR TODAY.

THANKS TO APH DIRECTOR.

STEPHANIE HAYDEN, DR.

MARK , CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JANET PICHET AND DR.

JASON PICKETT ALSO TO OUR POOR REPORTER, MOLLY OAK FROM KVU.

THANKS FOR JOINING US AND HAVE A SAFE DAY.

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Speech-to-Text.