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[00:00:09]

OKAY, 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 AVAILABLE ON ATX IN THREE TO START AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR, STEPHANIE HAYDEN HOWARD WILL FIRST SAY A FEW WORDS FOLLOWED BY DR.

JASON PICKETT, AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, ALTERNATE HEALTH AUTHORITY FOLLOWED BY JANET PICHET AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST.

WE WILL THEN OPEN IT UP TO OUR POLL REPORTER WHO WILL ASK QUESTIONS ON BEHALF OF THE MEDIA, STEPHANIE, OVER TO YOU.

YOU WANT TO START OUT BY JUST ACKNOWLEDGING THE AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH STAFF, UM, AS WELL AS OTHER PARTNERS IN THE CITY THAT STEPPED FORWARD TO ASSIST US, UM, DURING THIS TIME, UM, BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER, AS YOU ALL KNOW, WE HAD TWO COUNCIL, UM, CLINICS THAT WE HAD SCHEDULED, UH, DUE TO THE WEATHER AND CONCERNS.

AND WE KNOW THAT WE HAD SEVERAL FOLKS THAT WERE SCHEDULED AND WERE, UM, READY FOR THEIR SECOND DOSES.

AND SO WE ARE EXCITED TO KNOW THAT DURING THAT TIME STAFF WERE WORKING AT THE, UM, AT OUR, UH, EMERGENCY CENTER, AS WELL AS, UH, PLANNING OPERATIONS.

AND WE HAVE STAFF THAT DIDN'T HAVE POWER, DIDN'T HAVE WATER, DIDN'T HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET, UM, THAT WERE, YOU KNOW, GOING OUT TO THEIR CARS, CHARGING THEIR LAPTOPS COMPUTERS.

SO WE CAN CONTINUE TO, TO RESPOND TO THE WEBER CRISIS AS WELL AS CONTINUE TO PLAN FOR OUR VACCINE OPERATIONS.

AND SO I WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE OUR STAFF FOR REALLY, UM, PUTTING ASIDE THEIR OWN NEEDS OF NOT HAVING POWER AND OR WATER IN THE INTERNET OR, YOU KNOW, CELL PHONE ACCESS AND CONTINUE TO, TO, TO RESPOND TO THIS CRISIS AS WELL AS STAYING FORWARD ON PLANNING FOR VACCINES.

UM, SO APPLAUSE TO STAFF FOR DOING THAT.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, WE ARE VERY EXCITED WITH THE THREE LOCATIONS THAT WE'VE SET UP THIS WEEK.

UM, WE HAVE, UM, HAVE PROVIDED OVER 20,000, UM, VACCINES AS OF TODAY, JUST THIS WEEK.

AND, UM, WE ARE WELL ON OUR WAY TO COMPLETING OVER 33,000 VACCINES.

AND SO WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THAT AS WELL.

AND LASTLY, UM, WE STILL HAVE TO EMPHASIZE THAT WE ARE ONLY RECEIVING, UM, A SMALL AMOUNT OF VACCINES.

WE HAVE MORE DEMAND FOR PEOPLE THAT WANT THE VACCINE THAN WE HAVE VACCINE.

WE APPRECIATE YOU BEING PATIENT WITH US.

AS WE MOVE THROUGH THIS PROCESS, WE ARE VERY HOPEFUL ABOUT, UM, THE PHARMACY PLAN WITH ALL THE DEPARTMENTS THAT ARE RECEIVING, UM, VACCINE AND HAVE SET UP SYSTEMS SO THEY CAN PROVIDE VACCINES, UM, IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

AT THIS POINT, I WILL TRANSITION OVER TO DR.

PICKETT, THANK YOU, DIRECTOR HAYDEN HOWARD, AND GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

I WOULD, AGAIN LIKE TO ECHO STEPHANIE'S COMMENTS ABOUT OUR STAFF, WHO THROUGH THE WEATHER EMERGENCY, CONTINUE TO DO EVERYTHING THAT THEY COULD TO SUPPORT THE OPERATION AND TO WORK.

UH, OUR, UH, FOLKS THAT DIDN'T HAVE POWER DIDN'T HAVE WATER, DIDN'T HAVE HEAT, UH, POOR JANET WAS BURNING THE HARDWOOD FLOORING STORED IN HER GARAGE FOR HEAT, UH, WHILE SHE IS WORKING ON HER COMPUTER AND HER, UH, AND, AND HER PHONE, UH, TO CONTINUE THIS OPERATION, I'M VERY EXCITED BECAUSE JOHNSON AND JOHNSON, THEIR VACCINE IS GOING TO THE COMMITTEE TODAY FOR REVIEW.

AND IF APPROVED BY THE FDA, WHICH IS EXPECTED, THEN THIS WILL GIVE US YET ANOTHER VACCINE AND ANOTHER A HUNDRED MILLION DOSES THAT CAN BE PUT INTO PEOPLE'S ARMS TO PROTECT THEM FROM THIS DEADLY VIRUS.

SO, UH, AS WE'VE TALKED ABOUT, THE VACCINE SUPPLY IS THE RATE LIMITING STEP AND GETTING EVERYBODY VACCINATED AND, AND GETTING PEOPLE PROTECTED.

I'M REALLY EXCITED THAT WE HAVE, UH, YET ANOTHER VACCINE THAT WE SHOULD SHORTLY BE AVAILABLE.

THAT MEANS MORE PEOPLE GETTING PROTECTED, FEWER PEOPLE GETTING THE VIRUS.

I'VE HEARD A LOT ABOUT HERD IMMUNITY LATELY.

AND WHAT I CAN SAY IS THAT WE ARE NOWHERE NEAR HERD IMMUNITY RIGHT NOW.

IT'S NOT TIME TO TAKE OFF OUR MASKS.

UH, AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE DISEASES THAT WE'VE GOT EXPERIENCE WITH IN THE PAST, WE NEVER ACHIEVED HERD IMMUNITY

[00:05:01]

THROUGH NATURAL INFECTION TO SMALLPOX OR TO MEASLES, OR TO POLIO ALL OF THESE REQUIRED WIDESPREAD VACCINATION EFFORTS.

AND TO REALLY HALT THOSE DISEASES AND TO PROTECT THE POPULATION AT LARGE COVID-19 IS NO DIFFERENT.

WE'RE SEEING RESURGENCE OF COVID-19 IN AREAS THAT ARE, HAVE ALREADY HAD HIGH RATES OF INFECTION.

AND THESE VARIANTS MAY LEAD TO INCREASED SURGES, AND COVID-19 HAS PROVEN TO BE A CHALLENGING FO WE'VE SEEN TWO AND IN SOME PLACES, THREE SURGES OF THIS VIRUS AND, UH, IT, THIS SHOULD KEEP US FROM GETTING TOO COMPLACENT.

AS FAR AS THE VIRUS IS CONCERNED, WE NEED TO CONTINUE THIS EFFORT.

WE NEED TO CONTINUE THIS FIGHT WITH THAT.

I WILL TURN IT OVER TO CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST, UH, WHO IS NOW MUCH WARMER THAN SHE WAS LAST.

UH, JENNIFER CHEF.

THANK YOU, DR.

PICKETT.

UM, I DO WANT TO THANK AS WELL, ALL THE STAFF, UH, AND OUR OTHER RESPONDING AGENCIES THAT REALLY SUPPORTED, UH, PUBLIC HEALTH DURING LAST WEEK'S WINTER WEATHER.

UH, AND JUST, UH, WE, WE WENT THROUGH SOME UNPRECEDENTED TIMES LAST WEEK, AND I KNOW THERE WERE A LOT OF FOLKS, UH, WITHIN AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, BUT WITHIN OUR OTHER CITY DEPARTMENTS WHO WORKED TIRELESSLY, UH, FOR DAYS TRYING TO GET THINGS BACK ONLINE AND, AND SAFEGUARD OUR MEDICAL, UM, COMMUNITY AS WELL AS OUR, UH, OUR PUBLIC HEALTH OPERATIONS.

SO I'M HAPPY TO SAY THAT WE WERE ABLE TO SAFEGUARD OR OUR VACCINES THAT WE HAVE IN OUR POSSESSION DURING THAT TIME PERIOD, UH, THROUGH BACKUP GENERATION.

UM, AND, UM, SO WE ARE ALL BACK ONLINE AS FAR AS PUBLIC HEALTH OPERATIONS GO.

AND, UM, UH, AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN HOWARD HAS MENTIONED, WE HAVE OUR VACCINE OPERATIONS, UH, RUNNING AT FULL TILT RIGHT NOW TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CAN CATCH UP TO THAT WEEK OF, UH, NO POWER.

AND, UM, UH, WE'RE JUST TRYING TO PLAY CATCH UP AND, AND GET PEOPLE THAT ARE SECOND DOSES, AS WELL AS SOME INDIVIDUALS THERE FIRST, UM, YOU KNOW, WE HAD A PERIOD OF A WEEK WHERE, UH, WE DIDN'T HAVE POWER IN THE AREA WHERE WE DO OUR DATA ENTRY.

SO PEOPLE WERE NOT ABLE TO COME IN TO DO, UH, UH, OUR CASE INVESTIGATION AND DATA ENTRY.

UM, BUT ALL THOSE OPERATIONS ARE BACK ONLINE.

UM, IF YOU WERE PLACED IN A SITUATION WHERE YOU HAD TO SHELTER WITH SOMEBODY AND YOU WERE UNSURE OF WHAT YOUR EXPOSURE RISK WAS, WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE THAT YOU CAN, UH, QUARANTINE YOURSELF.

IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEBODY IN THAT SHELTERING SITUATION, UH, WHO MAY HAVE HAD COVID-19.

UH, AND WE ALSO ENCOURAGE YOU, IF YOU DEVELOP SYMPTOMS TO, TO, UH, GET TESTED FOR COVID-19.

OUR PUBLIC HEALTH TESTING OPERATIONS ARE ONLINE AS WELL AS MANY OTHER OPERATIONS, UH, FOR TESTING THAT ARE AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT THE CITY.

SO WITHOUT ALL I'LL MOVE ON.

AND, UM, JUST WANT TO SAY, THANKS AGAIN FOR HELPING US WEATHER THE STORM.

THANK YOU, JANET.

AT THIS TIME, WE WILL TRANSITION TO OUR POOL REPORTER BETH SULLIVAN FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE TO ASK QUESTIONS ON BEHALF OF THE MEDIA, BETH.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US TODAY.

THE FIRST QUESTION WE HAVE IS FROM THE CHRONICLE AS A RESULT OF LOSING POWER AND WATER IN LAST WEEK'S STORM, MANY AUSTINITES AND ENDED UP HAVING TO SHELTER WITH PEOPLE LIVING OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD, EITHER STAYING WITH FRIENDS OR FAMILY, OR AT A LOCAL WARMING CENTER, HAS APH STARTED TO SEE ANY EVIDENCE OF THIS CAUSING AN UPTAKE IN NEW CASES.

I CAN GO AHEAD AND START ANSWERING THAT QUESTION.

SO, UM, WE HAVEN'T SEEN AN UPTICK AS OF YET.

WE'RE STILL PLAYING CATCH UP, OBVIOUSLY TESTING OPERATIONS, UM, EVEN RECEIPT OF LABORATORY REPORTS FROM TESTING OPERATIONS THROUGHOUT THE CITY AND FROM THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, UH, KIND OF CEASE DURING THAT TIME PERIOD, THEY KIND OF TRICKLED IN, UM, SO WE ARE PLAYING CATCH UP ON THOSE.

SO THOSE ARE SOME OLDER CASES, HOWEVER, UM, BECAUSE THERE WAS NO TESTING GOING ON, UM, YOU KNOW, THAT DIMINISH THE NUMBER OF POSITIVE CASES WE MIGHT TYPICALLY SEE.

UM, WE MOST LIKELY WOULD ANTICIPATE, SEEN UPTICKS OVER THE NEXT WEEK.

AND SO WE ARE GOING TO BE LOOKING VERY CLOSELY AT THAT, AS I JUST MENTIONED, UM, WE WERE IN A VERY DIRE SITUATION WHERE IT WAS LIFE

[00:10:01]

AND SAFETY OF HIGH PRIORITY.

AND SO THERE MAY BE SITUATIONS WHERE PEOPLE EITHER SHELTERED IN THE WARMING CENTER OR IN THE SHELTER, COLD WEATHER, SHELTER, OPERATIONS, OR EVEN SHELTERED WITH, UH, OTHER NEIGHBORS.

AND, UH, THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO CAME TO, UH, THE AID OF, OF RESIDENTS WHO, UM, WERE VULNERABLE.

SO THERE MAY BE SITUATIONS WHERE THEY MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED, UM, AND THUS, IF THEY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED OR IF THEY KNOW ABOUT AN EXPOSURE, WE, UH, SUGGEST THAT THEY QUARANTINED FROM OTHER PEOPLE.

BUT, UM, THAT WE WOULD LIKE FOR THEM TO ALSO CONSIDER SEEKING TESTING, THE TESTING IS FREE THROUGH AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH.

YOU CAN GO TO OUR WEBSITE TO SCHEDULE THAT TESTING.

IF YOU HAVE ANY CONCERN WHATSOEVER ABOUT BEING PLACED IN ONE OF THOSE SITUATIONS WHERE YOU MAY HAVE AT A SHELTER IN A CONGREGATE SETTING OR WITH OTHER INDIVIDUALS, BUT, AND ARE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR COVID STATUS.

I'LL ADD TO THAT.

WE DON'T YET KNOW HOW THIS WEATHER EMERGENCY HAS IMPACTED INFECTIONS THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY.

UH, THE, AS JENNA MENTIONED, THERE WERE PEOPLE WHO WERE SHELTERING TOGETHER TO FLEE HOMES THAT LACKED HEAT OR POWER OR WATER.

UH, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THE, THE WEATHER AND THE HORRIFIC ROAD CONDITIONS DID LIMIT PEOPLE'S MOVEMENT BROADLY THROUGH THE COMMUNITY AND KEPT THEM FROM GOING TO WORK AND BEING AROUND, UH, MORE STRANGERS.

SO WE WILL KEEP AN EYE ON THIS AND SEE WHAT THAT EFFECT WAS.

BUT FOR RIGHT NOW, WE DON'T KNOW IF THAT MEANS WE'RE GOING TO GO UP, GO DOWN OR STAY THE SAME.

THIS QUESTION IS FROM KEGS AAN IN HIS PRESS CONFERENCE IN CORPUS CHRISTI YESTERDAY.

UH, GOVERNOR ABBOTT'S AT THE END OF, SORRY, I JUST GOTTA SIGN OUT OF THIS DOCUMENT.

UM, MY APOLOGIES I'M BACK IN IT.

NOW, LET ME START THAT QUESTION AGAIN IN HIS PRESS CONFERENCE IN CORPUS CHRISTI YESTERDAY, GOVERNOR ABBOTT SAID THE END OF A STATEWIDE MASK MANDATE MAY COME QUOTE, PRETTY SOON.

HOW WOULD APH LEADERS RESPOND? IS TRAVIS COUNTY READY FOR THAT? SO I'M VERY MUCH LOOKING FORWARD TO THE DAY THAT I DON'T HAVE TO WEAR A MASK, UH, OUT IN PUBLIC AND IN THE STORE.

AND I DON'T THINK THAT WE'RE THERE YET.

WE ARE NOWHERE NEAR HERD IMMUNITY, NOT FROM A VACCINATION, NOT FROM, UH, THE NATURAL INFECTION AND DESPITE THE HEROIC AND TIRELESS EFFORTS OF OUR VACCINATION TASKFORCE.

WE HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE STILL TO VACCINATE BEFORE WE HAVE A PROTECTION FROM THE VIRUS THAT WAY WEARING A MASK IS A VERY SIMPLE, EXTREMELY INEXPENSIVE, EFFECTIVELY HARMLESS THING TO DO TO HELP STOP THE SPREAD OF INFECTION.

AND THERE IS A LOT OF EVIDENCE NOW THAT WEARING A MASK DOES DECREASE THE SPREAD OF INFECTION.

SO IT WORKS.

IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO, NOT ONLY FOR YOU, BUT FOR YOUR NEIGHBORS AS WELL.

AND WE'RE NOT READY TO TAKE OUR MASKS OFF.

I DON'T THINK WE'RE READY TO TAKE OUR MASKS OFF HERE IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

I DON'T THINK THAT STATEWIDE YET.

WE'RE AT THAT POINT WHERE WE'RE READY TO TAKE OUR MASKS OFF.

THIS QUESTION IS FROM CBS, AUSTIN, APH INCREASED VACCINATIONS TO 37,000 THIS WEEK.

MAYOR ADLER SAID THAT WHILE MUCH OF THAT INCREASE WAS DUE TO A BACKLOG OF DOSES, YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE APH CONTINUED DISTRIBUTING VACCINES AT THAT RATE, IS THIS POSSIBLE? AND WHAT IS APH DOING TO TRY TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN? OKAY.

WE AT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH HAPPY ABILITY, UH, TO PROVIDE 37,000 VACCINES PER WEEK.

UM, WE DEFINITELY HAVE LOOKED AT, UH, ADDITIONAL FACILITIES WHERE WE CAN EXPAND THE FOOTPRINT.

WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO EXPAND THE FOOTPRINT IN EXISTING LOCATIONS AS WELL.

UM, WE HAVE WORKED WITH, UM, THE CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE, UM, AND YOU KNOW, WE'D LIKE TO APPLY AT THE CITY MANAGER, UH, CROCK FOR SENDING OUT AN EMAIL THIS WEEK TO, UM, DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVES, UH, TO, TO REQUEST ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FROM EXISTING STAFF.

UH, WE HAVE VOLUNTEERS THAT HAVE BEEN SIGNING UP, UM, THAT HAVE HELPED US GO SPAR AND ARE CONTINUING TO WANT TO SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS.

AND SO WE ARE AT AN ABILITY WHERE WE CAN PROVIDE THAT MANY VACCINES, UM, AND WE'LL CONTINUE TO, UM, HAVE STAFF IN TO TRAIN THEM.

SO WE'LL ABLE TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE A STAFFING AS WELL.

SO WE ARE DEFINITELY EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE 30,037,000 VACCINES A WEEK.

[00:15:02]

I JUST LIKE TO ADD THAT, JUST TO GIVE THE GENERAL PUBLIC A PERSPECTIVE ON WHAT IT TAKES TO RUN A VACCINE OPERATION JUST FOR THE GEL COAT SITE ALONE, IT TAKES AT LEAST 200 PEOPLE TO RUN THAT OPERATION FOR AN EIGHT HOUR CLINICAL PERIOD.

THAT'S A 10 HOUR OPERATION PERIOD.

SO PEOPLE HAVE THE APPROPRIATE STAFF, UH, TRAINING AND, UM, NO, YOU KNOW, THE, THE INS AND OUTS OF WHAT TO DO, UH, BUT IT DOES REQUIRE A HUGE LIFT AS FAR AS, UH, PERSONNEL RESOURCES TO OPERATE A FACILITY LIKE THAT.

WE'RE CURRENTLY RUNNING A DELCO.

WE'VE GOT, UM, THE AISD PERFORMING ARTS CENTER OPERATING AS WELL AS DOES SPRINGS AND A SITE IN PFLUGERVILLE THAT WILL OPERATE THOSE.

SOME OF THOSE ARE MUCH SMALLER OPERATIONS, BUT IT STILL IS AN INCREDIBLE, UH, UH, STAFF INTENSIVE PROCESS.

UM, JUST TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA ON IN DRIVE-THROUGH POD OPERATIONS, UH, RECENTLY DENTON COUNTY DID A MASSIVE OPERATION UP AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY FOR DRIVE-THROUGHS AND THAT OPERATION TOOK QUADRUPLE THE STAFF, UH, TO, TO OPERATE A DRIVE-THROUGH TO MAKE SURE BECAUSE THERE'S THE ELEMENTS OF VEHICLES AND CARS AND SAFETY AND THINGS LIKE THAT.

UM, AND CUBING CARS IN LINE.

SO THE THAT'S ANOTHER BIG OPERATION AS WELL.

AND SO, AS WE CONTINUE WITH OUR VACCINE EFFORTS, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE IT STAFFED APPROPRIATELY, THAT WE ARE STILL IN THE PROCESS OF FINE TUNING THAT AND MAKING SURE THAT WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO SCALE UP AND SCALE BACK WHEN WE NEED TO, UH, SO THAT WE HAVE, UH, ARE EFFECTIVELY DISTRIBUTING THAT TO OUR COMMUNITY.

UM, WE ARE ALSO VERY, VERY OPTIMISTIC THAT VACCINE IS BEGINNING TO BE PUSHED OUT TO OTHER PROVIDERS IN OUR COMMUNITY LIKE OUR RETAIL PHARMACIES LIKE CVS AND HEB, BECAUSE I THINK ONCE WE GET MORE VACCINE OUT IN THE COMMUNITY, THERE'LL BE MORE OPTIONS AS THERE WAS DURING TESTING TO GET VACCINE INTO THE COMMUNITY, UH, AND ON OUR PATH TO HERD IMMUNITY MUCH QUICKLY, MORE QUICKLY.

AND APH HAS DEMONSTRATED THE ABILITY TO DELIVER VACCINES IN HIGH QUANTITIES, UH, THROUGHOUT THIS WE'VE DEMONSTRATED THAT TO THE STATE, UH, AS, AS IT STANDS, WE GIVE THE VACCINE THAT WE RECEIVE AND WE GIVE EVERY BIT OF IT.

UH, AND WE'VE NOT WASTED A SINGLE DOSE OF VACCINE THAT HAS BEEN ALLOCATED TO US BY THE STATE.

SO AS WE PROVE THAT CAPABILITY AND CONTINUE TO SHOW THAT, UH, THEN I THINK THAT OUR VACCINE ALLOCATIONS WILL CONTINUE AND IN LARGE QUANTITIES AND ENABLED US TO DO THAT.

BUT DECO WITH JANET SAID THAT, UH, THE, THESE OTHER VACCINE PROVIDERS SUCH AS PHARMACIES AND CLINICS THAT WILL COME ONLINE IN THE COMING MONTHS, I THINK THAT WILL, UH, MAGNIFY THOSE EFFORTS TO GET OUR COMMUNITY VACCINATED.

THE ALTERNATE AMERICAN STATESMEN ASKS PRESIDENTS THIS WEEK.

WE'RE EXCITED TO SEE THEIR PLACE IN LINE.

HE ESTIMATED WAIT TIME ON AUSTIN, PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATED WEBSITE.

HOWEVER, SOME RESIDENTS SAY THE WEBSITE DID NOT CHANGE FOR THEM.

CAN YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN THESE WEBSITE UPDATES AND WHY SOME RESIDENTS WHO SIGNED BACK IN ON A WEDNESDAY, COULDN'T SEE THOSE CHANGES AS YOU KNOW, WITH OUR SYSTEM.

UM, WE ARE CONTINUALLY, UM, PROVIDING UPDATES.

WE HEAVILY RELY ON THE PUBLIC TO LET US KNOW IF THEY SEE ANY, UM, CHALLENGES THAT THEY ARE FACING WHEN THEY ARE ACCESSING THE WEBSITE.

AND BASED UP ON THAT FEEDBACK, AS WELL AS OUR STAFF THAT ARE DOING CONTINUOUS QUALITY IMPROVEMENT, WE'RE ABLE TO MAKE CHANGES TO OUR SYSTEM.

AS YOU KNOW, WE RELEASE APPOINTMENTS ON TUESDAY AND THURSDAY ONLY.

UM, AND SO IF AN INDIVIDUAL WAS GOING IN ON WEDNESDAY, UH, LOOKING FOR APPOINTMENTS, THEY WERE NOT AVAILABLE BECAUSE WE DON'T RELEASE THEM ON WEDNESDAY.

UM, WHAT WE NOTICED ON THURSDAY, WE HAD, UH, 5,700 APPOINTMENT SLOTS.

WE HAD 10,000 PEOPLE THAT WERE TRYING TO GET THOSE SLOTS.

AND SO IT'S IMPORTANT FOR FOLKS TO KNOW THAT WE TYPICALLY WILL ONLY PUT A, AN APPOINTMENT SLOT WHERE WE HAVE A VACCINE TO GO WITH THAT.

AND WE CONTINUE TO SEE THAT THERE IS MORE DEMAND THAN WE HAVE SUPPLY.

AND SO WE'RE JUST ASKING FOLKS TO CONTINUE TO BE PATIENT WITH US.

UM, BUT WE WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE UPDATES.

UH, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT FOLKS DID MAYBE SEE THIS WEEK IS THE QUEUING ABILITY.

AND SO, UM, SO THAT STARTED

[00:20:01]

WITH, UM, OUR SYSTEM THIS WEEK.

AND THAT SEEMS TO BE WORKING WELL, NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KVU.

HOW CAN PEOPLE REGISTER FOR THE COTA OR SECRET OF THE AMERICAS VACCINATION SITE, AND WHEN DO YOU ALL EXPECT IT TO OPEN TO PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF GROUPS? ONE A AND ONE B WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE, ABOUT THE CODING EFFORTS, UM, AS YOU KNOW, THAT, THAT WE, AS A BIPARTISAN REQUESTS FROM JUDGES.

AND SO WE'RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THAT BEING AN OPTION TO NOT ONLY FOLKS IN TRAVIS COUNTY, BUT THOSE OTHER COUNTIES, UM, THAT ARE SUPPORTING THOSE EFFORTS RIGHT NOW, THAT IS A CLOSED POD, UM, UH, POINT OF DISTRIBUTION.

AND SO BASICALLY, UM, THE FOLKS THAT WILL BE COMING THROUGH THAT PROCESS ARE GOING TO BE RESIDENTS FROM EACH OF THOSE COUNTIES.

UM, BUT THEY ARE GOING TO BE CLIENTS OF COMMUNITY CARE.

AND SO COMMUNITY CARE PROVIDES HEALTHCARE SERVICES TO INDIVIDUALS THAT DON'T HAVE, UM, PRIMARILY DON'T HAVE INSURANCE AND THEY SERVE AS THE SAFETY NET.

AND SO AS WE CONTINUE TO DO WELL IN THAT EFFORT, UM, THE PLAN IS, IS TO DO MORE OF THOSE.

UM, I KNOW YOU COULD, YOU KNOW, REACH OUT TO JUDGE BROWN AND I'M SURE HE WOULD, WOULD OFFER, YOU KNOW, INFORMATION TO YOU ABOUT THAT AS WELL.

BUT WE ARE REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THOSE OPERATIONS AT COTA REGARDING WINDOW WILL OPEN UP TO OTHER VACCINE CATEGORIES.

WE ESTIMATE THAT THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY A HALF MILLION PEOPLE IN THIS AREA AND FALL INTO THE ONE, A OR ONE B CATEGORY, AND THAT WE STILL HAVE A WAYS TO GO ON GETTING THAT GROUP PROTECTED.

UH, THE ONE BEES OF COURSE, ARE THE, UH, THE, UH, ARE VERY VULNERABLE CITIZENS WHO ARE, UH, LIKELY TO HAVE SERIOUS COMPLICATIONS OF THE DISEASE AS SOON AS WE GET TO THAT POINT WHERE WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO OPENING THAT UP, BUT WE STILL HAVE A WAYS TO GO YET.

AND I'LL JUST ADD THAT, UH, THE GOVERNOR, UH, VACCINATION TASK FORCES REALLY, HE DECIDES AND LETS THE LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS KNOW WHEN THEY OPEN UP ADDITIONAL CATEGORIES LIKE ONE C UH, THEY WERE THE ONES THAT MODIFIED THE, UH, PRIORITY GROUPINGS FOR ONE B.

I WERE FOLLOWING THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS AS THEY ARE PRESENTED TO US IN THE STATE.

THIS QUESTION IS FROM COOPERATIVE LEO.

THE GOVERNOR REPORTS ANTICIPATING NEW VACCINE DOES IS FROM AS MANY AS THE RESOURCES TO ARRIVE IN TRAVIS COUNTY IN THE COMING WEEKS.

WHEN WILL APH IMPLEMENT YOUR 350 PLUS COMMERCIAL PARTNERS TO RAMP UP INOCULATIONS WHO DETERMINES WHEN AND WHICH OF THE PARTNERS GETS DOSES TO ADMINISTER TO PATIENTS? I'LL, I'LL JUST ADD THAT, UH, THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES IS WHO DETERMINES, UH, WHEN THOSE, UH, REGISTERED PROVIDERS WILL RECEIVE DOSES, UH, TO BEGIN VACCINATION OR TO CONTINUE BACK TO SUMMATION.

SO, UM, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE REGISTERED, UH, AND MAYBE IN THE QUEUE TO GET AND RECEIVE AN ALLOCATION, UH, THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT JUST LIKE AUSTIN, PUBLIC HEALTH AS A PROVIDER, WE WAIT TO RECEIVE WHAT OUR ALLOCATION WILL BE FOR THAT WEEK FOR THE NEXT COMING WEEK.

UH, OTHER THOSE PROVIDERS WILL ALSO BE NOTIFIED BY THE STATE ON THEIR ALLOCATION.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM ESTONIA, WE'RE HEARING THAT RESIDENTS IN GROUPS, ONE B ARE EXPERIENCING A NUMBER OF TECHNOLOGICAL GLITCHES, SUCH AS MISSING CONFIRMATION EMAILS AND CANCELLATIONS WHEN TRYING TO MAKE THEIR VACCINE APPOINTMENTS, WHAT IS BEING DONE TO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES? WE HAVE A, A TEAM OF, UH, FOLKS THAT WORK, UH, INTERNALLY TO HEALTH DEPARTMENT, UM, AS WELL AS OUR CITY OF AUSTIN, UM, TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT, INCLUDING AN EXTERNAL PARTNER, UH, WITH OUR SALESFORCE PLATFORM, THAT TEAM IS ALWAYS DOING, UM, IMPROVEMENTS TO THAT SYSTEM.

AND SO AS WE WORK ON THOSE IMPROVEMENTS, UM, WE DO MAKE CHANGES.

AND SO, UM, WE ARE SEEING THINGS RUN SO MUCH BETTER.

UM, WITH ANY SYSTEM WE KNOW IT'S NOT GOING TO BE A PERFECT SYSTEM, BUT WHAT YOU DO IS, IS YOU SET GOALS TO IMPROVE AND MAKE CHANGES AS YOU SEE ANY GLITCHES OR ANY CONCERNS.

SO THAT IS CONTINUOUSLY HAPPENING WITH THAT SYSTEM.

[00:25:03]

AND I'LL JUST ADD THAT THERE, LIKE DIRECTOR HAYDEN HOWARD SAID THERE'S CONTINUOUS QUALITY PAULY ASSURANCE AND QUALITY IMPROVEMENT TAKING PLACE IN A LOT OF, UH, UH, OF THAT QA THAT'S HAPPENING ON THE CASES AND THE DATA THAT'S BEEN ENTERED, UH, FROM THOSE INITIAL WEEKS.

I THINK OUR TOUGH SPOT WAS THAT FIRST WEEK WE HAD VACCINATIONS AND WE HAD A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO, UH, CAME TO THE SITE WITHOUT APPOINTMENTS.

UH, AND, UM, SO WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE ALL THOSE PEOPLE ENTERED INTO OUR SYSTEM AND THAT, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE, THEY'RE BEING FOLLOWED UP WITH ACCORDINGLY EITHER BY PHONE CALL, BY EMAIL OR TEXT, SO, AND SCHEDULED FOR THEIR SECOND DOSES.

SO, SO THERE WAS A LOT OF QA THAT'S HAPPENING, UH, IN THE BACKGROUND BY TECHNOLOGY AND BY OUR AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH STAFF TO, TO RECONCILE AND, AND FIX THOSE.

UH, ONE OF THE CHALLENGES AND I KNOW WAS FRUSTRATING INITIALLY TO GET ONLINE, TO GET PRE-REGISTERED, BUT WE HAD PEOPLE AS AN EXAMPLE WHO CREATED MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS, LIKE FIVE OR SIX DIFFERENT ACCOUNTS WITH DIFFERENT EMAIL ADDRESSES.

AND SO, UM, WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE TO GO THROUGH EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE ACCOUNTS TO MAKE SURE THAT THEIR VACCINE IS, UH, UM, ASSOCIATED WITH THEIR PROPER ACCOUNT AND, UM, A PROPER EMAIL ADDRESS SO THAT WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO, TO CONTACT THEM FOR THEIR SECOND DOSE OX, SEVEN ASKS, HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY WORK FROM THE STATE OPEN UP VACCINE APPOINTMENTS TO, OR MIDDLE-AGED ADULTS? UH, AGAIN, WE HAVEN'T RECEIVED ANYTHING WE'RE FOLLOWING THE PRIORITY GROUPINGS THAT HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES AND BY THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL, WHICH, UH, INCLUDE, UH, PRIORITY GROUPS, ONE A AND ONE B THERE MAY BE SOME MIDDLE AGED FOLKS THAT ARE IN THE ONE GREEN CATEGORY, BUT THEY MAY HAVE UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDITIONS THAT QUALIFY THEM TO BE IN ONE, THE ONE, UH, B PRIORITY GROUP.

SO, UM, AS THEY ARE AVAILABLE AND AS THEY DO THEIR ASSESSMENTS AND, UM, IF THEY QUALIFY BASED ON, UH, SOME MEDICAL CONDITION THEY HAVE, OR, OR OTHER CIRCUMSTANCE, MAYBE THEY'RE A HEALTHCARE PROVIDER, THEY MAY BE PICKED UP FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE.

BUT AGAIN, WE ANXIOUSLY AWAIT, UH, TO SEE WHEN, UH, THE ONE C UH, PRIORITY GROUP WILL BE RELEASED AND WHAT THAT WILL LOOK LIKE SO THAT WE CAN BEGIN, UH, PREPARING TO PROVIDE VACCINE TO THOSE POPULATIONS.

UM, I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO ADD, UM, THAT THE DEPARTMENT IS PARTNERING WITH SEVERAL, UM, AGENCIES THAT PROVIDE SERVICES TO PEOPLE THAT ARE, UM, ARE ELDERLY AND OR DISABLED.

AND SO MAKING SURE THAT, UM, AS WE SET UP OUR MOBILE PROCESS, WE HAVE IMPLEMENTED THAT THIS WEEK.

AND SO, UM, WE WILL BE ABLE TO PROVIDE, UM, SOME VACCINES FOR FOLKS THAT ARE AT HOME, UM, AS WELL AS, UM, PROVIDING, UM, VACCINES.

SO FOR EXAMPLE, UM, THIS WEEK, UM, OUR FOLKS WENT OVER TO REBECCA BAINES JOHNSON AND PROVIDED VACCINES TO THE RESIDENTS OF THAT FACILITY.

SO THAT'S JUST AN EXAMPLE OF SOME THINGS THAT WE ARE DOING TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE PROVIDING VACCINES TO OUR ELDERLY POPULATION, AS YOU KNOW, UM, OUR, OUR, UM, MOST OF OUR DATA DOES REFLECT, UM, INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE 65 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER.

UM, WE KNOW IN OUR COMMUNITY WE HAVE 129,000 OF THEM AND, UM, MAKING SURE THAT WE ARE, UM, PROVIDING VACCINES TO THEM, UM, AS WE MOVE THROUGH THIS PROCESS, THIS QUESTION IS FROM COMMUNITY IMPACT MINIMAL D S H S BEGIN SHIPPING SECOND DOSES AUTOMATICALLY FOUR WEEKS AFTER THE FIRST.

AND COULD YOU CLARIFY YOUR GUIDANCE FOR FOLKS THAT HAVE HAD THEIR FIRST DOSE ON WHEN THEY SHOULD RECEIVE THEIR SECOND SHOT? WE RECEIVED WORD, UM, LAST WEEK FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES TO ALERT US THAT, UM, EFFECTIVE LAST WEEK THAT THEY WILL, UM, BEGAN TO SEND US, UM, THOSE ALLOCATIONS.

AND SO, AS A RESULT OF THAT, UM, DURING THIS WEEK, UM, TYPICALLY WE DO A CARD FOR STAFF, UM, THAT WILL SHOW THEM, UM, THE DATE THAT THEY RECEIVED THEIR VACCINE FROM US, UM, WHAT TYPE OF VACCINE THEY RECEIVED AND WHEN THEY ARE SLATED TO COME BACK FOR THE SECOND VACCINE, WHAT WE WILL DO NOW IS, IS THAT WE

[00:30:01]

WILL PROACTIVELY SEND OUT TO THEM AS WE HAVE BEEN WITH SECOND DOSE VACCINES.

IT'S JUST TO GO AHEAD AND SCHEDULE THEM TO COME BACK IN BASED UPON THE TIMEFRAME ON THAT CARD.

AND SO WE WILL PROACTIVELY DO THAT.

WE ARE ASKING ALL FOLKS, IF YOU'VE HAD A SECOND VACCINE, WE DON'T WANT YOU TO GO INTO THE SYSTEM TO TRY TO SCHEDULE A SECOND VACCINE.

UM, IF YOU'VE NOT HEARD FROM US, WE HAVE, UH, IMPLEMENTED A PROCESS WITH THREE, ONE, ONE.

YOU CAN DEFINITELY GIVE THEM A CALL AND LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU, UM, WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE A CALL ABOUT YOUR SECOND VACCINE.

AND OUR STAFF WILL GIVE YOU A CALL BECAUSE WE'VE SET UP A PROCESS WITH OUTBOUND CALLS.

SO THOSE ARE SOME OF THE, UH, THE PROCESS THAT WE'VE PUT IN PLACE FOR, FOR SECOND DOSE VACCINE.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE CHRONICLE, WHAT DAY CAN WE EXPECT APHS VACCINE DASHBOARD TO BE UPDATED WITH THIS WEEK'S DATA? UM, WE ARE LOOKING AT UPDATING, UM, THE, THE DASHBOARD, UM, OVER THE WEEKEND.

IT'LL PROBABLY BE, UM, SUNDAY OR MONDAY AT THE LATEST.

AND SO JUST KIND OF KEEP IN MIND THAT ALL OF OUR DATA HAS BEEN DELAYED.

UM, AND THEN WHEN WE DO PUT IN THE DATA, THE DATA IS, IS, IS A WEEK OUT FOR THE CURRENT WEEK.

UM, SO, SO THE NUMBERS STILL MAY NOT BE EQUAL TO WHAT I'VE TALKED ABOUT TODAY WITH THE 20,000.

UM, SO, SO THOSE NUMBERS ARE TYPICALLY REFLECTED A WEEK OUT FROM THAT CURRENT WEEK.

SO THERE IS A LAG IN THE DATA.

SO WE ALWAYS LET FOLKS KNOW THAT THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KX AND ALL VACCINES.

HAVEN'T BEEN OPEN TO ONE SEED YET.

WE STILL DON'T KNOW WHO WOULD FALL INTO THAT CATEGORY.

DOES APH HAVE THOUGHTS ON WHO SHOULD BE IN THE ONE SEAT PRIORITY GROUP AND WHO SHOULD GET THE J AND J VACCINE RATHER THAN PFIZER MADRONA IF APPROVED? SO THE VACCINE PRIORITIES WERE SET WITH FOUR MAIN GOALS IN MIND, NUMBER ONE, TO BE PROTECTING THE HEALTH CARE INFRASTRUCTURE.

AND THAT'S THE ONE EIGHT CATEGORY HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS, AND THAT FELL INTO THAT CATEGORY.

UM, THE SECOND TO PROTECT OUR MOST VULNERABLE CITIZENS.

AND SO THAT'S WHERE THE ONE B CATEGORY COMES FROM.

AND, UH, THERE ARE, ARE FOLKS WHO ARE MOST LIKELY TO SUFFER SEVERE COMPLICATIONS OF THE DISEASE.

THE NEXT TIER IS, UH, HELPING TO PROTECT INFRASTRUCTURE AND THE ECONOMY.

AND SO THIS IS WHERE, UH, YOU, WE, WE WANT TO, UH, PROTECT FOLKS WHO ARE VITAL TO A FUNCTIONING, NOT ONLY OF GOVERNMENT, BUT ALSO, UM, UH, THOSE WHO SERVE, UH, SERVE CITIZENS IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

AND THEN THE, UH, THE LAST STEP IS HALTING THE PANDEMIC THROUGH THE WIDESPREAD VACCINATION EFFORTS.

UH, THE, UH, THE CDC HAS HAD SOME THOUGHTS ON, UH, ON FOLKS WHO FALL INTO THOSE, UH, THAT ONE C CATEGORY.

UM, AND I KNOW THE STATE HAS, BUT I DON'T THINK THAT THEY'VE FINALIZED THOSE THOUGHTS YET, BUT HERE'S WHERE, UH, OCCUPATIONS REALLY COME INTO HELPING TO DETERMINE, UH, WHAT, UH, WHAT CATEGORY YOU FALL INTO THERE.

UH, WE, UH, AWAIT MORE GUIDANCE.

OF COURSE WE, UH, FOLLOW THE GUIDANCE THAT IS GIVEN TO US BY DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES, UH, ON THOSE, UH, ON THOSE CATEGORIES WITH REGARDS TO THE SECOND QUESTION OF WHICH VACCINES SHOULD YOU GET.

I THINK YOU SHOULD GET ANY OF THE APPROVED VACCINES THAT YOU CAN GET.

UH, NOW THE J AND J VACCINE, ONE OF THE ADVANTAGES OF IT IS THAT IT DOES NOT REQUIRE THE, UH, THE SAME SPECIFIC HANDLING THAT THE PFIZER AND THE MODERN VACCINES DO.

THEY, IT CAN BE STORED AT REGULAR REFRIGERATOR TEMPERATURES, AND IT IS A SINGLE DOSE TO, UH, TO PROVIDE THE IMMUNITY, UM, FROM WHAT WE'VE SEEN FROM THE INITIAL, UH, DATA, UH, THE J AND J VACCINE HAS A LOWER EFFICACY RATE.

UH, SO IT IS MORE THAN THE 70% EFFECTIVE RANGE RATHER THAN THE 95% THAT WE SEE WITH PFIZER AND MODERNA, BUT THAT IT'S AVAILABILITY.

THE FACT THAT YOU CAN GET ONE SHOT ONLY THE FACT THAT IT CAN TOLERATE, UM, A, UH, UH, BETTER TEMPERATURE RANGE AND CAN GET OUT TO PROVIDERS THAT WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO HANDLE THE OTHER VACCINES AS, AS EFFECTIVELY.

I THINK THAT MAKES US A REALLY EFFECTIVE TOOL IN FIGHTING THE PANDEMIC.

UH, SO THE, UH, THE BOTTOM LINE IS GET ANY OF THESE VACCINES THAT, UH, THAT YOU CAN GET.

[00:35:01]

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM CBS, AUSTIN, CVS HAD A LARGE NUMBER OF APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE IN THE AUSTIN AREAS.

TODAY, IS THIS AN INDICATION OF AN ONGOING INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF VACCINES THAT ARE COMING TO TEXAS AND THE AUSTIN AREA? DO YOU THINK THIS WILL MOVE US TO CATEGORY MUNCIE IN THE NEAR FUTURE? WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT, UM, CVS, UM, HAVING THOSE APPOINTMENTS AND PROVIDING VACCINE.

UM, WE, WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE FEDERAL PHARMACY PROGRAM, AND WE KNOW THAT SEVERAL OF OUR PHARMACY PROVIDERS HAVE BEEN APPROVED THROUGH THAT FEDERAL, UH, PROGRAM AND WILL BE RECEIVING THOSE DIRECT SHIPMENTS.

AND SO, UM, THAT IS GOING TO REALLY HELP US IN OUR COMMUNITY TO BE ABLE TO, UM, PROVIDE SEVERAL PARTNERS WHERE YOU COULD POTENTIALLY GO TO RECEIVE YOUR VACCINE.

AND, YOU KNOW, AS DR. PICKETT SHARED EARLIER, YOU KNOW, ONCE WE HEAR INFORMATION FROM CDC, AS WELL AS, UM, THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WE CAN PIVOT TO THE ONE C, BUT AS HE STATED EARLIER, WE HAVE OVER A HALF A MILLION PEOPLE THAT WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DO PROVIDE THOSE VACCINES TO THEM.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN, GOVERNOR GREG AVID THIS WEEK ANNOUNCED TEXAS WOULD SOON GET ITS LARGEST ALLOTMENT OF CORONAVIRUS VACCINES TODAY.

DO WE HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY DOSES TRAVIS COUNTY MAY RECEIVE IN HIS 1.5 MILLION SHIPMENT? WE, UH, TYPICALLY ARE ALERTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES, WHAT OUR ALLOCATION IS GOING TO BE FOR THE WEEK.

UM, BUT WE ARE VERY EXCITED TO HEAR THAT THE STATE OF TEXAS WILL RECEIVE MORE VACCINES.

UM, AS YOU STATED EARLIER, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE, UM, 350 FOLKS THAT ARE APPROVED BY THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES.

SO WHAT THAT MEANS IS THE POTENTIAL FOR ALL OF THEM TO MAYBE GET SOME VACCINE IS DEFINITELY GOING TO BE HELPFUL.

AND SO AS MORE VACCINE IS BEING ROLLED OUT, UM, WITH MORE PROVIDERS IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT WILL DEFINITELY, UM, STRENGTHEN, UM, OUR, OUR COMMUNITY AND TEXAS AS A WHOLE.

SO WE ARE DEFINITELY LOOKING FORWARD TO RECEIVING ALL OF THOSE VACCINES AND HAVING MORE PROVIDERS THAT WILL BE PROVIDING VACCINES IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

YEAH.

WE GIVE EVERY DOSE THAT WE'RE ALLOCATED, AND IF WE COULD WAVE A MAGIC WAND AND GET MANY THOUSANDS MORE, UH, THAN WE'LL GIVE THOSE TWO AND WE'LL DO IT QUICKLY.

SO WE ARE ANXIOUS TO HEAR HOW MANY THAT WE'RE GETTING.

AND, UM, YOU CAN KNOW THAT AS SOON AS WE DO, THEN WE'RE GOING TO BE GETTING THAT INTO THE ARMS OF PEOPLE WHO NEED IT AND WANT IT.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KVU YOU HAVE SEEN THE ELDERLY AND PEOPLE WITH LACK OF ACCESS TO THE INTERNET, STRUGGLED TO SIGN UP FOR VACCINE.

WHY ISN'T APH ASSIGNING APPOINTMENTS LIKE OTHER JURISDICTIONS IS INSTEAD OF MAKING PEOPLE SIGN UP? WELL, WE HAVE A PROCESS WHERE WE HAVE, UM, REACHED OUT TO, UM, FOLKS THAT ARE 65 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER.

UM, WE WILL CONTINUE THAT PROCESS.

UM, AS I STATED EARLIER, UM, WE ARE WORKING WITH, UM, NON-PROFITS THAT PROVIDE SERVICES TO SENIORS.

UM, SO WHETHER THEY ARE PROVIDING MEALS TO THEM, ET CETERA, UM, OUR MOBILE TEAM WILL BE PROVIDING VACCINES TO THAT POPULATION.

WE DO KNOW THAT THERE ARE SOME FOLKS, UM, THAT, UM, CONTINUE TO GO THROUGH OUR PROCESS.

UM, WE WILL NOT TELL PEOPLE NOT TO DO THAT.

UM, BUT WE HAVE ASKED IF THEY'RE HAVING ANY CHALLENGES WITH GETTING APPOINTMENTS, WE ARE ENCOURAGING THEM TO REACH OUT TO THREE, ONE, ONE.

WE HAVE FOLKS THAT ARE MAKING OUTBOUND CALLS TO FOLKS AND GETTING THEM SCHEDULED AS WELL.

THIS IS THE LAST QUESTION IS FROM CO-OP RADIO.

THE GOVERNOR HAS SUGGESTED THAT WITH THE ANTICIPATED ARRIVAL OF MORE VACCINES, THE STATE WILL LOOSEN OR REMOVE RESTRICTIONS FOR PEOPLE SEEKING VACCINATIONS.

HOW WILL THESE NEW DOSES BE DISTRIBUTED? WILL APH PRIORITIZE INDIVIDUALS IN PHASES, ONE A

[00:40:01]

AND ONE B WHO HAVE YET TO RECEIVE SHOTS APH WILL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES FOR THE VARIOUS CATEGORIES AS SET FORTH BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES.

UH, THE APPEARANCE OF MORE VACCINE IN OUR COMMUNITY IS, UH, WILL BE A GREAT THING, AND WE'RE GOING TO GET THOSE SHOTS OUT, BUT WE'RE STILL GOING TO FOLLOW THOSE PRIORITY CATEGORIES, UH, AS, UH, AS HAS BEEN SET FORTH.

THANK YOU.

AT THIS TIME, WE WILL TRANSITION TO OUR CLOSING REMARKS DIRECTOR, HAYDEN HOWARD, OVER TO YOU.

WE, UM, WE'LL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE, UM, THE VACCINES THAT WE ARE ALLOCATED FROM THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES.

UM, WE DO ASK FOLKS TO CONTINUE TO BE PATIENT WITH US.

WE ARE CONTINUING TO, UM, WORK ON OUR, UM, ON OUR PLATFORM TO ENSURE, UM, FOLKS WILL HAVE A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE.

UM, AGAIN, I WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE, UM, STAFF FROM AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, UM, THAT WORKS IN VARIOUS WAYS, WHETHER THEY WERE RESPONDING TO, UM, THE WEATHER CRISIS EMERGENCY, UM, WORKING AT, UM, ONE OF OUR, UM, COLD WEATHER SHELTERS, UM, CONTINUING TO, UM, PLAN VACCINE ADMINISTRATION, UM, TO, TO DETERMINE, UH, WAYS OF HOW, UM, TO GET OUR DATA OF THAT CAUGHT UP.

AND SO OUR STAFF HAVE DONE AN EXCEPTIONAL JOB WITH DOING THOSE THINGS.

UM, JUST AS A REMINDER, WE KNOW, UM, WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH VACCINE TO GO AROUND AND OUR HOPE IS, IS EVEN IF YOU HAVE BEEN VACCINATED, YOU WILL CONTINUE TO WEAR YOUR MASK.

YOU WILL WATCH YOUR DISTANCE, YOU WILL WASH YOUR HANDS AND IF YOU'RE NOT FEELING WELL, OUR HOPE IS IS THAT YOU WILL GO AND GET A TEST.

IF YOU THINK YOU'VE HAD SOME EXPOSURE, PLEASE, BY ALL MEANS OUR TEST IS FREE.

PLEASE SIGN UP AND GO IN AND TAKE A TEST WITH AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH.

I WILL TRANSITION NOW TO DR.

PIGOTT.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, GEORGIA ADEN HOWARD.

AND I'D LIKE TO ALSO THANK THE, UH, AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS AND AUSTIN FIRE DEPARTMENT FOR THEIR HELP DURING THIS, UH, UH, THIS WEATHER EMERGENCY AND THE PANDEMIC AS THEY HAVE WORKED TIRELESSLY THIS WHOLE TIME TO, UH, TO BRING PEOPLE TO RESOURCES, THEY NEED TO DIRECT THEM TO, UH, TO TESTING AND TO TREATMENT.

UH, BUT ALSO, ESPECIALLY SINCE, UH, WE LOST POWER AT ONE OF OUR VACCINE STORAGE SITES.

UH, THE, UH, EVEN THOUGH THE ROADS WERE JUST IMPASSABLE, UH, EMS AND FIRE CAME OVER TO, UH, TO GRAB THOSE VACCINES AND MAKE SURE THAT THEY WERE STILL WITHIN THE SAFE TEMPERATURE RANGE AND THAT NONE OF IT WAS LOST.

UH, AND, UH, THAT WAS, UH, THAT WAS, UH, JUST A GREAT AND HEROIC THING THAT, UH, THAT THEY DID.

UH, I HAVE ALL OF THESE REASONS TO BE OPTIMISTIC.

AND THE MORE INFORMATION THAT WE GET ABOUT HOW EFFECTIVE THE VACCINES ARE ABOUT HOW THE SUPPLY IS IMPROVING AND HOW MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE GETTING PROTECTED THROUGH VACCINATION.

UH, I HAVE EVERY REASON TO, TO BE, UH, OPTIMISTIC ABOUT WHERE WE'RE GOING TO BE ABOUT WHERE WE'RE GOING, THAT WE ARE GOING TO BEAT THIS PANDEMIC.

WE'RE NOT THERE YET.

WE STILL NEED PEOPLE TO WEAR THEIR MASKS.

WE STILL NEED PEOPLE TO DISTANCE AND, UH, TO STAY STRONG AND KEEP DOING WHAT WE'RE DOING.

WE KNOW THAT THIS IS WORKING, UH, WITH THAT.

I WILL TURN IT OVER TO CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST PICHET THANKS.

AND I WOULD TO LIKE TO THANK ALL THE, UH, FIRST RESPONDERS AND AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH STAFF, AND THE MANY, MANY VOLUNTEERS IN OUR COMMUNITY WHO HELPS SUPPORT, UH, FOLKS DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED WEATHER EVENT.

UH, AGAIN, ALL OUR PUBLIC HEALTH OPERATIONS ARE BACK ONLINE.

WE HAVE VACCINE OPERATIONS OPERATING AT FULL CAPACITY RIGHT NOW, SO THAT WE CAN CATCH UP FROM THAT WEEK OF BAD, UH, AND PREPARE FOR NEXT WEEK VACCINE PROCESS.

UH, WE HAVE OUR STAFF, UH, ONLINE DOING DATA ENTRY AND CONTINUING DOING OUR CASE INVESTIGATION AND CONTACT TRACING THAT TAKES PLACE AS WELL AS WE HAVE, UH, ALTERNATE CARE SITES, STILL OPERATING ISOLATION FACILITIES, STILL OPERATING, AND OUR TESTING OPERATIONS STILL OPERATING ARE BACK ONLINE.

SO IF YOU FELT THAT YOU WERE EXPOSED

[00:45:01]

DURING THIS TALKING PERIOD, UH, AND YOU FEEL, AND YOU'RE CON QUARANTINING, OR IF YOU'VE DEVELOPED SYMPTOMS AND NEED TO BE TESTED, PLEASE REMEMBER THAT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH HAS FREE TESTING AVAILABLE FOR, FOR ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO, UH, GET CHECKED OUT IF THEY HAVE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT, UH, DISEASE, TRANSMISSION RISKS, UH, IF THEY WERE IN A CONGREGATE SETTING, WHETHER THEY WERE IN THE WARMING CENTER, UH, WHETHER THEY WERE SHELTERED BY A GOOD NEIGHBOR OR, UM, A VOLUNTEER, UH, JUST BE MINDFUL THAT, UH, WE DID HAVE THOSE OPERATIONS OPERATIONS AVAILABLE TO YOU SO THAT YOU CAN BE TESTED FREE OF CHARGE, UH, TO DETERMINE YOUR COVID STATUS.

AND AGAIN, ALONG WITH WHAT DR. PICKETT WAS SAYING, I WOULD BE REMISS NOT TO MENTION THIS, THE THINGS THAT WE NEED TO SAY, AND THAT IS TO MAKE SURE YOU WEAR YOUR MASK, MAKE SURE YOUR SOCIAL DISTANCING, UM, AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE STAYING HOME IF YOU ARE SICK, UH, SO THAT YOU CAN PREVENT DISEASE, TRANSMISSION RISKS.

UH, AND WITH THAT, I HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND.

THANK YOU, JANET.

THAT CONCLUDES OUR MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR TODAY.

THANK YOU TO APH DIRECTOR, STEPHANIE HAYDEN, HOWARD, DR.

JASON PICKETT AND CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JANET PICHETTE UNTIL OUR POOL REPORTER BETH SULLIVAN FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.

HAVE A SAFE WEEKEND.

.

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