Link

Social

Embed

Download

Download
Download Transcript

[COVID-19: Press Q & A]

[00:00:09]

GOOD MORNING.

I'M THE SHONDA 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.

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

THEN JANET PUSH HEAD AUSTIN, PUBLIC HEALTH, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST.

WE WILL THEN OPEN IT UP TO OUR POLL REPORTER WHO WILL ASK QUESTIONS ON BEHALF OF THE MEETING, STEPHANIE, OVER TO YOU, ACCORDING TO THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES, ABOUT 25% OF AUSTIN, TRAVIS REP AOS AND TRAVIS COUNTY RESIDENT HAVE RECEIVED AT LEAST ONE VACCINE.

WE KNOW VERY EXCITED ABOUT THAT NEWS.

HOWEVER, WE'RE NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET.

WE REALLY NEED TO CONTINUE THIS PROCESS, UM, IN ORDER TO MOVE US ALONG, UM, ALLOW US TO PROVIDE MORE VACCINES TO THE PUBLIC.

BUT IN THE MEANTIME, IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT FOR US TO CONTINUE TO WEAR YOUR MASK BECAUSE WE'RE NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET AT THIS TIME, I WILL TRANSITION OVER TO DR AND SCOTT.

THANK YOU, STEPHANIE.

AND AGAIN, WE ARE EXCITED TO BE MAKING SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS IN OUR VACCINATION EFFORTS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY, AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN HOWARD MENTIONED WE'RE AT 25% FOR THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE 16 YEARS OLD OR OLDER, WE LOOK AT OUR GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS, 65 AND OLDER IT'S MORE THAN A 50%, AND THAT'S GOING TO CERTAINLY HELP MITIGATE THE RISK OF, OF AN OVERWHELMING SURGE IN THE FUTURE.

HOWEVER, WE'RE NOT OUT OF, OUT OF THE RESTAGE OF RISK YET.

WE'RE STILL IN THE STAGE THREE.

UH, AND OF PARTICULAR CONCERN RIGHT NOW IS THE RECENT SPRING BREAK HOLIDAY, WHICH IS ENDING THIS WEEKEND, UH, FOR THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO TRAVELED FOR SPRING BREAK TO ENGAGED IN ACTIVITIES, UH, WHERE, WHERE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND MASKING WORD AT HAIR TUNE, IT'S IMPORTANT FOR THEM TO QUARANTINE THEMSELVES NEXT WEEK TO GET A TEST AT THE END OF THAT WEEK AND RECEIVE A NEGATIVE TEST PRIOR TO RETURNING TO WORK OR SCHOOL THAT'S GOING TO HELP TO MITIGATE THE SPREAD OF DISEASE.

TYPICALLY, WHAT WE'VE SEEN IN PRIOR HOLIDAYS IS THE WEEK AFTER WHEN WE START TO SEE CASES INCREASING AMONGST INDIVIDUALS YOUNGER THAN, THAN 40.

AND THEN IN SUBSEQUENT WEEKS, WE SEE CASES GROW IN OTHER AGE GROUPS, OLDER AGE GROUPS.

SO IF WE CAN GET FOLKS WHO WERE INVOLVED IN THOSE ACTIVITIES TO QUARANTINE AND TEST, WE CAN LIMIT THE POTENTIAL IMPACT FOR SPREAD BEYOND THAT GROUP THAT TRAVELED OR PARTICIPATED IN THOSE ACTIVITIES.

AND THAT'S GOING TO HELP US AVOID A SURGE IN APRIL AND MAY CAN.

WE'RE PLEASED, UH, THAT, THAT WE STILL HAVE OUR MASK MANDATE IN PLACE.

WE'RE PLEASED TO SEE SO MANY BUSINESSES, UH, ENFORCING THOSE MASK MANDATES, AND WE'RE HOPEFUL THAT THAT'S GOING TO CONTINUE, UH, TO PLACE AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY AHEAD OF OTHER TEXAS CITIES AND MOST OTHER US CITIES IN TERMS OF DISEASE SPREAD AND DEATHS, UH, WITH THAT, HOW WE'LL TURN IT OVER TO JANET PER SHIP.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

UM, I JUST WANT TO TALK ABOUT A LITTLE BIT, YOU KNOW, WE ARE SEEING A RECORD, LOW NUMBERS OF CASES IN THE AUSTIN AREA, AND WE WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE TO SEE THAT AND HOPE THAT IT'S, UH, A TREE FLATTENING OF THE CURVE, UH, IN THE AUSTIN METROPOLITAN AREA.

HOWEVER, WE DO KNOW THAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN OUT AND ABOUT, UH, ENJOYING THE SPRING BREAK HOLIDAY AND, UH, HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO COME BACK.

UM, WE KNOW THAT THERE ARE, ARE NEW VARIANTS SPREADING THROUGHOUT OUR COMMUNITY.

AND WE ARE DETECTING THAT WE'VE BEEN WORKING VERY CLOSELY WITH UT DELL MEDICAL SCHOOL, OR UTS HAS BEEN DOING SOME GENOMIC SEQUENCING AS THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT HAS.

AND WE CONTINUE TO IDENTIFY VARIOUS, UH, VARIANTS WITHIN THE AUSTIN AREA.

THAT INCLUDES, UM, THE UK VARIANT AND MOST RECENTLY THE CALIFORNIA VARIANT.

SO, UM, AS EPIDEMIOLOGISTS WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR AND TRACK, WHAT'S CURRENTLY SPREADING IN OUR COMMUNITY.

UH, AND, UM, YOU KNOW, AS BOTH DR S SCOTT AND STEPHANIE HAD MENTIONED, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE VACCINE ON THE HORIZON AND WE'RE GETTING PEOPLE VACCINATED, UH, BUT MASKING IS GOING TO BE IMPORTANT, IMPORTANT TO CONTINUE TO WEAR THAT MASK, TO REDUCE, UH, DISEASE TRANSMISSION, ESPECIALLY IF YOU RETURNED,

[00:05:01]

UH, FROM TRAVEL OR, UH, LARGE MASS GATHERINGS TO MAKE SURE THAT, UM, IF YOU ARE EXPOSED THAT YOU'RE NOT, UH, CONTINUING TO SPREAD, UH, ADDITIONAL DISEASE IN THE COMMUNITY.

UM, WE'D LIKE TO SEE OUR TREND CONTINUE TO STAY AT AN ALL TIME LOW.

UM, YOU KNOW, IT'S CONSISTENT WITH WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE OTHER METRO AREAS, BUT WE ARE ALSO MONITORING CLOSELY WHAT'S HAPPENING, UH, IN ITALY AND IN SPAIN, WHERE THEY'RE SEEING A RESURGENT OF CASES AND THE THIRD WAVE OCCURRING.

WE DON'T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN HERE.

AND WE'RE HOPING THAT WE CAN, UM, KEEP THAT AT BAY.

SO WE'LL BE MONITORING THE DATA VERY CLOSELY OVER THE NEXT WEEK TO SEE WHAT KIND OF IMPACT SPRING BREAK WILL HAVE.

AND WE HOPE THAT YOU ALL CONTINUE TO STAY SAFE OUT THERE.

THANK YOU, JANET.

AT THIS TIME, WE WILL NOW OPEN IT UP TO OUR POOL REPORTER, SALLY HERNANDEZ FROM KX A N SALLY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO ASK YOU THESE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS.

LET'S START OFF WITH US HERE AT KSAN.

OUR FIRST QUESTION IS WE'VE SEEN PROVIDERS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE STATE SCHEDULING SECOND DOSES FOR PEOPLE IMMEDIATELY UPON RECEIVING THEIR FIRST SHOT.

SINCE SECOND DOSES ARE AUTOMATICALLY SHIFTED BY TEXAS D S H S.

WHY HAS APH DECIDED TO NOT SCHEDULE PEOPLE SECOND DOSE IMMEDIATELY WAIT, NOW THAT THE PROSTATE IS, HAS SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED.

AND WE KNOW THAT THE SECOND DOSES ARE ARRIVING WEEKLY, WE ARE UPDATING OUR, UM, TECH SYSTEM TO HAVE THE ABILITY TO SEND THOSE APPOINTMENTS OUT, UM, AND BE ABLE TO SCHEDULE THOSE AT THE LOCATION AND ENSURE THAT THEY ARE IN OUR SYSTEM AND PLATFORM.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT, UM, WE HAVE BEEN, UM, DOING PROACTIVELY IS, IS THAT WE HAVE BEEN SENDING OUT THE SECOND DOSE, UH, APPOINTMENTS TO INDIVIDUALS.

SO THEY DON'T HAVE TO GO ON TO THEIR, UH, PROFILE OR LOGGING IN.

UM, THEY HAVE, THEY CAN JUST WAIT FOR US TO SEND THEM AN EMAIL OR A TEXT MESSAGE.

SO AS WE UPDATE OUR SYSTEM AND HAVE NEW IMPROVEMENTS, THAT IS ONE THAT IS IN THE WORKS.

OKAY.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM CBS, AUSTIN, HOW IS THE APA REGISTRATION PORTAL OPERATING AFTER THE ISSUES EARLIER THIS WEEK? HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU THAT THOSE PROBLEMS HAVE BEEN PERMANENTLY NEXT REGISTRATION? UH, WORKED VERY WELL YESTERDAY.

UM, WE WERE ABLE TO, UM, SCHEDULE ABOUT 4,600 FOLKS WERE SCHEDULED, UM, FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW AND OUR, UM, UM, BURGERS SITE.

WE ARE VERY CONFIDENT IN THE CHANGES THAT HAVE BEEN MADE.

UM, WE ALSO KNOW THAT, UM, AS WE MOVE ALONG AND MAKE OTHER UPDATES TO OUR SYSTEM, OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE OUR SYSTEM AS USER-FRIENDLY AS WE CAN.

AND SO WE WILL ALWAYS BE MAKING UPDATES TO THE SYSTEM TO MAKE IT TO BE A SYSTEM WHERE, UM, IT'S A FRIENDLY SYSTEM FOR ALL THAT USE IT.

AND, UH, I WAS GRATEFUL TO SAY IN THE COVID-19 BILL THAT WAS RECENTLY SIGNED INTO LAW, A SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE FOR PUBLIC HEALTH.

UH, YOU KNOW, THIS IS ONE OF THE CHALLENGES THAT WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR, FOR A YEAR NOW IS THAT THAT LACK OF INVESTMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE, PARTICULARLY BY T INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE PAST HAS, HAS REALLY CHALLENGED US, SO THAT HOPEFULLY NOT ONLY FOR THE REST OF COVID-19, BUT AS WE MOVE FORWARD AND DEAL WITH THE OTHER PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES THAT FACE US EVERY DAY, WE'LL HAVE BETTER TECHNOLOGY TO ENGAGE THE POPULATION IN ORDER TO BETTER CARE FOR THEM.

NEXT QUESTION FROM THE AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN, IF THE TONY BURGER CENTER OF MASS VACCINATION SITE GOES WELL, DOES THAT MEAN EXPANDING MACHINATIONS AT THE SITE OR WILL APH OPEN MORE MASS VACCINATION SITES? WELL, WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE PILOT AT TONY BURGER.

UM, ONE OF THE THINGS WE ALWAYS DO IS WE RUN A PILOT IN ORDER TO, UM, WORK OUT ANY TYPE OF LOGISTICAL CONCERNS.

WE HAVE THE ABILITY, UM, TO DO, UM, TWICE THAT FOOTPRINT AT THAT LOCATION.

UM, AND WE TYPICALLY DO, UM, ROLL IT OUT AND, UM, USE THAT SITE MORE THAN ONE TIME.

[00:10:01]

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT IS THAT WE HAVE HEARD FROM THE PUBLIC, UM, DURING THIS TIME THE, THE LAWRENCE, UM, SITES ARE GREAT BECAUSE WE DEFINITELY NEED TO GET A LARGE NUMBER OF VACCINE OUT TO THE PUBLIC AND, UM, ENSURE THAT WE ARE DOING THAT IN A, IN A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME.

BUT WE'VE HEARD FROM THE PUBLIC THAT THERE IS A CONCERN THAT WE SHOULD HAVE MORE LOCATIONS THAT ARE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, ONE THAT YOU CAN EASILY ACCESS.

UM, AND SO TRADITIONALLY WE HAVE USED RECREATION CENTERS, COMMUNITY CENTERS, CHURCHES, AND EVEN OUTSIDE, UM, WORKING WITH APARTMENT COMPLEXES.

AND SO THAT IS SOME OF THE PLANNING THAT WE ARE DOING NOW.

UM, AND WE'LL LOOK TO DO MORE OF THAT FOR NEIGHBORHOOD LOCATIONS.

NOW I'LL ADD ON TO THAT, YOU KNOW, AS MORE VACCINE BECOMES AVAILABLE, WE'VE GOT TO HAVE THE SHIFT OF OUR STRATEGY.

UH, CERTAINLY AS THE NUMBER WAS LIMITED AND WE HAD PRIORITY GROUPS, A STRATEGY THAT INCLUDES LARGE MASS VACCINATION SITES MAKES SENSE BECAUSE WE CAN FOCUS OUR EFFORTS.

WE CAN PRIORITIZE.

IT'S EASIER TO DO THAT AND SCALE THAT THROUGH A, UH, A MASS VACCINATION SIDE, BUT AS THE SUPPLY CHAIN IMPROVES, WE KNOW THAT SUCCESSFUL PUBLIC HEALTH VACCINATION STRATEGIES INVOLVES PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP.

WE'RE LOOK BACK AT, AT H ONE N ONE, THE VAST MAJORITY OF VACCINES WERE ADMINISTERED BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

SO AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN HOWARD MENTIONED, DOES VACCINES NEED TO BE CLOSE AND CONVENIENT TO PEOPLE HE'S BEEN CLOSE TO WHERE THEY LIVE, NEEDS TO BE CLOSE TO WHERE THEY WORK.

SO THE STRATEGY IS NOT JUST AUSTIN, PUBLIC HEALTH, CITY, AND COUNTY RESOURCES, BUT ALSO UTILIZING THE MORE THAN 350 OTHER PROVIDERS WHO CAN GET VACCINE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

SO I THINK AS WE GO THROUGH APRIL AND CERTAINLY INTO MAY, WE'RE GOING TO SEE MORE AND MORE OF THOSE TRADITIONAL PROVIDERS HAVING VACCINE AVAILABLE FOR FOLKS.

SO THEY CAN JUST TRAVEL DOWN THE STREET AND GET THE VACCINE RATHER THAN THEN HAVING TO DRIVE A SIGNIFICANT DISTANCE TO ONE OF THESE LARGE SITES.

AND I'LL JUST ADD THAT AS THESE MORE TRADITIONAL, UH, PROVIDERS, UH, BECOME COME ONLINE, UM, WE'LL BE ABLE TO SATURATE, UH, OUR COMMUNITY MORE WITH VACCINE.

UM, AGAIN, PART OF THIS IS, UH, BEEN FOCUSED ON THE, THE SUPPLY THAT'S BEEN AVAILABLE THAT AS SUPPLY BEGINS TO INCREASE AND SUPPLY IS SPREAD OUT TO THOSE TRADITIONAL PROVIDERS.

UH, AUSTIN PELVIC HEALTH WILL LIKELY, UH, RETURN BACK TO THE SAFETY NET PROVIDER FOR THE COMMUNITY, BECAUSE THERE'LL BE A WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER OPTIONS FOR PEOPLE TO GET VACCINATED.

THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE, AND THIS ONE IS DIRECTED FOR STEPHANIE HAYDEN HOWARD AND THE MARCH 9TH BRIEFING TO CITY COUNCIL AND THE TRAVIS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT.

YOU SAID APH HAD INITIATED A CONVERSATION WITH A PRIVATE VENDOR FOR MOBILE VACCINE CLINICS.

CAN YOU GIVE AN UPDATE ON ANY PLANS FOR APH TO OPERATE ITS OWN MOBILE VACCINE CLINIC CURRENTLY? UM, WE ARE PROVIDING MOBILE VACCINES.

WE ARE NOT UTILIZING A VAN TO OPERATE THAT WAY.

WHAT WE ARE DOING IS, UM, WE STARTED THIS PROCESS IN FEBRUARY AND WHAT WE'VE BEEN DOING IS THIS.

WE HAVE BEEN PARTNERING WITH, UM, ENTITIES THAT HAVE, UM, A LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT ARE SENIORS AND OR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.

AND SO WE HAVE A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE THERE.

WE SEED SEND A STRIKE TEAM OUT, UM, AND THEY GO OUT AND THEY PROVIDE THOSE VACCINES AT THAT SITE.

UM, THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE LIVE THERE AND, OR RECEIVE SERVICES FROM THERE, FOR EXAMPLE, NEXT WEEK, UM, OUR MOBILE TEAM WILL BE WORKING WITH MEALS ON WHEELS TO PROVIDE VACCINES, UM, ON FRIDAY THE 12TH, UM, I TOOK THAT DAY OFF, UM, BUT I VOLUNTEERED WITH MEALS ON WHEELS.

DURING THAT TIME, I WAS ABLE TO VISIT WITH TWO SENIORS.

THAT WILL BE THE FIRST TWO THAT WILL RECEIVE THEIR VACCINE ON THE 22ND.

I WAS ABLE TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS THAT THEY HAD.

AND SO IT WAS A REALLY GOOD EXPERIENCE, UM, FOR ME TO MEET THEM.

BUT THEN ALSO, UM, HAVE AN IDEA ABOUT THE ROUTE, UM, THAT THEY WOULD POTENTIALLY TAKE AND MEET SOME OF THE PEOPLE THAT WILL BE

[00:15:01]

RECEIVING THE VACCINE.

WE WILL CONTINUE THAT PROCESS.

WE'VE IDENTIFIED, UM, SEVERAL LOCATIONS MORE, EVEN SINCE THE NINTH THAT, UM, HAVE A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE OF SENIORS AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES THAT WE WANT TO TARGET.

AND SO WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT AS WELL.

NO, THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION FROM K O O P RADIO, THE NEW YORK TIMES THIS MORNING REPORTED ON THE EFFICACY OF DELAINE SECOND DOSES AND DEFERENCE TO EXPANDING FIRST DOSES IN ARMS IS APH KEEPING PACE WITH CDC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SECOND DOSES, OR LIKE THE UK DEFERRING THEM TO PROVIDE MORE FIRST DOSES.

SO WE'RE, I'M HAPPY TO ANSWER THAT.

UH, WE'RE CURRENTLY FOLLOWING THE GUIDANCE FROM DSHS.

SO, UH, IF IT IS A TWO-SHOT SERIES, FOLKS ARE GETTING THEIR SECOND SHOT, UH, WITHIN AN APPROPRIATE TIMEFRAME.

UH, YOU KNOW, CERTAINLY THERE IS MANY, MANY, UH, PUBLIC HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WHO WOULD ADVOCATE FOR, UH, FRONT-LOADING FOLKS WITH THEIR FIRST SHOT.

UH, THAT'S NOT WHAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS DECIDED.

THAT'S NOT WHAT DSHS HAS DECIDED TO DO YET.

UM, BUT IT CERTAINLY, YOU KNOW, WHEN WE LOOK AT THE EFFICACY OF THE SINGLE SHOT, UH, IT'S VERY GOOD FOR MADURO AND PFIZER OBVIOUSLY GETS BETTER WITH THE SECOND SHOT.

UH, BUT I THINK THIS IS GOING TO BE AN ONGOING DISCUSSION BASED UPON THE AVAILABILITY.

AND I THINK THAT, THAT WE WILL CONTINUE TO, TO FOLLOW THE CDC AND DSH GUIDANCE ON, ON ALLOCATION OF THOSE RESOURCES.

UM, ONE THING I WOULD LIKE TO ADD IS IT'S TYPICALLY WHAT WE'VE SHARED WITH FOLKS THAT COME TO US FOR THEIR FIRST VACCINE.

WE GUARANTEED THAT WE WILL PROVIDE YOUR SECOND VACCINE.

SO WHEN WE ORDER, UM, AT THIS POINT NOW THEY'RE ACTUALLY COMING AUTOMATICALLY.

SO ONCE WE RECEIVE THE FIRST DOSE, UM, THEN, UM, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES DOES SEND OUT, UM, AND ABOUT FOUR WEEKS LATER, THEY DO SEND OUT THAT SECOND, UM, DOSE.

AND SO WE'RE ABLE TO GO AHEAD AND PROVIDE THAT.

OKAY, NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM K U T.

WERE YOU ABLE TO SCHEDULE ALL THE PEOPLE WHO WERE KICKED OUT OF THE VACCINE APPOINTMENT SCHEDULING PROCESS ON MONDAY BECAUSE OF TECHNICAL PROBLEMS? UM, ACCORDING TO, UM, THE INFORMATION WE SHARED WITH THE MEDIA OUTLETS, UM, WE WERE NOT ABLE TO SEE THE INDIVIDUALS THAT WERE IN THE QUEUE.

HOWEVER, UM, WE HAVE HAD SOME INDIVIDUALS THAT PROACTIVELY REACHED OUT TO US AS WELL AS ASCENDING, UM, APPOINTMENTS TO FOLKS THAT WERE REGISTERED IN THE SYSTEM.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, UM, WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT, UM, THE OUTCOME OF LAST NIGHT TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE 4,600 VACCINES.

AND SO, AS I STATED EARLIER, WE WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE SYSTEM.

UM, SO IT IS A USER-FRIENDLY SYSTEM.

THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM WHEN YOU BC ON WHAT IS THE CURRENT PERCENTAGE OF FULLY VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS IN TRAVIS COUNTY? IS THIS NUMBER ACCURATE SINCE PEOPLE CAN COME AND GET VACCINATED FROM OTHER LOCATIONS OR EVEN FROM MEXICO? SO THE CURRENT I'M HAPPY TO ANSWER THAT THE CURRENT NUMBERS OF FULLY VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS, 16 YEARS OLD AND OLDER IS, UH, IS ABOUT 11%.

UH, SO AGAIN, ABOUT 25% OF INDIVIDUALS IN THAT SAME GROUP HAVE BEEN, UH, HAVE RECEIVED AT LEAST ONE VACCINATION.

UM, YOU KNOW, THIS IS BASED ON, AS FAR AS WE KNOW FROM THE, THE TEXT PART OF THE STATE HEALTH SERVICES DATABASE.

THOSE ARE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE TRAVIS COUNTY RESIDENTS.

WE DO KNOW THAT WE HAVE VACCINATED A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO LIVE OUTSIDE OF TRAVIS COUNTY, THE LARGE MAJORITY OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS THAT WE VACCINATED, UH, TEND TO BE IN THE GREATER, UH, AUSTIN AREA, CENTRAL TEXAS AREA.

BUT WE VACCINATED PEOPLE FROM HOUSTON AND DALLAS, FROM ABILENE SEGUIN, UH, MANY PARTS OF THE STATE.

AND AGAIN, AS A HUB, WE ARE OBLIGATED TO DO THAT, BUT IT DOES APPEAR THAT THE VAST MAJORITY ARE FROM THE CENTRAL TEXAS AREA.

OKAY.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM COMMUNITY IMPACT.

[00:20:01]

WE'VE CONSISTENTLY HEARD REPORTS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT ELIGIBLE JUMPING IN LINE, WHETHER THAT'S WITH PUBLIC OR PRIVATE PROVIDERS, SOMETIMES AFTER PRIVATE REGISTRATION LEAKS GET SHARED ONLINE, CAN YOU SPEAK TO THE EFFORT TO ENSURE PRIORITIZATION OF VULNERABLE GROUPS AND WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD DO IF THEY DON'T QUALIFY? SO FIRST, LET ME SAY SHAME ON YOU.

WE ARE IN A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS, WE HAVE A LIMITED NUMBER OF VACCINES.

THOSE VACCINES SHOULD BE UTILIZED FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT THE MOST.

RIGHT NOW WE HAVE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ACROSS THIS COUNTRY WHO WANT THE VACCINE, BUT WE HAVE TO HAVE A PRIORITY SYSTEM TO ENSURE THAT THE FIRST VACCINES GO TO THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO WERE AT THE HIGHEST RISK OF HAVING SEVERE DISEASE OR WHO ARE AT HIGHER RISK FOR EXPOSURE.

UH, YES, IT'S AN IMPERFECT SYSTEM.

YES.

IT RELIES ON PEOPLE'S HONESTY AND ANSWERING QUESTIONS ABOUT MEDICAL HISTORY AND WHERE THEY WORK AND SO FORTH.

UH, BUT I THINK AS, AS A, YOU KNOW, AS A HUMAN BEING, WE HAVE TO RESPECT THE FACT THAT SOMETIMES WE CAN'T BE THE FIRST IN LINE AND THAT WE HAVE TO DEFER THOSE VACCINES FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT THE MOST BECAUSE OF THEIR RISK.

UM, YOU KNOW, I THINK THIS IS A TESTAMENT TO US AS A, AS A STATE TO US AS A COUNTRY, UH, THAT, THAT WE CAN BE HONEST AND ANSWER QUESTIONS HONESTLY, TO ENSURE THAT, UM, THAT THOSE FOLKS WHO NEEDED THE MOST GET IT FIRST, UH, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A SHORT TIMEFRAME BEFORE EVERY ADULT IN AMERICA IS GOING TO HAVE ACCESS TO A VACCINE TALKING ABOUT SIX WEEKS FROM THAT WE, WE BELIEVE, UH, SO BE PATIENT MASKING, DISTANCING, THE OTHER THINGS STILL WORK VERY WELL.

UH, MY ADVICE TO THOSE FOLKS WHO DON'T CURRENTLY QUALIFY IS TO CONTINUE TO MASS DISTANCE WASH YOUR HANDS, DO THE SAME THINGS THAT HAVE GOTTEN YOU, UH, THROUGH THE PAST YEAR WITHOUT GETTING COVID-19.

THOSE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK AND IN TIME OVER THE NEXT SIX WEEKS OR SO, THERE SHOULD BE A VACCINE AVAILABLE FOR YOU.

I THINK ONE THING I WOULD ALSO ADD IS IS THAT, UM, WE KNOW THAT BY LOOKING IN AN INDIVIDUAL, IF YOU SEE A PERSON THAT'S LINED UP, UM, YOU CANNOT TELL WHAT TYPE OF MEDICAL CONCERNS OR CHALLENGES THAT THAT PERSON HAS.

AND SO TYPICALLY, UM, ALL OF US AS PROVIDERS, UM, WE ARE WORKING OFF OF THE ELIGIBILITY THAT HAS BEEN PROVIDED TO US BY THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES.

AND SO OUR HOPE IN THIS IS THAT INDIVIDUALS ARE HONEST WHEN THEY ARE GOING THROUGH, UM, THAT SCREENING PROCESS, WHICH ALSO MAKES THEM ELIGIBLE IN ALL OF OUR SYSTEMS. AND SO, UM, SO OUR HOPE IS SINCE THEN PEOPLE ARE BEING HONEST, BUT WE HAVE ALL SET UP A PROCESS WHERE IT DOES, UM, IMMEDIATELY MAKE FOLKS ELIGIBLE THAT MEET THAT CRITERIA DEFINED BY THE STATE OF TEXAS.

AND I'D JUST LIKE TO ALSO REMIND PEOPLE THAT WE'RE STILL VACCINATING THE ONE, A CATEGORY, WHICH ARE HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS WHO MAY HAVE NOT INITIALLY GOT THE VACCINE.

SO, UM, I THINK WE'VE LIKED DIRECTOR, HAYDEN HOWARD IS SAYING HE CAN'T ALWAYS LOOK AT SOMEONE AND ASSUME, WELL, YOU KNOW, THEY MAY LOOK YOUNG.

IT MAY BE THAT THEY ARE PROVIDING, UH, CLINICAL CARE TO SOMEBODY WHO'S AT HIGH RISK.

SO WE ARE TRYING TO VACCINATE THOSE INDIVIDUALS AS WELL.

UM, WHEN PEOPLE PRESENT TO THE CLINIC AND THEY ARE ELIGIBLE FOR A VACCINE, WE'RE NOT QUESTIONING WHETHER OR NOT, UH, WE SEE THAT THEY'RE ELIGIBLE.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE'RE NOT CHECKING TO SEE WHETHER THEY HAVE SPECIFIC MEDICAL CONDITIONS OR IF THEY'RE A FIRST RESPONDER BET.

UM, YOU KNOW, LIKE DR S SCOTT SAID, WE'RE HOPING THAT PEOPLE ARE HONEST ABOUT, UH, WHAT THEY'RE DOING AS THEY REGISTER AND AS THEY COMPLETE THE ASSESSMENTS FOR L OKAY, THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM FOX SEVEN.

COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN THE NEW INDOOR AND OUTDOOR EVENT GUIDELINES AND HOW THEY WERE DEVELOPED? I'M HAPPY TO TAKE THAT ONE.

UH, SO, YOU KNOW, AS OUR SITUATION IMPROVES, AS THE RISK OF A OVERWHELMING SURGE BEGINS TO DISSIPATE, IT MEANS THAT WE CAN START TO LOOK CLOSER AT, UH, AT GATHERINGS AND SIZABLE GATHERINGS.

UH, BUT AS WE LOOK AT THOSE, YOU KNOW, EACH OF THOSE GATHERINGS HAVE DIFFERENT ASPECTS,

[00:25:01]

WHICH EITHER INCREASE OR DECREASE RISK.

OBVIOUSLY OUTDOOR GATHERINGS ARE BETTER THAN INDOOR GATHERING.

SMALLER GATHERINGS ARE BETTER THAN LARGER GATHERINGS, BUT IT'S, IT ALSO HAS TO DO WITH THE NATURE OF, OF THE EVENT.

UH, YOU KNOW, IF, IF PEOPLE ARE SEATED FACING THE SAME DIRECTION, UH, AND YOU KNOW, SPACE AND CAN BE MAINTAINED, THAT'S A DIFFERENT STORY THAN, THAN A CONCERT WHERE PEOPLE ARE FACE-TO-FACE AND ALCOHOL IS BEING SERVED.

SO WE'VE DEVELOPED A PROCESS WITH A NUMBER OF STAKEHOLDERS, UH, TO REVIEW THOSE GATHERINGS, UH, TO MAKE MITIGATION RECOMMENDATIONS AND A DECISION ABOUT APPROVAL, UH, MODIFICATION OR, OR DELAY.

UH, YOU KNOW, AS, AS WE'VE BEEN DISCUSSING, THERE IS SOME CONCERN NOW, UH, ABOUT WHAT APRIL AND MAY IN PARTICULAR GOING TO LOOK LIKE, BUT WE'VE SEEN THE PROJECTIONS FROM THE UT MODELING CONSORTIUM THAT IF, IF WE RELAX TOO MUCH, WE'RE LOOKING AT A SURGE WHICH BEGINS IN APRIL, CONTINUES INTO MAY AND PEAKS IN JUNE, UH, WHICH WOULD BE VERY UNFORTUNATE FOR, UH, GATHERINGS AND OTHER EVENTS LIKE, LIKE PROMS AND GRADUATIONS.

UM, SO, YOU KNOW, WE'D HAVE TO CONSIDER THE FACT THAT THE SITUATION MAY GET WORSE, AND IF IT GETS WORSE, THEN WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO, TO TRY TO EITHER FURTHER MITIGATE THOSE ACTIVITIES OR CANCEL THEM.

UH, WE HAVE SEEN SOME EVIDENCE RECENTLY THAT OVER THE PAST TWO DAYS THAT OUR HOSPITALIZATION ADMISSIONS HAVE BEEN INCREASING.

AND AGAIN, THE SIGN THAT THINGS COULD BE CHANGING, BUT WE'LL CONTINUE TO TOMORROW THE SITUATION AND ENSURE THAT ANY EVENTS, UH, THAT ARE APPROVED, UH, GOING FORWARD ARE AS, AS SAFE AS WE CAN MAKE IT AND HAVE A MINIMAL CHANCE OF BEING A SIGNIFICANT SPREADING EVENT.

OKAY, THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION IS A SECOND QUESTION FROM KX N REGARDING THE CITY'S PLAN TO BRING EVENTS BACK, HOW MUCH OF A CONCERN IS IT THAT THESE NEW REOPENING GUIDELINES WILL PLACE ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL BURDENS ON SMALLER EVENTS WHERE EVENT HOLDER IS CONSULTED ON THIS PLAN? WE HAVE A NUMBER OF ENTITIES INVOLVED IN, UH, IN BUILDING THESE GUIDELINES.

UH, SO THERE HAS BEEN SOME DISCUSSIONS WITH, WITH VENUES AND, AND, UH, OTHER GROUPS, UH, INVOLVED IN THIS SPACE, WHICH WOULD INCLUDE OUR AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER, AS WELL AS OTHER STAKEHOLDERS, UH, THAT DIALOGUE HASN'T ENDED, IT'S GOING TO CONTINUE, AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO, UH, PROVIDE ADVICE FOR, UH, FOR THE COMMUNITY, UH, FOR THOSE VENUES ON, ON HALLOWEEN EVENTS SAFELY.

AGAIN, IT'S, IT'S IMPORTANT THAT AS A COMMUNITY, AS A COMMUNITY, WE RECOGNIZE THAT THE SITUATION IS IMPROVING.

THE THREAT OF OVERWHELMING SURGE IS DISSIPATING, BUT IT'S NOT GONE YET.

AND THAT MEANS FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO, UH, YOU KNOW, CONTINUE THOSE, THOSE EFFORTS TO MAKE SURE THAT THOSE THINGS ARE SAFE AND THAT WE HAVE AN INCREMENTAL APPROACH TO BUILDING, UH, THE SIZE AND COMPLEXITY OF, OF THOSE EVENTS.

UH, YOU KNOW, WHEN WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE FALL, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER, NOVEMBER, IT SEEMS LIKELY AT THIS STAGE, THAT EVENTS DURING THE, THAT KIND OF TIMEFRAME ARE GOING TO BE NORMAL OR NEAR NORMAL, UNLESS WE SEE SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN THE VARIANTS AND THE IMPACT, UH, THAT THEY MAY HAVE, UH, BASED ON THEIR, UH, UH, THE EFFICACY OF THE VACCINE AGAINST THOSE VARIANTS.

UH, BUT RIGHT NOW IT LOOKS VERY PROMISING FOR THE FALL.

AGAIN, SPRING AND EARLY SUMMER IS, YOU KNOW, AS A LITTLE BIT MORE CONCERNING, THERE'S SOME MORE UNCERTAINTY THERE, BUT CERTAINLY AS WE GO THROUGH THE SUMMER, THAT RISK WILL FURTHER DISSIPATE, UH, AND WE CAN EXPECT FOR THINGS TO START TO LOOK MORE NORMAL AS WE GO THROUGH THE SUMMER.

THANK YOU, CBS AUSTIN IS UP NEXT WITH THEIR SECOND QUESTION.

WHAT DOES THE VACCINE SHIPMENT LOOK LIKE FOR NEXT WEEK? DO YOU EXPECT IT TO GO BACK UP AND DO YOU EXPECT TO RECEIVE MORE J AND J VACCINE? UM, WE, UM, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE OF HEALTH SERVICES, UM, HAS BEEN, UM, I'M SENDING US A 12,000 WEEKLY.

UM, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE DID REQUEST IS WE HAVE REQUESTED THE J AND J UM, VACCINE.

UM, WE DATED REQUEST, UH, 12,000 OF THAT IS LINGO.

WE HAVE NOT RECEIVED THAT, BUT ONCE WE DO RECEIVE THAT, WE WILL QUICKLY, UM, DEPLOY IT

[00:30:01]

OUT INTO THE COMMUNITY.

SO WE ARE HOPEFUL ABOUT RECEIVING, UM, JENNY AND JAY.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT AN INDIVIDUAL WILL SEE WHEN THEY'RE GETTING READY TO SCHEDULE THEIR APPOINTMENT, UM, WE ARE GOING TO ALERT THEM THAT AT THIS PARTICULAR FACILITY, IT WOULD BE MATERNAL, OR YOU WILL HAVE J AND J.

SO THE PUBLIC WILL KNOW WHAT TYPE OF VACCINE WOULD BE AT ONE OF THE FACILITIES THAT WE ARE OPERATING.

AND I'LL ADD, UH, YOU KNOW, THE INDICATIONS THAT WE HAVE FROM THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES IS THAT THE SUPPLY OVERALL SUPPLY AND THE SUPPLY OF JOHNSON AND JOHNSON IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE MUCH IN THE NEXT WEEK, BEGINNING OF APRIL, WE'VE BEEN TOLD TO EXPECT A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN ALLOCATION, PRIMARILY AN INCREASE BASED UPON THE AVAILABILITY OF THE JOHNSON AND JOHNSON, THE VACCINE, AGAIN, THE BENEFIT OF THE JOHNSON AND JOHNSON VACCINE, IN ADDITION TO IT'S, UH, YOU KNOW, IT'S BEING STUDIED, UH, YOU KNOW, WITH THE, UH, WITH THE VARIANTS OR SEVERAL OF THE VARIANTS IS THAT AS SOON AS AN INDIVIDUAL IS VACCINATED WITH THEIR FIRST DOSE, THEY'RE FULLY VACCINATED.

YOU KNOW, THERE'S A TWO WEEK WINDOW FOR, UH, FOR THAT EFFICACY REALLY, TO, TO BE THERE AND TO BUILD FURTHER FROM THAT POINT.

UH, BUT IT REALLY IS A GAME CHANGER IN TERMS OF OUR ABILITY TO START TO VACCINATE PEOPLE QUICKLY AND, AND, UH, REACH THAT HERD IMMUNITY, UH, IN, IN SHORT.

SURE.

THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM THE AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN.

DOES IT APPEAR AUSTIN? TRAVIS COUNTY IS DOING A GOOD JOB, SOCIAL DISTANCING DURING SPRING BREAK, OR OUR HEALTH LEADERS, SEEING RESIDENTS TOURISTS, FLOCKING TO LOCAL BARS AND NOT MASKING ANY INCREASE IN COVID-19 CITATIONS GIVEN OUT THIS WEEK.

WELL, UH, I'LL SAY THAT, UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK WE'VE SEEN A MIX OF THINGS.

I THINK MOST BUSINESSES, UH, BAR ENFORCING THE MASK MANDATE THAT CUSTOMERS COME IN WITHOUT A MASK, THEY'RE ASKING THEM TO PUT ON A MASK OR OFFERING A MASK FOR THEM.

UM, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY FOLKS WHO COME IN FROM, FROM OUT OF TOWN MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH THE MASK MANDATE HERE.

UH, AGAIN, I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THE SITUATION IN BARS.

I KNOW SOME BARS ARE, ARE MASKING AND OTHERS, UH, HAVE, HAVE SHARED THERE THAT, YOU KNOW, THE FACT THAT THEY'RE NOT GOING TO, TO, UH, REQUIRE MASKING BARS ARE GOING TO BE A DANGEROUS PLACE, NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF THE DECREASED LIKELIHOOD OF MASKING, BUT ALSO THE CUSTOMERS THAT CATERED TO PRIMARILY, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE IN THEIR TWENTIES, THIRTIES, AND FORTIES, WHICH ARE THE SAME GROUPS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE LESS LIKELY TO BE VACCINATED RIGHT NOW, UM, AS WE GO THROUGH, YOU KNOW, MAY OR APRIL AND MAY, THOSE NUMBERS MAY INCREASE, BUT STILL THOSE ARE GOING TO BE UNDERREPRESENTED IN TERMS OF VACCINE AS COMPARED TO PEOPLE IN THEIR FIFTIES, SIXTIES, SEVENTIES, AND EIGHTIES.

UH, WHEN WE LOOK AT THAT THE SUMMERTIME MONTHS, WE'RE STILL GONNA FACE RISK, UH, REGARDING EVENTS INVOLVING YOUNG PEOPLE, TEENAGERS, BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE A VACCINE FOR THEM YET.

UH, SO AGAIN, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR OUR COMMUNITY TO RECOGNIZE WHERE THOSE PLACES OF RISK ARE AND TO AVOID THOSE PLACES OF RISK, UH, PARTICULARLY UNTIL THEY'RE VACCINATED.

AND I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ADD, THIS IS JUST A, ANOTHER REMINDER TO THOSE INDIVIDUALS THAT IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE OUT AND ABOUT, UM, VISITING RESTAURANTS OR BARS OR ESTABLISHMENTS THAT ARE OPENING UP, AND THEY DO HAVE, ARE ASKING PATRONS TO CONTINUE TO WEAR A MASK THAT YOU RESPECT THEIR POLICY FOR DOING SO, INSTEAD OF BEING, UM, CONFRONTATIONAL, WE EVEN HAVE HEARD ABOUT PEOPLE, UH, WHO HAVE BEEN CONFRONTATIONAL, CONFRONTATIONAL, UH, TO SOME OF THESE FRONTLINE WORKERS THAT ARE TRYING TO KEEP BUSINESSES OPERATING AND RUNNING.

SO WE ARE ASKING THAT PEOPLE WILL BE MINDFUL AND RESPECTFUL TO THOSE BUSINESSES AND INDUSTRIES.

THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE.

WHAT IS THE PERCENTAGE OF APHS WEEKLY VACCINE ALLOCATION GOING TOWARD VACCINATING RESIDENTS, LIVING AT HOUSING AUTHORITY, CITY OF AUSTIN PROPERTIES AND FOUNDATION COMMUNITIES PROPERTIES.

WE

[00:35:01]

HAVE, UM, INCLUDED THAT AS A PART OF OUR MOBILE EFFORTS.

UM, ABOUT A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, WE PROVIDED VACCINES TO THE HOUSING AUTHORITY TO INDIVIDUALS, UM, THAT ARE SENIORS AND OUR PEOPLE THAT WERE DISABLED.

UM, WE WERE AT, UM, ABOUT FOUR OF THOSE COMPLEXES.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, UM, WE HAVE BEEN IN CONVERSATIONS WITH FOUNDATION COMMUNITIES AS WELL.

AND SO WE WILL BE PROVIDING, UM, VACCINES AND THEIR LOCATIONS.

AND SO THAT IS A PART OF THAT, UM, MOBILE PLAN WHERE THAT STRIKE TEAM GOES OUT AND IS ABLE TO PROVIDE THOSE VACCINES THERE.

THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM CO OPIE RADIO.

ON MONDAY MORNING, I WILL GET VACCINATED AT THE DEL DIAMOND IN WILLIAMSON COUNTY.

IS THIS INFORMATION SHARED BY VARIOUS STATE AND FEDERAL HEALTH AGENCIES? IF NOT, HOW DO YOU PLAN TO SHARE THIS INFO? UM, I'M NOT CLEAR WITH WHAT THEIR QUESTION IS.

UH, SO LET ME ANSWER WHAT I THINK THE QUESTION WAS, UH, IF I'M A TRAVIS COUNTY RESIDENT, I GO TO WILLIAMSON COUNTY.

ARE YOU GOING TO KNOW THAT THAT THERE'S ONE MORE TRAVIS COUNTY RESIDENT VACCINATED? THE ANSWER'S YES.

UH, SO THE AMTRAK TWO SYSTEM TRACKS VACCINATIONS, UH, ACROSS JURISDICTIONS, THE STATE GATHERS ALL THAT INFORMATION AND THEN DISTRIBUTES THAT INFORMATION, UH, TO LOCAL JURISDICTIONS.

SO REGARDLESS OF WHERE DO YOU GET VACCINATED? UH, IT WILL SHOW UP AS A TRAVIS COUNTY RESIDENT BEING VACCINATED.

I THINK ALSO ONE THING TO KEEP IN MIND, THIS IS NOT NEW TO VACCINES.

SO ANY PROVIDER THAT HAS PROVIDED VACCINES TO INDIVIDUALS FLU, OR JUST YOUR REGULAR VACCINES, THE STATE OF TEXAS IMPLEMENTED THAT SYSTEM SEVERAL YEARS AGO.

AND SO AS A PRIVATE PROVIDER, WHEN I PROVIDE VACCINES, EVEN TO, UH, UH, AN INFANT, UM, WE HAVE TO, WE'RE REQUIRED TO GO IN AND LOG THOSE VACCINES.

SO IF THE FAMILY MOVES ANYWHERE ACROSS THE STATE OF TEXAS, THAT PROVIDER CAN GO ON THAT SYSTEM AND THEY CAN TELL ME EXACTLY, UM, WHAT MY, WHAT, WHAT KIND OF VACCINE RECORD THAT I HAVE.

AND SO THAT IS AVAILABLE, UM, THROUGH THE STATE OF TEXAS.

AND I'LL JUST ADD THAT FOR THE COVID VACCINE EFFORTS.

UH, THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES IS ASKING ALL PROVIDERS TO MAKE SURE THAT INFORMATION IS INPUTTED INTO THE AMTRAK T SYSTEM WITHIN 24 HOURS OF THAT VACCINE BEING DELIVERED TO THAT, UH, TO THAT CLIENT.

SO, UM, IDEALLY, UH, THAT'S HOW THEY'RE KEEPING TRACK OF HOW MANY, UH, FOLKS ARE BEING VACCINATED AND THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF WHO IS BEING VACCINATED.

UM, AND, YOU KNOW, IT'S JUST ONE OF THE, ONE OF THE MANY MECHANISMS, BUT EACH PROVIDER IN THE STATE THAT RECEIVES AN ALLOTMENT OF VACCINE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES IS REQUIRED TO, UH, DATA ENTER THE INFORMATION ON THAT CLIENT WITHIN 24 HOURS OF RECEIPT OF THAT VACCINE.

THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM KUT.

WHAT CONCERNS DO YOU HAVE, IF ANY, ABOUT SCHOOL STARTING BACK UP AFTER A POTENTIAL SPRING BREAK TRAVEL? UH, I'M HAPPY TO ANSWER THAT ONE.

UM, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, WE'RE, WE'RE, WE'RE GETTING IN A BETTER SITUATION IN TERMS OF THE PERCENTAGE OF FOLKS VACCINATED.

UH, THE SCHOOL SYSTEMS ARE BETTER IN TERMS OF HIGHER NUMBERS OF SCHOOL STAFFING BACKSIDE, OBVIOUSLY SCHOOL AND CHILDCARE STAFF ARE CURRENTLY ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE VACCINE.

UM, SO THAT'S GOING TO HELP MITIGATE SOME OF THE RISKS THAT WE WERE CONCERNED ABOUT IN THE FALL WITH, WITH IN-PERSON EDUCATION.

UH, WE KNOW THAT THAT TRANSMISSION MAY HAPPEN AMONGST STUDENTS REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT TRANSMISSION TO SCHOOL STAFF.

SO THE, THE, THE RISK OF THE SCHOOL SETTING IS GOING TO START TO DECREASE AGAIN.

UH, YOU KNOW, THE SCHOOLS ARE MAINTAINING THE, THE PROTECTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN IN PLACE, THE MASKING, THE DISTANCING, THE HAND-WASHING, UH, YOU KNOW, THE SCREENINGS FOR SYMPTOMS. SO THAT'S GOING TO HELP MITIGATE, I THINK, ULTIMATELY FOR THOSE WHO, WHO MAY HAVE TRAVELED, UH, OR BEEN INVOLVED IN, IN ACTIVITIES WITHOUT THE MASKING AND DISTANCING DURING SPRING BREAK, IT'S IMPORTANT FOR THEM TO STAY HOME

[00:40:01]

NEXT WEEK, TO DO VIRTUAL EDUCATION, TO BE TESTED AT THE END OF NEXT WEEK, PRIOR TO RETURNING TO SCHOOL, THAT'S GOING TO HELP FURTHER MITIGATE THE RISK OF SPREAD IN SCHOOLS, BUT SCHOOLS ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO BE A PLACE OF RISK, UH, BECAUSE THEY, THE STUDENTS AREN'T VACCINATED BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR VACCINATION FOR THE MOST PART.

UH, SO THOSE PROTECTIONS IN SCHOOLS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO CONTINUE FOR THE REST OF THIS SEMESTER AND PROBABLY INTO SUMMER SCHOOL.

UM, BUT IF, IF WE CAN, IF WE CAN PLAY IT SAFE NOW, UH, FOR A LITTLE BIT LONGER THAN IT'S GOING TO PAY OFF, UH, IN THE, IN THE FUTURE TO AVOID THAT POTENTIAL, APRIL, MAY, JUNE SURGE, WHICH IS, YOU KNOW, HAS THE POTENTIAL TO REALLY DISRUPT OF YEAR SCHOOL ACTIVITIES FROM GRADUATION, OTHER OTHER CELEBRATIONS AT THE END OF SCHOOL.

SO AGAIN, WE ENCOURAGE FOLKS TO, TO BE SAFE, TO STAY VIRTUAL NEXT WEEK, IF THEY TRAVELED, UH, AND GET A TEST BEFORE THEY RETURNED TO SCHOOL.

I WOULDN'T IT, I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO JUST ADD THAT, YOU KNOW, I THINK SOME OF THOSE FOLKS THAT ARE AT GREATER SOURCE IN THE SCHOOL SETTING HAVE BEEN, UM, OFFER A VACCINE, UH, NOW THAT GOVERNOR ABBOTT HAS, UH, ALLOWED, UH, TEACHERS AND CHILDCARE WORKERS TO BECOME VACCINATED.

THOSE WHO ARE AT GREATEST RISK ARE ACTUALLY BEGINNING TO RECEIVE THEIR DOSES OF, SO THAT WOULD BE AN ADDED BENEFIT TO THE SITUATION, BUT LIKE DR SAID, WE NEED TO CONTINUE WITH OUR PREVENTION MEASURES OF MASKING AND DISTANCING TO MAKE SURE THAT WE, UH, STOP THE DISEASE TRANSMISSION CYCLE.

OKAY, THANK YOU.

DOWN TO THE LAST QUESTION.

THIS IS FROM ODBC ON BILL SB 26 WANTS TO PROHIBIT THE CLOSURE OF PLACES OF WORSHIP DURING SITUATIONS LIKE THE PANDEMIC.

HOW DID ASKING TO CLOSE PLACES OF WORSHIP HELP STOP THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS? COVID-19, I'M HAPPY TO TAKE THAT ONE AS WELL.

UM, YOU KNOW, TH TH THE CHALLENGE WE HAVE IS THAT, THAT WE RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF, OF IN-PERSON RELIGIOUS CELEBRATIONS.

IT'S IMPORTANT TO ME.

UM, BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO RECOGNIZE THAT THAT CHURCH SERVICE IS CREATE A RISK OF SPREAD.

I'M GRATEFUL FOR, UH, THE DIOCESE HERE IN AUSTIN FOR OUR, OUR, UH, RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY WHO CAME TOGETHER TO MODIFY THOSE IN-PERSON SERVICES, TO OFFER VIRTUAL OPTIONS FOR FOLKS, UH, TO, UH, TO DECREASE THE RISK OF SPREAD FURTHER, UH, AND THE MODIFICATIONS THAT ARE CONTINUING TO THIS DAY.

I THINK IT'S A MISTAKE FOR US TO PASS LEGISLATION, WHICH PROHIBITS, UH, THE, THE POTENTIAL CLOSURE OF RELIGIOUS SERVICES, UH, FOR FUTURE PANDEMICS, BECAUSE FUTURE PANDEMICS MAY LOOK MUCH DIFFERENT.

REMEMBER FOR THIS ONE, YOU KNOW, THE, THE OVERALL, UH, CASE FATALITY RATES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF ONE TO 2%.

NOW THERE'S SOME VARIATION ON THAT NUMBER, OBVIOUSLY, BUT OTHER PANDEMICS THERE MAY NOT BE SO LUCKY AND MAYBE 5%, MAYBE 10%, YOU KNOW, UH, WE, WE ARE CONSTANTLY UNDER THREAT OF AN EMERGING PANDEMIC IN THE FUTURE.

AND SO I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD USE THIS ONE TO MAKE DECISIONS OR LIMIT OUR POSSIBILITIES FOR THE FUTURE.

I THINK ANY OF THOSE DISCUSSIONS NEED TO BE A TWO WAY COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY, UM, SO THAT WE CAN MITIGATE THE RISK OF SPREAD WHILE ALSO MINIMIZING THE IMPACT ON, ON PEOPLE'S, UH, RELIGIOUS PRACTICE.

UM, SO OUR HOPE IS THAT WE CAN CONTINUE THOSE CONVERSATIONS.

I THINK IT WORKED OUT WELL THIS TIME.

I THINK MANY OF THE CHURCHES WERE PROACTIVE IN CLOSING, NOT EARLY ON, AND THAT WE FOUND THAT BALANCE BETWEEN PUBLIC HEALTH AND, UH, AND, AND RELIGIOUS SELF, IF YOU WILL.

UM, SO I THINK THAT'S, THAT'S A MODEL OF FORCE IN THE FUTURE AND THAT WE SHOULD CONTINUE THOSE EFFORTS.

UM, ONE THING I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE IS, IS, UM, EDITING BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC.

WE ESTABLISHED A FAITH-BASED GROUP, THAT GROUP WORKED VERY CLOSELY WITH, UM, OUR PARTNERS IN CLERGY AND THEIR MEMBERSHIP, THEIR LEADS, ET CETERA, DURING THAT TIME, UM, WE REALLY SOLIDIFIED SEVERAL REALLY GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIPS THAT WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH THEM.

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS PANDEMIC.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE'VE WE'RE ABLE TO DO IS, IS, UM,

[00:45:01]

OUR COMMUNICATIONS FOLKS WERE ABLE TO, UH, PRODUCE A HANDY DOCUMENT.

SO WHEN THEY DID THINK ABOUT GATHERING, WE JUST SAID, THESE ARE THE SAFE WAYS TO BE ABLE TO GATHER, UM, AND YOUR CONGREGATION, OUR, UM, TEAM ALSO, UH, WORKED TOGETHER TO PROVIDE SOME TESTING AT SOME, UM, CHURCHES.

AND WE HAVE, UM, UH, PROVIDED, UH, VACCINE.

WE HAVE PROVIDED, UM, MASKING AND HAND SANITIZER, UM, TO THEM AS WELL.

AND SO, UM, THOSE PARTNERSHIPS WILL CONTINUE.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I STATED EARLIER, WE ARE WORKING WITH THE FAITH-BASED COMMUNITY TO PROVIDE VACCINES FOR THEM, UM, FOR PEOPLE THAT EITHER ATTEND OUR CHURCH AND, OR LIVE IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD.

SO, UM, THOSE ARE OUR RELATIONSHIPS THAT WE'RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT, THAT WE'LL CONTINUE TO, UM, UH, WORK TOGETHER BETWEEN PUBLIC HEALTH.

AND THANK YOU.

UM, NOW STEPHANIE, WE CAN START WITH YOUR CLOSING REMARKS.

THANK YOU.

UM, WE ARE, WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT, UM, HOW WE ARE MOVING FORWARD WITH PROVIDING VACCINES.

UM, AS WE MOVE FORWARD WITH OUR PILOT SITE, UM, AT TONY BURGER TOMORROW, UM, WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO WORK COLLABORATIVELY.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO, UM, LOOK AT OUR IT SYSTEM AND, UM, MAKE THE NECESSARY IMPROVEMENTS.

SO WE'RE ABLE TO MOVE FORWARD, BUT AS WE MOVE FORWARD AND MORE VACCINE IS AVAILABLE, WE KNOW THAT THIS IS A PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP.

AND SO WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT OUR PARTNERS THAT ARE READY TO RECEIVE VACCINE, UM, HAVE THE STAFF EMPLOYEES THEY'RE READY TO, UM, PROVIDE IT TO OUR COMMUNITY.

AND SO, AS THINGS CONTINUE TO SHIFT AND MORE VACCINE BECOMES AVAILABLE, OUR HOPE IS, IS TO START TO TRANSITION AND BEING MORE IN NEIGHBORHOODS, UM, VERY CLOSE, WHERE INDIVIDUALS COULD EVEN WALK TO OUR SITES AND RECEIVE, UM, A VACCINE IN THEIR COMMUNITY.

AND SO, BUT IN THE MEAN TIME, WE REALLY IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US TO CONTINUE TO WEAR OUR MASKS.

UM, IT'S CONTINUED, UM, IMPORTANT FOR US TO WASH YOUR HANDS, WASH YOUR DISTANCE, STAY HOME.

IF YOU'RE, WE ARE CONTINUING TO PROVIDE FREE TESTING TO THE PUBLIC.

AND WE HOPE THAT YOU, UM, IF YOU HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS OR YOU'VE BEEN EXPOSED, THEN YOU WILL, UM, GO ONTO OUR PORTAL AND REGISTER FOR APPOINTMENT FOR A TEST AT THIS TIME, I'LL TRANSITION OVER TO DR.

MASCOT AGAIN, YOU KNOW, W WE ARE STARTING TO SEE SOME PLATEAUING OF OUR HOSPITAL NUMBERS.

WE'VE SEEN A SLIGHT INCREASE IN OUR ADMISSIONS TO THE HOSPITAL OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS.

IT'S REMINDER THAT WE'RE NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET.

IF WE STAY THE COURSE, WE CONTINUE THE MASKING, THE DISTANCING, THE HAND HYGIENE, STAYING HOME.

WHEN WE'RE SICK, IT'S GOING TO SERVE US TO AVOID A SURGE IN APRIL MAY AND JUNE IT FOLKS TRAVELED OR WERE INVOLVED IN ACTIVITIES WHERE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND MASKING THE WORK FOLLOWED OVER SPRING BREAK.

PLEASE STAY HOME NEXT WEEK.

PLEASE GET A TEST AT THE END OF THE WEEK BEFORE YOU RETURNED TO WORK OR SCHOOL, THAT'S GOING TO HELP LIVE WITH THE SPREAD TO OTHER MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY AND WILL HELP US TO AVOID A SURGE.

UH, AGAIN, WE'RE, WE'RE DEALING WITH REGULAR, COVID NOW AS WELL AS AT LEAST TWO VARIANTS HERE LOCALLY.

UH, AND THOSE VARIANTS ARE INCREASING IN, UH, THE NUMBERS THAT WE'RE SEEING, WHICH MEANS WE HAVE TO BE A LITTLE BIT MORE CAREFUL.

UH, AND WE HAVE TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE GETTING TESTED IF WE HAVE SYMPTOMS, OR IF WE'VE BEEN PARTICIPATING IN THOSE ACTIVITIES, WHICH MAY PLACE US AT RISK.

IF WE CAN DO THAT, AND WE CAN MAINTAIN THOSE PROTECTIONS OVER THE NEXT SIX WEEKS, OUR RISK OF SURGE IS GOING TO DISSIPATE VERY QUICKLY AS WE APPROACH MAY AND, AND GOD WILLING.

WE CAN HAVE A MORE NORMAL SUMMER, UH, IN FALL OF NEXT YEAR, IF WE CAN ALL CONTINUE TO WORK TOGETHER IN THE SHORT TERM WITH THAT, I'LL TURN IT OVER TO JEN FOR SHIPPING.

THANKS.

AND, UM, AS DR.

S SCOTT HAS, HAS MENTIONED, UM, YOU KNOW, THE EPIDEMIOLOGIST HERE AT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH ARE WATCHING THE DATA VERY, VERY CLOSELY.

WE ARE SEEING NUMBERS OF NEW CASES DECLINE, AND WE HOPE IT STAYS THAT WAY.

HOWEVER, WE KNOW THAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN OUT ENJOYING SPRING BREAK, UH, AND HAVE, UH, POSSIBLY PLACED THEMSELVES IN SITUATIONS WHERE THEY GATHERED WITH, UH, PEOPLE WITHOUT MASKS OR MAY HAVE, UH, UNNECESSARILY EXPOSED THEMSELVES.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE CONTINUE TO WORK

[00:50:01]

WITH OUR PARTNERS AT UT AND THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES TO IDENTIFY ANY NEWLY EMERGING, UH, VARIANTS THAT MIGHT BE ON THE SCENE IN THE AUSTIN METROPOLITAN AREA.

BUT OVERALL, I WOULD LIKE TO COMMEND OUR RESIDENTS, UH, IN AUSTIN FOR, UH, BEING, UH, MINDFUL ABOUT CONTINUING THE USE OF WEARING THEIR MASKS AND, AND PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING.

BECAUSE I DO HEAR FROM OTHER EPIDEMIOLOGISTS THROUGHOUT THE STATE WHO ASKED ME, HOW IS IT YOU'RE ABLE TO KEEP YOUR NUMBERS AT SUCH A LOW LEVEL? UM, AT VARIOUS POINTS WHEN THEY WERE SURGING AT VERY HIGH NUMBERS, OUR NUMBERS WERE STILL SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER.

AND, UM, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT IT'S BECAUSE OUR COMMUNITY IS LISTENING AND PRACTICING THOSE PREVENTION MEASURES THAT KEEP US ALL SAFE AND KEEP OUR FAMILY SAFE.

SO WITH THAT, UM, YOU KNOW, I HOPE EVERYONE'S ABLE TO ENJOY THIS WONDERFUL WEATHER THAT WE'RE HAVING, THAT I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO STAY SAFE OUT THERE.

AND IF YOU DO FEEL LIKE YOU'VE BEEN EXPOSED, UH, AND YOU RETURN HOME AND YOU BECOME ILL, UH, PLEASE TAKE DIRECTOR HAYDEN HOWARD'S ADVICE AND SIGN UP FOR A TEST TO MAKE SURE THAT, UH, YOU HAVE NOT, UH, YOU KNOW, BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID AND THAT YOU CAN RECOVER, UH, EASILY.

SO WITH THAT, I'LL, I'LL TURN IT BACK OVER TO THE MODERATOR.

THANKS.

THANK YOU.

THAT CONCLUDES OUR MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR TODAY.

A SPECIAL THANKS TO APH DIRECTORS, STEPHANIE HAYDEN, HOWARD, DR.

MARK S. SCOTT AND CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JANET PICHETTE ALONG WITH OUR POOL REPORTER, SALLY HERNANDEZ FROM KX AM.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

HAVE A SAFE WEEKEND.

.

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