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[COVID-19: Press Q & A]

[00:00:04]

GOOD MORNING.

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

AND I'M 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 SCOTT, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, CITY OF AUSTIN AND INTERIM AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY HEALTH AUTHORITY.

THEN JANET PICHET AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST AM CASSANDRA DAILYOM, APH ASSISTANT DIRECTOR DISEASE PREVENTION, HEALTH PROMOTION DIVISION.

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

I LIKE TO START TODAY BY LETTING EVERYONE KNOW THAT THIS IS NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK.

AT THIS TIME, EVERY YEAR WE TAKE TIME TO REALLY CELEBRATE THE WORK THAT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH HAS DONE.

I HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE STAFF HERE AT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE WORK THAT THEY HAVE DONE THIS PAST YEAR, BUT THAT THEY DO YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT.

STAFF HAVE DONE A YEOMAN'S JOB IN KEEPING AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY SAFE.

IF YOU HAVE ACCESS TO OR KNOW SOMEONE THAT WORKS AT THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT ON THE LOCAL LEVEL, ACROSS THE STATE OF THE NATION, PLEASE LET THEM KNOW HOW MUCH YOU REALLY APPRECIATE THE WORK THAT THEY'VE DONE OVER THIS YEAR, BUT JUST MOVING FORWARD.

MY HOPE IS, IS THAT THIS HAS SHOWN THE LIGHT OF HOW THE WORK OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS CRITICAL TO THE LIFE OF EVERYONE IN AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, AND ACROSS THE NATION.

WE ARE WORKING VERY HARD IN OUR VACCINE ADMINISTRATION PROCESS TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE WATCHING THE DATA.

WE ARE LOOKING AT THE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS THAT HAVE RECEIVED THE VACCINE AND TRAVIS COUNTY AS A HUB.

JUST A REMINDER, WE ARE OBLIGATED TO PROVIDE THAT SCENES FOR INDIVIDUALS ACROSS THE STATE OF TEXAS.

BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE MUST CONTINUE TO DO AS TRAVIS COUNTY IS WE ARE A SAFETY NET PROVIDER.

WE MUST MAKE SURE THAT WHEN WE SEE GAPS, WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE WORKING WITHIN OUR ORGANIZATION, BUT IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR US TO COLLABORATE WITH OUR PARTNERS.

AS WE CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD.

AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH WILL BE COLLABORATING WITH OTHER PARTNERS THAT ARE PROVIDING VACCINES IN TRAVIS COUNTY TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE PROVIDING VACCINES IN THE EASTERN CRESCENT.

AND WE ARE CONTINUING TO REACH SENIORS THAT ARE 65 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER, AND THAT ARE HOME BOUND.

THOSE ARE OUR INITIATIVES.

AS WE MOVE FORWARD, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE REACHING HERD IMMUNITY WITH THAT.

I WILL TRANSITION OVER TO DR AND SCOTT.

THANK YOU, STEPHANIE.

AND I'M GOING TO SHARE MY SLIDES WITH SOME UPDATED INFORMATION, IF YOU JUST GIVE ME A MOMENT.

UM, SO WE'VE SEEN SOME SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS IN A COUPLE OF MEASURES RELATED TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HERE IN, UH, THE AUSTIN MSA.

SO WHAT I'M SHOWING YOU HERE IS THE HOSPITAL LENGTH OF STAY.

AND THIS IS THE AMOUNT OF TIME IT TAKES FOR 95% OF PEOPLE TO BE DISCHARGED FROM THE HOSPITAL.

IF THEY'RE ADMITTED FOR COVID-19, YOU'RE SEEING TWO DIFFERENT MEASURES HERE.

ONE IN BALLOU IS THAT NUMBER PRIOR TO MARCH OF 2021, THE ORANGE IS MARCH AND APRIL OF 2021.

UH, AND THESE LINES WERE DRAWN BECAUSE WHAT WE WERE SEEING IS A RELATIVE FLAT-OUT OR OSCILLATION OF THE HOSPITAL ADMISSION NUMBERS, BUT IN DECREASE IN THE OVERALL HOSPITALIZATION UTILIZATION.

UM, AND WE WERE CONCERNED THAT THIS WAS BECAUSE THE HOSPITAL LENGTH OF STAY WAS DECREASING.

WHILE IN FACT, WE ARE SEEING A SIGNIFICANT DECREASE ACROSS AGE GROUPS IN TERMS OF LENGTH OF STAY IN HOSPITALS.

BUT AS YOU CAN SEE FOR ALMOST EVERY AGE GROUP, THE, UH, THAT 95% NUMBER WAS ABOUT 25 TO 26 IN EACH OF THESE AGE CATEGORIES.

AND AFTER MARCH, IT'S BEEN AROUND 25 TO 12, OR SORRY, 15 OR 16, UH, YOU KNOW, AND THIS IS IN THE

[00:05:01]

AGE OF NOW MORE AND MORE PEOPLE GETTING VACCINATED.

IT'S NOW IN THE AGE OF HAVING REGULAR AVAILABILITY OF MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY THERAPY FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE HIGH RISK FOR SEVERE DISEASE, UH, AND A NUMBER OF OTHER FACTORS, WHICH ARE LIKELY CONTRIBUTING TO THIS DECREASE IN, UH, IN THE LENGTH OF STAY FOR HOSPITALIZATIONS.

SO A GREAT PROGRESS THERE ABOUT A 40% REDUCTION ACROSS THE BOARD IN TERMS OF THE, THE LENGTH OF STAY, UH, FOR THESE AGE GROUPS.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, UH, WE'VE SEEN A SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION IN MORTALITY FROM COVID-19 FOR HOSPITALIZED INDIVIDUALS.

SO AGAIN, I'M SHOWING YOU IN BLUE PRIOR TO MARCH, 2021 AND AN ORANGE MARCH IN APRIL OF 2021.

UH, AND AGAIN, UH, FOR INDIVIDUALS OVER THE AGE OF 65 OR OLDER ABOUT A 63% DECREASE IN THAT MORTALITY RATE, AND FOR INDIVIDUALS AGED TO 64, ABOUT A 44% DECREASE IN MORTALITY RATES.

UH, SO AGAIN, YOU KNOW, THIS IS PART OF WHAT WE EXPECTED TO SEE WITH THOSE THERAPEUTICS WITH A SIGNIFICANT INTRODUCTION OF VACCINES IN OUR COMMUNITY, THAT IT WAS GOING TO IMPACT THE SEVERITY IN PARTICULAR, THE MORTALITY ASSOCIATED WITH COVID-19, UH, WHICH IS WHAT THE STUDIES, UH, FOR BOTH OF THOSE THINGS THAT TOLD US THAT WE SHOULD EXPECT.

BUT HAVING SAID THAT WE'VE GOT MORE WORK TO DO.

UH, WE SAW AN UPDATE FROM THE UT MODELING CONSORTIUM THIS MORNING, UH, WHICH SHOWS SOME CONCERN THAT WE HAVE AN INCREASING CHANCES THAT THE EPIDEMIC IS GROWING IN, IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

UM, WE'RE SEEING PLATEAUING OF THE PROJECTIONS FOR THE HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS, ICU ADMISSIONS AND, UH, HOSPITAL UTILIZATION.

UH, AND AS OF TODAY, UH, ENTERING INTO STAGE TWO IS OFF OF THE PROJECTIONS, UH, THROUGH THE FIRST WEEK OF MAY.

SO THERE'S NO LONGER PROJECTION THAT, THAT GIVES US A PATH TO, UH, TO STAGE TWO AT THIS STAGE.

UH, IT MEANS THAT WE HAVE TO WORK HARDER, UH, TO CONTINUE THOSE PROTECTIONS, THE MASKING, THE DISTANCING, THE HAND HYGIENE, STAYING HOME, WE'RE SICK, GETTING TESTED AND ISOLATING FROM OTHER INDIVIDUALS.

IF WE HAVE ANY OF THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19, UM, AND WE'VE GOT TO WORK ON, ON GETTING MORE VACCINES OUT.

NOW, WE'VE GOT TO, TO ENSURE THAT EVERYBODY HAS ACCESS OR CERTAINLY, UH, EXCITED THAT, THAT WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO DROP THAT AGE REQUIREMENT IN TRAVIS COUNTY FOR, FOR VACCINES.

UH, BUT WE NEED TO ENSURE THAT OUR FRIENDS, OUR NEIGHBORS, UH, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE WOULD GO TO CHURCH WITH, OR WORK WITH, KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT THE VACCINE SO THAT WE CAN, UH, ENSURE THAT WE CAN REACH HERD IMMUNITY BY THE END OF MAY, WAS THAT I WILL TURN IT OVER TO JANET PICHET GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

UM, AS DR.

S SCOTT MENTIONED, WE ARE SEEING NUMBERS THAT HAVE BEEN FAIRLY STABLE OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS, AS FAR AS NEW NEWLY REPORTED CASES.

UM, ROUGHLY WE'RE SEEING ABOUT A HUNDRED NEW CASES PER DAY ON AVERAGE.

UM, BUT YOU KNOW, AGAIN, WE, WE REMAIN CAUTIOUS, UH, UH, AND WE ARE CONTINUING ALL THE, UH, THE EPIDEMIOLOGIST HERE AT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH HAD BEEN, UM, MONITORING, UH, THE TRENDS TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT WE ARE GOING TO BE SEEN SURGES.

I WE'RE MONITORING THE SEARCH TRENDS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES AND WORLDWIDE, UH, BECAUSE WE DID HAPPEN TO SEE SIMILAR TRENDS SURGING, UH, LAST YEAR AT THIS TIME.

SO WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE STAY IN THIS, UH, RELATIVELY LOW STATE.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR CAUSE WE SEE VARIANTS THAT ARE CIRCULATING IN OUR COMMUNITY.

UH, AND, UM, YOU KNOW, WE WANT TO SEE WHAT TYPE OF IMPACT THAT'S GOING TO HAVE ON OUR COMMUNITY IN GENERAL.

UM, BUT, UH, YOU KNOW, SO IT'S, IT'S ALWAYS, UH, OUR JOB AS EPIDEMIOLOGISTS TO MONITOR THOSE TRENDS AND PATTERNS OF DISEASE, JUST TO MAKE SURE WE DON'T HAVE A RECURRENCE OF WHAT HAPPENED.

UH, LAST TIME, LAST YEAR, UH, A SPIKE IN CASES, WE'RE ALSO SEEING UPTICK NOW, UH, IN SOME SCHOOL RELATED CLUSTERS, UH, MANY OF THESE ARE ASSOCIATED WITH SCHOOL ATHLETICS AND, UH, THIS IS SIMILAR TO A TREND THAT WE'RE SEEING NATIONWIDE.

AND SO IT'S A VERY GOOD REMINDER THAT WHILE, UH, TRANSMISSION RISKS ARE MINIMIZING FORCE, MANY OF THOSE FULLY VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS AND, AND, AND OLDER ADULTS, THE RISK STILL REMAINS FOR THOSE WHO ARE CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS.

AND SO WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO BE CAUTIOUS AND, UH, USE THOSE PREVENTION MEASURES TO LIMIT DISEASE, TRANSMISSION RISKS IN THE COMMUNITY.

AND WITH THAT ALTERNATIVE TO CASSIE DELEON.

[00:10:05]

THANK YOU, JANET.

UM, AND GOOD MORNING, WE ARE EXCITED TO TALK ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WHERE WE ARE IN THIS PHASE OF, UH, PROVIDING VACCINES.

UM, WE KNOW THAT NEXT WEEK ALSO PUBLIC HEALTH, WE'LL BE ABLE TO EXPAND OUR ELIGIBLE POPULATION, UM, WITH, UH, UH, CLINICS THAT WE'RE PROVIDING TO ANYONE 18 AND OLDER.

UM, AND SO WE WANT TO MAKE SURE TO ENCOURAGE, UM, ANYONE AND EVERYONE WHO, UM, HAS ACCESS TO VACCINE TO, TO GET THAT VACCINE.

IT IS, UM, THE OPPORTUNITY TO PROTECT YOURSELF, PROTECT YOUR LOVED ONES, PROTECT YOUR FRIENDS, AND PROTECT THE COMMUNITY.

WE KNOW THAT WITH EVERY PERSON THAT'S, UH, RECEIVES A VACCINE THAT, THAT, THAT CONTINUES TO MOVE US ALONG THAT PATH OF HERD IMMUNITY AS, UM, STEPHANIE AND DR.

SCOTT BOTH HAVE BEEN SPEAKING TO.

UM, AND SO IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE CONTINUE TO, UM, SEE THE POPULATION, UH, EXPAND THAT CAN GET BACK, GET VACCINATED, UM, AND SEE ADDITIONAL FOLKS, UM, TAKE THAT OPPORTUNITY.

UM, AND, AND WE ALSO WANT TO ENCOURAGE, AS STEPHANIE TALKED ABOUT, UM, TO MAINTAIN, WE'RE MAINTAINING ALL OF THOSE INTERVENTIONS FOR THOSE PARTICULARLY, UM, HIGH RISK POPULATIONS.

AND SO, AS WE EXPAND TO, TO PROVIDE VACCINE TO EVERYONE 18 AND OLDER, WE ALSO ARE, ARE REALLY PUSHING HARD TO MAKE SURE, UM, THOSE THAT ARE 65 AND OLDER, THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED BY COVID-19, BUT THERE'S SPECIFIC FOCUSED OUTREACH TO THOSE POPULATIONS SO THAT WE CAN ENSURE EVERYONE ACROSS THE COMMUNITY HAS THOSE PROTECTIONS IN PLACE.

AND AGAIN, AS VACCINE BECOMES MORE AND MORE AVAILABLE, HOPEFULLY FOLKS WILL BE ABLE TO GET THAT VACCINE HAVE LIMITED BARRIERS TO IT.

UM, AND WE CAN, UM, GET BACK TO, UM, UH, LIFE AS KNEW BEFORE PANDEMIC.

I'LL OPEN THIS UP FOR QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU, CASSANDRA.

NOW WE WILL OPEN IT UP TO OUR POOL REPORTER BETH SULLIVAN FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE, BETH MORNING, EVERYBODY.

AND THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US TODAY.

MY FIRST QUESTION IS FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE, IT'S FOR DIRECTOR STEPHANIE HAYDEN HOWARD, CAN YOU PLEASE PROVIDE AN UPDATE ON WHEN APH EXPECTS TO START PUBLISHING THE DATA AND DEMOGRAPHICS OF THOSE GETTING VACCINATED AT THE CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICA'S SITE ON APH IS VACCINE DASHBOARD.

WE, UM, ARE RECEIVING THAT DATA, UM, THIS WEEK AND THE PLAN IS, IS IT SHOULD BE ON OUR WEBSITE ON NEXT WEEK.

UM, BECAUSE KEEP IN MIND THAT THE DATA, UM, DOES HAVE A WEEK LAG.

UM, SO THE INFORMATION THAT YOU WOULD SEE NEXT WEEK, UM, WOULD BE FOR THE PREVIOUS WEEK, UM, IN ADDITION TO THAT ON TUESDAY OF THE PLAN IS, IS FOR US TO BRING THAT INFORMATION TO COUNCIL AND COMMISSIONER'S COURT.

UM, SO WE CAN WALK THROUGH THAT DATA SPECIFICALLY FROM CODA, UM, AND THEN KIND OF SHOW THE COMPARISON OF THE EXISTING DATA, UH, IN THE, IN THE WEBSITE ON THE WEBSITE.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM CBS AUSTIN.

WHY DID APH DECIDE TO EXPAND VACCINE ELIGIBILITY TO AGES 18 AND UP SO QUICKLY AFTER EXPANDING TO AGES 14 AND UP, ESPECIALLY SINCE APPOINTMENT SLOTS ARE ONCE AGAIN, CONSISTENTLY FILLING QUICKLY.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE CONTINUE TO MONITOR IS, IS WE MONITOR HOW QUICKLY OUR APPOINTMENTS ARE FIELD.

UM, AND SO, AND WE'VE DONE THAT DURING THIS ENTIRE TIME.

IF WE HAVE A LARGE DEMAND OF FOLKS THAT ARE MAKING A REQUEST AND WE HAVE A SMALLER WINDOW OF FOLKS THAT ARE ELIGIBLE, AND THOSE APPOINTMENTS GO VERY QUICKLY WITHIN A COUPLE OF HOURS, UM, THEN WE WANT TO KEEP THE ELIGIBILITY THE SAME.

THE STATE OF TEXAS, UM, HAS ALLOWED US TO CONTINUE TO PRIORITIZE FOLKS THAT FIT INTO THE CATEGORY OF ONE, A ONE B AND ONE C AND ESPECIALLY FOCUS ON INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE 70 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER.

AND SO, UM, AND OUR OBSERVATIONS, WE HAVE NOTICED THAT IT IS TAKING A SHORTER AMOUNT OF TIME.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, WE HAVE HAD CONVERSATIONS WITH PROVIDERS, UH, ACROSS TRAVIS COUNTY, BUT ALSO IN OUR NEIGHBORING COUNTIES.

AND WE KNOW THAT OTHERS ARE RECEIVING VACCINES, UM, MORE WIDELY AVAILABLE.

AND SO WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF LOOKING AT HOW OUR APPOINTMENTS ARE FILLING UP, AS WELL AS THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE OTHER PROVIDERS THAT

[00:15:01]

ARE RECEIVING VACCINE, WE DECIDED TO MAKE THAT CHANGE.

THAT CHANGE WILL BE EFFECTIVE ON MONDAY WHEN WE RELEASED OUR APPOINTMENTS.

I'LL JUST ALSO ADD, UH, YOU KNOW, IT'S, IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US NOW THAT TRANSMISSION IS LOW OR COST STABILIZED FOR US TO, UH, ENSURE THAT YOUNGER PEOPLE ENSURE THAT FOLKS WHO ARE FRONTLINE WORKERS ARE OUR RESTAURANT AND BAR WORKERS OR CONSTRUCTION WORKERS, OUR PUBLIC FACING WORKERS, UH, WHO HAVE TO GO BACK TO WORK NOW TO ENSURE THAT THEY HAVE ADEQUATE ACCESS, UH, BECAUSE THOSE INDIVIDUALS ARE THE ONES WHO ARE AT HIGHEST RISK FOR TRANSMITTING DISEASE AND AT HIGHEST RISK FOR, UH, BEING EXPOSED BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF, OF THEIR WORK.

SO OPENING UP THE WINDOW WILL HELP US TO ENSURE THAT WE CAN GET TO THOSE FRONTLINE WORKERS MORE EFFICIENTLY AND HOPEFULLY, UH, STEM THE TRANSMISSION OF COVID-19 PARTICULARLY, UH, WITH THE GROWING CONCERNS, UH, REGARDING THE VARIANCE THAT WE'RE SEEING.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM COMMUNITY IMPACT.

APH HAS ASKED PORTAL USERS TO INDICATE WHETHER THEY'VE BEEN VACCINATED ELSEWHERE.

ARE PEOPLE DOING THAT? WHAT IS YOUR CONFIDENCE LEVEL THAT THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE ONLINE AT APH IS ACCURATE.

CERTAINLY SEEING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE GO IN AND REVISE THEIR PROFILE, WHICH HELPS US GET AN ACCURATE COUNT OF HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY WAITING FOR A VACCINE AT APH.

AND WE'RE ASKING FOLKS TO CONTINUOUSLY DO THAT IF THEY GO TO WALGREENS OR CVS OR HEB AND GET A VACCINE, PLEASE REMEMBER TO GO BACK IN, UH, AND TAKE YOUR NAME OFF OF THE LIST FOR APH.

SIMILARLY, IF THEY'RE VACCINATED, APH, AND THEY'RE ALL LISTS OF OTHER PLACES TO GO BACK AND UPDATE THOSE, UH, THOSE REQUESTS SO THAT WE AS A COMMUNITY NOW, HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE WAITING FOR THE VACCINE, UH, AND THAT WILL HELP US BE MORE EFFICIENT IN THE DELIVERY OF VACCINE.

UH, IN ADDITION TO THOSE REVISIONS, WE'VE SEEN THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF ADDITIONAL FOLKS SIGN UP TO GET THE VACCINE.

UH, SO, YOU KNOW, WE STILL HAVE MANY MORE FOLKS WHO WANT THE VACCINE, THEN WE HAVE VACCINE, BUT WE'RE CERTAINLY HOPEFUL THAT, UH, YOU KNOW, WE'RE GOING TO MEET THE GOAL OF BY THE END OF APRIL OR MAY HAVING A VACCINE AVAILABLE FOR EVERYBODY IN THIS COMMUNITY TO APH, AS WELL AS THE OTHER PROVIDERS IN THE COMMUNITY.

I THINK ONE OTHER THING I'D LIKE TO ADD IS, IS THAT WITH THE NEW FOLKS THAT ARE REGISTERING ON THE SITE, UM, WHEN THE OTHER ONES GO OUT AND CLOSE OUT THEIR ACCOUNTS, WE CAN BE MORE TARGETED IN OUR COMMUNICATIONS.

UM, WE ARE, YOU KNOW, HAVE THE ABILITY TO SEND TEXT MESSAGES, UH, EMAILS, UM, AS WELL AS WE HAVE A TEAM THAT ARE MAKING OUTBOUND CALLS.

AND SO WE REALLY WANT TO BE AS EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE AND TARGETING INDIVIDUALS THAT ACTIVELY WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE VACCINE.

AND SO FOR US, UM, IT'S SUCH A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT.

AND SO IT DEFINITELY DOES HELP US WHEN INDIVIDUALS DO GO IN, UH, AND CLOSE OUT THOSE ACCOUNTS.

AND EVEN IF THEY'VE HAD THE SECOND VACCINE AT ANOTHER PROVIDER THAT IS ALSO HELPFUL FOR US AS WELL, UM, BECAUSE WE DO HAVE THE ABILITY TO TRANSITION THAT SECOND DOSE TO A FIRST DOSE, OR ALLOW IT ADDED TO SOMEONE ELSE THAT MAY BE REACHING OUT TO US THAT NEEDS THE SECOND DOSE AND RECEIVED IT FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE.

SO IT'S, IT'S HELPFUL ALL THE WAY AROUND WHEN INDIVIDUALS ARE ABLE TO DO THAT WITH THOSE ACCOUNTS.

THIS QUESTION IS FROM KX, N AS APH RECEIVED ANY UPDATES ON WHEN TO EXPECT VACCINATION FOR KIDS WILL IPH HELP FACILITATE.

THOSE ARE ALL ADOPTED THROUGH LOCAL PEDIATRICIANS.

SO WE'LL SEE WE ARE AS WELL AS THE REST OF THE NATION, UH, WATCHING INTENTLY THE, UM, CLINICAL TRIALS THAT WE KNOW THAT THE, UM, VACCINE MANUFACTURERS ARE WORKING TOWARD FOR EXPANDING VACCINE, UM, FOR CHILDREN APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN, UH, PFIZER FORCES AVAILABLE FOR THOSE WHO ARE 16 AND OLDER.

UM, AND WE ENCOURAGE ANYONE WHO'S ELIGIBLE TO GET THE VACCINE.

UM, THAT BEING SAID, UH, WE ARE A VACCINE FOR CHILDREN PROVIDER, AND THEN WE ALSO WORK WITH, UM, OTHER VACCINE FOR CHILDREN PROVIDER, UH, THAT NETWORK WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY, UM, AS WELL AS PEDIATRICIANS, UM, AND OTHER HEALTHCARE THAT ACROSS THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM TO, UM, WORK, TO ROLL OUT ALL VACCINES FOR CHILDREN.

UM, AND SO WE WOULD PLAY THE ROLE THAT WE CONTINUE TO PLAY IN THE COVID VACCINE SPACE, BUT THEN ALSO CONTINUE TO WORK

[00:20:01]

AS WE DO WITH, UH, PROVIDING, UH, NORMAL CHILDHOOD VACCINATIONS, UM, AS COVID WOULD COME ON AND BE PART OF THE, UM, VACCINE, UM, RECOMMENDED VACCINES FOR CHILDREN.

WE WOULD WORK TO BOTH PROMOTE THE VACCINE, UH, TO THE PUBLIC AND PROVIDE A CONSISTENT MESSAGE ABOUT, UM, THE VACCINE AND THE SAFETY OF VACCINE AND ENCOURAGING PARENTS, UH, TO, UM, HAVE THEIR CHILD VACCINATED, AS WELL AS, UH, WORK WITH PROVIDERS TO ENSURE THAT, UM, THEY HAVE THE SUPPLY AND CAPACITY TO VACCINATE CHILDREN, UM, AND THEN ALSO PLAY A ROLE IN BEING A VACCINATOR AS WELL.

SO WE HAVE LOTS OF DIFFERENT AVENUES THAT WE ALREADY WORK AND THE, UM, VACCINE FOR CHILDREN'S FACE THAT WE WOULD CONTINUE TO DO.

UM, AND THEN ALSO NOTING THAT OUR ROLE AS PUBLIC HEALTH ENTITY AND WORKING TO VACCINATE OUR WHOLE POPULATION WITH COVID, WE WOULD CONTINUE TO WORK THROUGH THAT.

SO THERE'S A LOT OF DIFFERENT WAYS THAT WE'RE WORKING ON THAT.

AND WE'RE STARTING TO HAVE THOSE CONVERSATIONS WITH PROVIDERS ABOUT ANTICIPATING HOW WOULD THIS, UH, WORK WITH THEIR, WITHIN THEIR, UM, THEIR CAPACITY TO PROVIDE VACCINES, UM, ARE THEY CONSIDERING HOW THEY WOULD NEED, IF THEY'RE NOT CURRENTLY A PROVIDER TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO BECOME A PROVIDER IN ANTICIPATION OF THAT VACCINE BEING AVAILABLE, UH, FOR THAT BROADER POPULATION TO INCLUDE CHILDREN.

IN ADDITION, UH, WE ARE REALLY FOCUSING TO MAKE SURE, AND WE HAVE BEEN FOCUSED, UM, ON, UH, THOSE SETTINGS THAT, UM, INCLUDE, UH, TEACHERS AND EARLY CHILDHOOD PROVIDERS THAT THEY ARE RECEIVING VACCINES.

SO IT OFFERS SOME OF THAT PROTECTION TO CHILDREN.

IT HELPS THEM MITIGATE SPREAD, AND IN THOSE SPECIFIC SETTINGS.

SO AGAIN, AS, AS VACCINE BECOMES AVAILABLE, WE WANT ALL ADULTS TO GET VACCINATED BECAUSE THAT CONTINUES TO PROTECT, UM, EVERYONE ELSE IN THE COMMUNITY.

AND IF A VACCINE IS AVAILABLE AND ONCE IT COMES ONLINE FOR, FOR CHILDREN, UH, WE, WE WILL WORK TO CONTINUE TO ENSURE THAT, UM, UH, THOSE THAT ARE ELIGIBLE HAVE ACCESS.

LET ME JUST ALSO ADD, YOU KNOW, IT'S, IT'S A MISTAKE FOR OUR SCHOOL SYSTEMS, UH, FOR OTHER SETTINGS WHERE, UH, YOU KNOW, CHILDREN ARE THE PRIMARY CLIENT OR CUSTOMER, UM, PLACES LIKE CAMPS, UH, IN, IN THOSE SORTS OF SETTINGS, IT'S A MISTAKE FOR THEM TO START TO REMOVE THE PROTECTIONS, TO START TO REMOVE THE MASKING.

UH, AGAIN, THE, THE POPULATION, UH, OF, OF TEENAGERS AND YOUNGER CHILDREN ARE BOUNDLESS COMPLETELY UN-VACCINATED, UH, WHICH MEANS THAT THEIR, THEIR RISK IS STILL THERE AS THE COMMUNITY RISK GOES DOWN, AS ADULTS ARE, ARE VACCINATED.

AND, YOU KNOW, WE START TO RELAX THINGS AT SOME STAGE IN TERMS OF THE ADULT POPULATION.

WE HAVE TO MAINTAIN THE VIGILANCE FOR OUR CHILDREN IN OUR SCHOOLS AND OUR SUMMER CAMPS UNTIL WE HAVE VACCINES AVAILABLE FOR THEM.

BECAUSE IF WE DON'T, WHEN ARE GOING TO SEE SIGNIFICANT INCREASES IN TRANSMISSION IN THOSE AGE GROUPS, THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT ISRAEL SAW AT 60% OF THEIR ADULT POPULATION VACCINATED, YOU KNOW, RELAXATION WAS HAPPENING AND THEY SAW SEARCH IN CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS, A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN HOSPITALIZATIONS IN INDIVIDUALS, LESS THAN 19 YEARS OLD, THE RISK FOR CHILDREN IS NOT GOING TO GO AWAY AND WE NEED TO AVOID, PARTICULARLY UNTIL THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR, INCREASING THE RISK BY REMOVING MASK MANDATES.

UM, SO PLEASE KEEP THAT VIGILANCE FOR OUR YOUNG PEOPLE SO THAT WE CAN DECREASE TRANSMISSION, UH, AND CERTAINLY THE, UH, THE CONCERNING INCREASE IN RATES OF, UH, SOME OF THE INFLAMMATORY REACTIONS THAT CHILDREN ARE SAYING.

THIS QUESTION IS FROM CO-OP RADIO.

YOU HAVE CONSISTENTLY SEPARATED SPORTS FROM SCHOOL AND GOT AN A SUPPORTS YOUR CONCERNS.

WHAT LEVEL OF VACCINATION AND STUDENTS DO YOU SEE AS NEEDED TO SAFELY ALLOW SCHOOL SPORTS IN THE FALL? WELL, YOU KNOW, I'LL TELL YOU THAT OUR EXPECTATION IS THAT, YOU KNOW, PROBABLY IN THE NEXT MONTH TO TWO MONTHS, WE'RE GOING TO SEE A VACCINE APPROVED FOR INDIVIDUALS 12 TO 16 YEARS OLD.

SO IT'S GOING TO FILL THE GAP OF MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL.

THAT'S PRIMARILY WHERE WE'RE SEEING THE EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES.

NOW, IN MY CONVERSATIONS WITH THE TRAVIS COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS, I RECOMMENDED THAT THEY FOCUS PARTICULARLY ON THOSE STUDENT ATHLETES AND ENSURING THAT OVER THE SUMMER, AS SOON AS VACCINE IS AVAILABLE, THAT THEY ARE ACTIVELY ENCOURAGING AND PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEIR STUDENT ATHLETES TO BE VACCINATED.

SO THAT BY THE TIME ALL SPORTS SPARK, THE START IN LATE SUMMER, THAT, THAT WE ARE GOING TO SIGNIFICANTLY DECREASE THE RISK OF TRANSMISSION.

[00:25:02]

UH, YOU KNOW, WE'VE BEEN SAYING THIS FOR A YEAR THAT THIS, THESE ARE GOING TO BE THE VULNERABLE AREAS OF, OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM.

AND WE CONTINUE TO SEE THAT, UH, LOCALLY AND NATIONWIDE.

UH, SO AGAIN, WE ALSO HAVE TO MAINTAIN THOSE PROTECTIONS, THE MASKING AND DISTANCING UNTIL WE REACH THAT STAGE, THAT IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE, YOU KNOW, 70, 80% OF THOSE STUDENT ATHLETES THAT NEED TO BE VACCINATED BEFORE WE HAVE EFFECTIVE IMMUNITY WITHIN THOSE GROUPS.

AND I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ADD THAT, YOU KNOW, UH, WE ARE ALSO MONITORING VERY CLOSELY, UH, THE VARIANT VARIANTS THAT ARE CIRCULATING WITHIN THE COMMUNITY, UH, BECAUSE, UH, THIS COULD ALSO HAVE AN IMPACT ON THOSE YOUNGER POPULATIONS.

UM, YOU KNOW, BUT AGAIN, AS DR S SCOTT MENTIONED, THIS IS JUST A, A VERY STRONG REMINDER THAT WE STILL NEED TO BE VIGILANT IN THOSE PREVENTATIVE MEASURES THAT AT KEEP TRANSMISSION RISK LOW, AND THAT'S THE, YOU KNOW, WEARING YOUR MASK AND WASHING YOUR HANDS AND, AND STAYING HOME WHEN YOU'RE SICK.

UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK KIDS, YOUNGER KIDS AND YOUNG ADULTS, UH, TEND TO BE A LITTLE MORE RESILIENT, UM, AND THEY CAN, THEY CAN DO MORE, UH, WHEN THEY ARE SICK, UH, ESPECIALLY IF THEY HAVE MILD DISEASE.

SO, UM, YOU KNOW, ANOTHER THING THAT WE'RE SEEING RIGHT NOW IS THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE, A LOT OF CASES THAT WE'RE INVESTIGATING, UM, MANY OF THEM ARE, UH, SAYING THAT THEY THINK THEY HAVE SEASONAL OUT.

THEY THOUGHT THEY HAD SEASONAL ALLERGY, BUT FOR SOME REASON THEY DID GO ON TO GET TESTED IN AND IT'S ACTUALLY BEEN COVID.

SO, WHILE YOU MAY HAVE MILD SYMPTOMS, UH, YOU KNOW, THERE, THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT, UH, UM, IT COULD BE COVID VERSUS ALLERGIES.

I SHOULD SAY THIS QUESTION IS FROM THE AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN, OUR HEALTH LEADERS CONCERNED THAT TRAVIS COUNTY'S OLDEST AND MOST VULNERABLE RESIDENTS WILL BE DELAYED IN RECEIVING THE CORONAVIRUS VACCINES.

AS YOUNG MORE TECH SAVVY RESIDENTS ARE SIGNING ON TO SECURE A DOSE.

I'LL JUST SAY THAT IF THERE ARE, IF YOU ARE A RESIDENT OF TRAVIS COUNTY AND ARE AWARE OF SOMEBODY WHO IS ELDERLY, WHO HAS NOT BEEN THAT VACCINATED, ESPECIALLY IF THEY'RE 70 AND OVER, OR HAVE HAD CHALLENGES, GETTING A VACCINE, THEY NEED TO, UH, ASSIST THAT PERSON IN REACHING OUT TO THREE, ONE, ONE, AND WE WILL REACH OUT TO THEM AND TRY TO SET A VACCINE VACCINATION UP FOR THEM JUST TO ADD IN.

WE KNOW THAT, UM, HAVING THE MASS SITE OF VACCINE SITES AND THE ONLINE PORTAL ISN'T FOR EVERYONE, UM, AND THAT IS DEFINITELY SOMETHING WE ARE WORKING THROUGH WITH AUSTIN.

I ALSO IN PUBLIC HEALTH, AS JANET MENTIONED, UH, CALLING THROUGH ON ONE, IF YOU'RE HAVING ANY STRUGGLE, GETTING A VACCINE, YOU CAN CONTACT THAT NUMBER AND WE'LL RE WE'LL GET BACK WITH YOU ON HOW WE CAN HELP YOU NAVIGATE TO GET AN APPOINTMENT.

UM, IN ADDITION TO THAT, WE HAVE SPECIFIC, UM, FOCUSED OUTREACH THAT WE'RE DOING FOR OLDER ADULT POPULATIONS, INCLUDING PARTNERSHIPS WITH MEALS ON WHEELS TO DO, UM, HOME-BOUND, UH, VACCINES TARGETING AND FOCUSING INTO, UM, OLDER ADULT LIVING FACILITIES, REALLY LOOKING TO SEE WHEREVER THERE IS A BARRIER TRYING TO ALLAY THAT BARRIER AND MAKE SURE THAT INDIVIDUALS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET VACCINE AND REALLY LOOKING NOW TO FIND WHERE PEOPLE ARE AT AND TAKING THE VACCINE TO THEM.

SO WE HOPE THAT MULTIPLE STRATEGIES ARE THE ANSWER TO GETTING TO ANYONE WHO NEEDS A VACCINE OR ANYONE'S HAD BARRIERS.

BUT AGAIN, JUST TO REITERATE, IF, IF THERE IS ANYONE WHO IS SEEKING A VACCINE IS HAVING DIFFICULTY, UH, CONTACT THREE, ONE, ONE, UH, WE WILL WORK TO, TO, UM, REACH BACK OUT, UM, AND ENSURE THAT YOU'RE ABLE TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS, UM, TO KEEP IN MIND IS SINCE THAT WE DO WATCH THE DATA, WE ARE MONITORING THE DATA.

UM, WE KNOW THAT 45% OF, OF TRAVIS COUNTY RESIDENTS THAT ARE 80 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER ARE FULLY VACCINATED.

UM, WE ALSO KNOW THAT, UM, AT LEAST 68% OF INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE 65 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER HAVE RECEIVED THEIR FIRST VACCINE.

SO WE ARE CONTINUING TO MONITOR THE DATA AND TO COLLABORATE WITH INDIVIDUALS, BECAUSE WHAT WE'RE FINDING IS, IS THAT WHEN WE'RE WORKING WITH THE NONPROFIT AGENCIES, UM, OR, YOU KNOW, WHEN WE'RE HAVING EVENTS LIKE WE'RE HAVING TODAY, UM, THERE MAY BE INFORMATION THAT WE SHARE THAT THEN INDIVIDUALS WILL CALL THREE, ONE, ONE,

[00:30:01]

AND THEY WILL BE REFERRED TO OUR TEAM AND OUR TEAM WILL CALL THEM AND THEY WILL SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH THEM.

WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO REALLY WORK VERY CLOSELY, UH, WITH, FOR EXAMPLE, DRIVERS, SENIOR, AND, UM, AND SO THEY ARE ABLE TO WORK WITH US AND WE GET FOLKS SCHEDULED AND THEY'RE ABLE TO DRIVE INDIVIDUALS THERE IN ADDITION TO THAT, WORKING WITH CAPITAL METRO ON TRANSPORTATION, BUT WE ARE DEFINITELY, UM, KEEPING OUR EYES ON THE DATA FOR INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE 65 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER, WE WILL CONTINUE TO PRIORITIZE AND DO EVERYTHING WE CAN DO.

UM, IF THEY ARE NOT ABLE TO GET ON OUR SYSTEM AND SECURE AN APPOINTMENT, UM, ALSO JUST REMINDING FOLKS COMP THREE, ONE, ONE, AND THEY WILL GET A MESSAGE OVER TO US.

THEY ALSO HAVE THE ABILITY TO SET UP AN ACCOUNT.

SO THAT IS THE OTHER THING THAT THREE, ONE, ONE, UM, IS, IS HELPING US TO PUBLIC HEALTH LIST AS WELL.

THIS QUESTION IS FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE.

APH IS MOBILE VACCINE PROGRAM SO FAR HAS FOCUSED ON VACCINATING.

THOSE WHO ARE ALREADY CONNECTED TO, OR RECEIVING SERVICES FROM A PARTNERING ORGANIZATION, WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC PLANS FOR APH TO EXPAND THE NBP OUTSIDE OF PARTNERSHIPS TO SOMETHING LIKE POP-UP VACCINE CLINICS, WHERE ANY ELIGIBLE RESIDENT COULD GET VACCINATED? WE HAVE, UM, CURRENTLY, UM, COMPLETED A FEW PILOT VACCINE, UM, LOCATIONS, UM, WITH PARTNERS.

UM, THIS PAST SATURDAY, WE WERE AT ST.

JAMES, UM, PROVIDING A DRIVE-THROUGH, UH, VACCINE, UM, UH, PROGRAM FOR FOLKS THAT, UM, ATTENDED, YOU KNOW, ANY ONE OF THOSE, UM, CONGREGATIONS.

THERE WERE ABOUT SIX CONGREGATIONS THAT REFERRED CLIENTS OVER.

UM, IN ADDITION TO THAT, UM, PARTNERING AT, UM, SACRED HEART TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THOSE, UM, THE VACCINES, UM, THERE AS WELL.

AND SO, UM, WE, AS WE DO THE PILOTS, UM, OUR STAFF WILL, UM, HAVE WHAT WE'RE CALLING A DEBRIEFING, WHERE WE LOOK AT WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DID NOT WORK.

UM, AND THEN, UM, AND THEN GO BACK OUT AND SCHEDULE APPOINTMENTS.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, WE ARE WORKING WITH SEVERAL OF OUR PARTNERS, UH, TO BASICALLY PUT TOGETHER A MAP THAT WILL, UM, SHOW WHERE WE WILL BE, UM, INCLUDING WITH THEM AS WELL, TO SHOW WHERE WE WILL BE PROVIDING THESE ADDITIONAL, UM, POP UP LOCATIONS.

AND SO WE'RE DEFINITELY DOING MORE OF THAT, UH, IN, UH, LASTLY, UM, WE ARE ALSO, UM, ASKING FOLKS IF THEY KNOW OF AN INDIVIDUAL THAT IS HOME BOUND, UM, THAT DOES NOT HAVE, YOU KNOW, ACCESS TO AR AND THEY'RE NOT WORKING WITH ANY AGENCY.

WE ARE ASKING THEM TO CALL THREE, ONE, ONE, UH, THEY WILL GIVE, UM, OUR EQUITY TEAM THAT INFORMATION AND OUR TEAM WILL GIVE THEM A CALL.

AND OUR MOBILE VACCINE PROGRAM WILL GO OUT AND PROVIDE THEIR VACCINE TO THEM.

UH, LASTLY, WE ARE, UM, WORKING IN KIND OF SEVERAL LOCATIONS.

YOU KNOW, WE ARE PARTNERING WITH THE HOUSING AUTHORITY TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE VACCINES THERE.

UM, AND SO WE ARE MOVING OUR MOBILE TEAM AROUND AND THAT TEAM IS, IS WORKING COLLABORATIVELY WITH ENTITIES TO BE IN A SPACE WHERE WE CAN PROVIDE THAT VACCINE TO FOLKS THAT LIVE IN THAT COMMUNITY.

THIS QUESTION IS FROM CBS, AUSTIN, HOW WILL IT REDUCE SHIPMENTS FROM JOHNSON AND JOHNSON IMPACT BOTH APH AND OTHER VACCINE PROVIDERS SHOULD THE AUSTIN AREA EXPECT REDUCED APPOINTMENT AVAILABILITY BECAUSE OF J AND J MANUFACTURING ISSUES.

SO WANT TO REITERATE THE, UM, MAJORITY OF THE VACCINE THAT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH HAS BEEN PROVIDING HAS BEEN FROM, UM, HAS BEEN MADONNA VACCINE, AND WE CONTINUE TO RECEIVE THE SAME ALLOCATION OF MADONNA.

UM, AND SO WE DON'T ANTICIPATE AS LONG AS THAT, UM, SHIPMENT CONTINUES TO, UH, ARRIVE AND WE'VE NOT HAD ANY INDICATION.

WE WOULDN'T CONTINUE TO GET THE SAME ALLOCATION WEEK OVER WEEK, THAT THE APPOINTMENTS THAT WE WERE SCHEDULING WOULD BE IMPACTED.

UM, THE JOHNSON AND JOHNSON, UH, AVAILABILITY IS, IS, UM, IMPORTANT TO EXPAND VACCINE AVAILABILITY ACROSS THE, UM, CITY.

AND WE HAVE SEEN,

[00:35:01]

YOU KNOW, ADDITIONAL PROVIDERS BE ABLE TO COME ONLINE AND PROVIDE THAT VACCINE.

UM, AND IT IS ONE DOSE.

AND SO IT, IT REALLY DOES HELP TO EXPAND, UM, THE, THE, THE ABILITY TO VACCINATE MANY MORE PEOPLE AND HAVE SOMEONE FULLY VACCINATED WITH JUST WINDOWS.

UM, SO IT IS THAT THERE IS A CONCERN THAT THE AVAILABILITY, UM, WITH ADDITIONAL PROVIDERS, UM, MAYBE AFFECTED, HOWEVER, WITH AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, UH, THE VACCINES THAT WE HAVE BEEN RECEIVING, UH, FOR THE MOST PART, OUR MADONNA AND, AND THE APPOINTMENTS THAT WE WERE SCHEDULING THROUGH OUR ONLINE PORTAL HAVE ALL BEEN MADRONA VACCINE KSAN ASKS.

HAS THERE BEEN ANY LETUP IN DEMAND FOR VACCINES IN TRAVIS COUNTY? HOW REALISTIC IS IT TO GET SEVEN 70 TO 80% THE POPULATION VACCINATED SOON? WELL, I'LL, I'LL START BY SAYING, UM, YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE TIMELINE ON REACHING OUT HERD IMMUNITY DEPENDS UPON, UH, YOU KNOW, THE, THE VACCINE AVAILABILITY, BUT ALSO PEOPLE'S WILLINGNESS TO GET THE VACCINE.

UH, AND WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR MONTHS NOW, ANTICIPATING THAT WE'RE GOING TO SEE, UH, A LARGE INFLUX OF, OF VACCINES OF PEOPLE WANTING THE VACCINES, AND THEN WE'D HAVE A RAPID INCREASE IN THE VACCINATION RATE, BUT A CONCERN THAT, YOU KNOW, W WE'D PLATEAU AND THAT GETTING THE LAST, YOU KNOW, 20 OR 30% WAS GOING TO BE A LOT MORE CHALLENGING THAN GETTING THE FIRST, YOU KNOW, 50 OR 60%.

UM, SO THAT'S THE, YOU KNOW, THAT'S WHAT WE'RE EXPECTING NOW, WE'RE EXPECTING THAT THE NUMBER OF FOLKS WHO ARE EXCITED TO GET THE VACCINE ARE GOING TO START TO DECREASE AS THEY GET VACCINATED, THEN WE'RE GOING TO ENTER THAT PHASE OF, UH, FOLKS WHO WANT TO GET THE VACCINE, BUT DON'T WANT A CHILD VERY FAR, OR, UH, YOU KNOW, MAY HAVE SOME BARRIERS THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO START MOVING EFFORTS MORE CLOSER TO HOME FOR THEM, OR CLOSER TO WORK FOR THEM.

UH, AND THEN WE'RE GOING TO ENTER THE PHASE WHERE WE'VE GOT FOLKS WHO, UH, HAVE SOME, SOME CONCERNS OR SOME HESITANCY THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO ACTIVELY ENGAGE.

AND THEN FINALLY, OF COURSE, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE THE FOLKS WHO ARE NOT INTERESTED IN THE VACCINE, UH, THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK WITH THROUGH LOTS OF, YOU KNOW, COMMUNITY PARTNERS TO, UH, ENCOURAGE THEM TO GET THE VACCINE.

SO THEY'RE GOING TO BE MANY PHASES OF THIS STRATEGY.

UM, AND YOU KNOW, IT'S GOING TO TAKE TIME TO, TO GET TO HERD IMMUNITY.

BUT PART OF THAT IS, IS PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY, UNDERSTANDING THE FACTS AND HAVING AN AVENUE TO HAVE THEIR QUESTIONS ANSWERED SO THAT WE CAN RESOLVE THOSE ISSUES AND, UH, AND GET FOLKS VACCINATED.

I, I, I THINK IT'S UNQUESTIONABLE AT THIS STAGE THAT THE RISKS OF COVID-19 FAR OUTWEIGH THE RISKS OF THE VACCINE.

UM, AND, UM, YOU KNOW, THE, THIS VACCINE HAS SHOWN TO BE VERY SAFE AND EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE.

I THINK THE BEST EXAMPLE OF THAT FOR US IS OUR NURSING HOMES AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES.

WE'VE HAD A 98% REDUCTION IN CASES, 98% REDUCTION SINCE FEBRUARY THE SECOND.

SO IT'S TAKEN A VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME TO SEE A DRAMATIC IMPROVEMENT, UH, IN THOSE FACILITIES THAT ARE AT HIGH RISK FOR TRANSMISSION AND OUTBREAKS.

UM, SO IF WE CAN GET TO A LEVELS OF VACCINATION IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT WE'RE SAYING IN NURSING HOMES AND LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES, AND THEN WE'LL COUNT THAT AS, AS A SUCCESS.

AND WE'RE ALSO THE CASE IN OUR ABILITY TO GET BACK TO NORMAL FOR THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM CO-OP RADIO AS A FULLY VACCINATED MEMBER OF THE GROUP PHASE ONE B WHAT DO I HAVE TO FEAR FROM THE LOW NATIONAL AND GLOBAL VACCINATION PERCENTAGES, AS WELL AS THE RISE OF MORE VIOLENT VARIANCE, IT IS ENABLING YOU MOVED IT.

I WASN'T SAYING ANYTHING IMPORTANT.

UH, SO, YOU KNOW, WE CERTAINLY SEE THAT QUESTION A LOT.

WE'RE SEEING IT FROM EMPLOYERS A LOT.

HOW DOES YOU KNOW THAT VACCINATION STATUS CHANGE ONE OF THE VULNERABILITIES, UH, AND THE ANSWER IS, YOU KNOW, THEY, THEY VACCINES PARTICULARLY MODERNA AND PFIZER HAVE SHOWN IN, IN REAL LIFE TO BE ABOUT 90% EFFECTIVE AT PREVENTING TRANSMISSION DISEASE, EVEN HIGHER.

WHEN WE TALK ABOUT SEVERE DISEASE AND DEATH FROM COVID-19, BUT THAT'S WITH THE CURRENT STRAINS THAT WE HAVE OUT THERE.

NOW, THERE IS CONCERN THAT AS THE VARIANTS INCREASE, UM,

[00:40:01]

YOU KNOW, PARTICULARLY IN THE BRAZILIAN SOUTH AFRICAN VARIANCE, UH, AS WELL AS THE POTENTIAL FOR EMERGENCE OF, OF NEW VARIANTS, THAT NEW VARIANTS MAY BE MORE SUCCESSFUL AT EVADING PROTECTIONS, UH, THAT THE VACCINES CURRENTLY PROVIDE.

NOW, THERE'S STILL GOOD EVIDENCE THAT IT CAN HELP STILL HELP PREVENT THE SEVERITY OF DISEASE AND HELP TO MITIGATE THE RISK OF DEATH.

UM, BUT YOU KNOW, THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY WE NEED TO WORK QUICKLY TO GET PEOPLE VACCINATED ACROSS THE GLOBE AT THE SAME TIME THAT WE ARE MAINTAINING VIGILANCE.

SO THOSE PROTECTION PROTECTIVE MEASURES, IF WE DON'T, IF WE JUST MOVE TO VACCINES AND, AND HOPE THAT WE CAN, WE CAN, UH, WE CAN BAIT THE, THE RACE TO A NEW VARIANT WE'RE IN FOR A, UH, A HARSH REALITY.

UH, SO I THINK WE'VE GOT TO DO BOTH AT THE SAME TIME.

WE'VE GOT TO RESIST THE URGE TO TAKE THE MASKS OFF AND GO BACK TO NORMAL TOO SOON, UH, BECAUSE WHAT WE'RE LIKELY TO SEE IS THAT THIS WILL BE A CONTINUOUS PROCESS, UH, YOU KNOW, POTENTIALLY FOR A VERY LONG PERIOD OF TIME OR, OR FOREVER AS WE HAVE EXPERIENCED WITH FLU NOW IS THE CHANCE FOR US TO, TO KNOCK OUT COVID-19, BUT IT'S GOING TO TAKE A GLOBAL EFFORT AND THAT, THAT MAINTENANCE OF VIGILANCE AND PROTECTIONS AND VIGILANCE, AND GETTING FOLKS VACCINATED IN ORDER FOR US TO DO THAT.

AND AS S SCOTT STATED, YOU KNOW, IT'S REALLY GOING TO BE IMPORTANT FOR YOU AS A FULLY VACCINATED PERSON TO CONTINUE TO WEAR YOUR MASK, WASH YOUR FACE, WASH YOUR HANDS, WATCH YOUR DISTANCE.

UM, AND IF YOU'RE FEELING ILL, YOU SHOULD TAKE A TEST AND STAY HOME.

THOSE THINGS ARE IMPORTANT.

THEY HAVE, WE HAVE USED THEM.

THEY'VE BEEN TRIED AND TRUE BEFORE WE HAD A VACCINE ON THE SCENE.

AND SO WE'VE GOT TO CONTINUE TO, TO DO THOSE PRACTICES, UM, TO JUST KEEP US ALL HEALTHY AND JUST KIND OF CONTINUE TO MONITOR YOUR BEHAVIOR.

WHAT HAVE WE, YOU'VE DONE THUS FAR TO KEEP YOU SAFE, CONTINUE TO DO THOSE THINGS, TO KEEP YOU SAYING, WE'RE, WE'RE NOT ASKING FOLKS NOT TO LIVE THEIR LIVES, BUT WE ARE ASKING YOU TO CONTINUE THOSE, UM, PREVENTATIVE NON-PHARMACEUTICAL METHODS THAT HAVE WORKED FOR YOU.

AND I'LL JUST ADD THAT, YOU KNOW, THE AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH WORKFORCE, ESPECIALLY THE EPIDEMIOLOGIST HERE IN AUSTIN, ARE WORKING VERY CLOSELY TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR THESE VARIANTS.

UH, AND WE'RE ALSO WORKING, UH, CLOSELY ON LOOKING AT BREAKTHROUGH DISEASE.

SO WHAT, WHAT ARE THOSE THINGS THAT ARE, THAT WE'RE SEEING AS A RESULT OF PEOPLE WHO'VE BEEN FULLY VACCINATED, BUT THEN DEVELOP ILLNESS? ARE THERE, WE'RE TRYING TO GLEAN ANY TYPE OF INFORMATION WE CAN FROM, UH, BREAKTHROUGHS AND RE RE-INFECTION OF DISEASE TO SEE, IS IT RELATED TO A VARIANT, OR IS IT RELATED TO SOME SORT OF TRAVEL HISTORY OR WHATEVER? SO WE CONTINUE TO, TO LOOK AT THAT INFORMATION, UH, IT HELPS FEED, UH, OUR KNOWLEDGE DATABASE AS FAR AS, UH, HOW WE RESPOND AND HOW WE RESPOND TO CLUSTERS AND OUTBREAKS, UH, THAT AS BOTH DR S SCOTT AND DIRECTOR, HAYDEN HOWARD HAD SAID THE BEST METHOD, UH, IS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE PROTECTING OURSELVES AND OUR LOVED ONES FROM ANY EXPOSURE.

AND THE BEST WAY TO DO THAT IS TO, UH, LIMIT THE DISEASE TRANSMISSION RISKS THAT, THAT YOU MAY, UH, BE PLACED THAT MAY BE PLACED IN FRONT OF YOU.

THIS IS THE FINAL QUESTION, AND IT'S FROM THE AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN, THE SEVEN DAY MOVING AVERAGE FOR NEW HOSPITALIZATIONS IN AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY APPEARS TO BE INCREASING ON A SLOW RATE.

WHAT IS LIKELY THE CAUSE OF THE UPWARD TREND IN OUR HEALTH LEADERS CONCERNED BY THIS SLIGHT INCREASE? I'M HAPPY TO TAKE THAT ONE.

UM, THEY, THE HOSPITAL NUMBERS ARE INCREASING, OR IT'S NOT CLEAR THAT THEY'RE INCREASING YET.

WHAT WE HAVE SEEN OVER THE PAST THREE WEEKS IS, IS CERTAINLY ALSO RELATION, UH, SORT OF SAYING, YOU KNOW, TWO, THREE DAYS OF GOING UP AND TWO OR THREE DAYS OF GOING DOWN, UH, THE ADMISSIONS TO THE HOSPITAL HAD BEEN OSCILLATING IN A TIGHT RANGE BETWEEN 16 AND 20 OR THREE WEEKS.

NOW, UH, WE CERTAINLY HAVE SEEN A FLATTENING OF THE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS HOSPITALIZED, FLATTENING OF THE, UH, NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS, THE ICU AND FLATTENING OF INDIVIDUALS, MEANING OF VENTILATOR.

AND SO THOSE ARE CONCERNING, PARTICULARLY SINCE THE PROJECTIONS FROM UT INDICATED

[00:45:01]

THIS FLATTENING PRIOR TO AN INCREASE.

UH, SO WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT IT.

UH, WE'RE CONCERNED THAT THE PROJECTIONS THAT UT UPDATED TODAY INDICATE AN INCREASING RISK, THAT THE EPIDEMIC IS GROWING, UH, REPRODUCTIVE NUMBER FOR THE VIRUS, WHICH IS GETTING CLOSER TO ONE, WHICH IS THAT THRESHOLD FOR, UH, FOR A GROWING EPIDEMIC.

UH, AND AGAIN, IT'S NOW IS THE TIME TO, TO URGE THAT CAUTION.

I KNOW IT'S GETTING WARM OUTSIDE AND, AND WE'RE MAKING GREAT PROGRESS IN GETTING PEOPLE BACK SEDATED.

NOW WE'RE SEEING DECREASES IN MORTALITY AND LENGTH OF STAY.

THOSE ARE ALL POSITIVE THINGS, BUT IT'S NOT TIME TO GIVE UP THE PROTECTIONS YET.

AND AGAIN, IF, IF WE AREN'T VIGILANT IN APRIL, WE'RE GOING TO PAY FOR IT IN MAY, AND WE'RE GOING TO PAY FOR IT WHEN IT'S TIME FOR END OF YEAR CELEBRATIONS AND PROMS AND GRADUATIONS.

UM, SO WE WOULD JUST HAVE TO CONTINUE THE MASK AND CONTINUE THOSE PROTECTIONS A LITTLE WHILE LONGER.

I THINK IF WE CAN DO THAT MAY AND CERTAINLY JUNE ARE GOING TO LOOK A LOT BETTER.

SUMMER'S GOING TO LOOK A LOT BETTER.

UM, BUT WE'RE ALSO GOING TO HAVE TO REALIZE THAT SOME OF THOSE PROTECTIONS, PARTICULARLY FOR A YOUNG TEAM, SUMMER CAMPS, UH, AND SIMILAR ACTIVITIES, THOSE PROTECTIONS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO CONTINUE BECAUSE THAT GROUP IS NOT GOING TO BE EFFECTIVELY VACCINATED, UH, YOU KNOW, UNTIL AT LEAST THE END OF THE SUMMER EARLY FALL.

THANK YOU, DR.

SCOTT, AT THIS TIME, WE WILL NOW MOVE INTO OUR CLOSING REMARKS DIRECTOR, STEPHANIE HAYDEN, HOWARD, OVER TO YOU.

THANK YOU.

UM, JUST TO REMIND REMINDER THAT THIS IS NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK.

MY HOPE IS, IS THAT IF YOU, UM, KNOW SOMEONE THAT WORKS FOR A PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT LOCALLY, UM, THAT YOU WILL LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU REALLY APPRECIATE ALL THE WORK, THE THING DONE.

UM, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE CONTINUE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DEVELOP PLANS FOR AND MOVE FORWARD WITH IMPLEMENTATION IS MAKING SURE THAT WE ARE PROVIDING VACCINES TO INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE 65 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER, AND TO PEOPLE OF COLOR.

WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT IF WE'VE IDENTIFIED AN AREA IN OUR, IN OUR COMMUNITY, IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO BE IN THAT SPACE.

WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT INDIVIDUALS ARE ABLE TO GO TO A SITE THAT'S VERY CONVENIENT FOR THEM, UM, WHERE THERE'S NOT A QUESTION ABOUT TRANSPORTATION, UM, OR ABILITY TO ACCESS THE VACCINES.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE OUTREACH AS WELL AS WORK WITH OUR PARTNERS TO DO OUTREACH IN THOSE AREAS AND TO EDUCATE INDIVIDUALS THAT MAY HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE VACCINES, BECAUSE WE KNOW AS WE CONTINUE TO PROVIDE VACCINES IN OUR COMMUNITY, WE MAY GET TO A POINT WHERE INDIVIDUALS ARE NOT SURE THAT THEY WANT THE VACCINE.

SO THOSE ARE SOME OF THE EFFORTS THAT WE ARE DOING NOW TO MAKE SURE THAT THOSE INDIVIDUALS ARE WILLING TO RECEIVE A VACCINE, BECAUSE OUR GOAL IS, IS TO GET TO HERD IMMUNITY.

BUT EVEN WITH HERD IMMUNITY, WE CANNOT EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTINUING TO WORRY YOUR MASK AND THOSE NON-PHARMACEUTICAL METHODS THAT HAVE WORKED SO WELL FOR US OVER THE LAST YEAR WITH THAT, I'LL TRANSITION TO DR.

SCOTT, THANK YOU.

UH, AGAIN, WE'RE SEEING SOME, SOME GOOD RESULTS IN TERMS OF THE DECREASE IN THE HOSPITAL.

LENGTH OF STAY INCREASE IN MORTALITY FROM COVID-19 THANKS TO THE EFFORTS IN VACCINATING FOLKS AND, UH, IN THE STATE SUPPORT OF OUR REGIONAL INFUSION CENTER TO PROVIDE MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES, TO INDIVIDUALS AT HIGH RISK FOR SEVERE DISEASE, THOSE THINGS ARE WORKING, BUT WE HAVE TO CONTINUE THE MASKING.

WE HAVE TO CONTINUE THE DISTANCING.

WE HAVE TO CONTINUE THE HAND HYGIENE.

WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO TEST INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 SO THAT WE CAN DRIVE DOWN TRANSMISSION.

UH, MASKING IS STILL HOLD ALL IN TRAVIS COUNTY AND THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

UH, SO PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK AND I'LL JUST ADD, UH, THE AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH EPIDEMIOLOGY STAFF AND OTHER PUBLIC HEALTH WORKFORCE IS WORKING VERY HARD TO CONTINUE TO PROTECT THIS COMMUNITY, UH, FROM, UH COVID-19.

AND ONE OF THE WAYS IN WHICH WE'RE DOING THAT, NOT ONLY THROUGH VACCINE DISTRIBUTION, BUT WE ARE MONITORING CLUSTERS AND OUTBREAKS WE'RE MONITORING BREAKTHROUGH

[00:50:01]

CASES, AND RE-INFECTION TO MAKE SURE THAT WE FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT EXPOSURE RISKS ARE CAUSING THE DISEASE TO PREVAIL IN SOME CASES.

SO, UM, WE JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THAT, UH, YOU KNOW, WE'RE WORKING HARD FOR YOU AND FOR THE PROTECTION OF THIS COMMUNITY.

UM, AGAIN, UNTIL WE REACHED THAT LEVEL OF HERD IMMUNITY, UM, WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO BE VERY VIGILANT IN OUR PREVENTION MATHER MEASURES TO MAKE SURE THAT WE, WE ARE PROTECTING THOSE, UH, WHO, UM, MAYBE ARE AT RISK OR CONTINUE TO BE AT RISK, BUT ALSO A REMINDER THAT THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED OR WHO ARE NOT ELIGIBLE THE EVENTS TO BE VACCINATED, STILL PRESENT, UM, UH, RISK OF DISEASE TRANSMISSION TO THE, TO THE POPULATION.

SO, UM, AGAIN, THOSE THINGS CAN BE, UH, THAT RISK CAN BE ELIMINATED BY FOLLOWING PREVENTION MEASURES, SUCH AS MASKING SOCIAL DISTANCING, UH, YOU KNOW, MAKING SURE YOU USE PROPER HAND HYGIENE.

AND, UM, AND, AND IF YOU ARE SICK, ESPECIALLY DURING THE SEASONAL ALLERGY SEASON, CONSIDER GETTING TESTED TO DETERMINE IF YOU HAVE COVID SO THAT YOU CAN THEN ISOLATE YOURSELF AND PROTECT THOSE AROUND YOU.

UH, WITH THAT, I'LL TURN IT OVER TO CASSIE.

THANK YOU, JANET.

AND TO CLOSE OUT, JUST TO REITERATE THAT IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A VACCINE, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE ELIGIBLE, UM, AND AGAIN, ALSO PUBLIC HEALTH AND MANY, MANY OTHER PROVIDERS ACROSS THE, UM, THE COUNTY ARE ALLOWING ANYONE 18 AND OLDER AND SOME PLACES WHERE THEY'RE OFFERING THE PFIZER VACCINE 16 AND OLDER, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO TRY TO GET THE VACCINE.

UH, WE ALSO WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT FOLKS WHO MAY, UH, THINK THAT THERE ARE BARRIERS, LIKE IF THEY DON'T HAVE INSURANCE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO PAY, UM, THINK THAT THEY MAY HAVE TO PRESENT IDEA ID, UM, IF YOU'RE ACCESSING AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, NONE OF THOSE ARE BARRIERS.

SO YOU, YOU CAN, UM, KNOW THAT IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THOSE THINGS, THOSE ARE NOT BARRIERS TO GETTING VACCINE.

DON'T LET THAT DISCOURAGE YOU FROM, UM, SEEKING VACCINE AND, AND REACHING OUT TO ANY PROVIDER.

UM, AND IN PARTICULAR TO AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYONE KNOWS THAT REGARDLESS OF YOUR ABILITY TO PAY, REGARDLESS OF YOUR INSURANCE STATUS, YOU CAN GET THE VACCINE.

UM, AND IF YOU'RE HAVING THAT DIFFICULTY, UH, REGISTERING, UM, OR KNOWING KIND OF WHAT, WHERE YOU SHOULD GET VACCINE CONTACT THREE, ONE, ONE, UH, THAT IS A RESOURCE THAT'S AVAILABLE FOR YOU, UM, AND CAN HELP YOU NAVIGATE THAT SYSTEM.

UM, AND IF YOU ARE IN BETWEEN THAT 28 TO 42ND DAY AFTER GETTING THE MAJORITY OF VACCINE, UM, YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO GO BACK AND GET YOUR VACCINE.

YOU SHOULD HAVE AN APPOINTMENT.

IF YOU HAVEN'T RECEIVED YOUR APPOINTMENT, CALL THREE, ONE, ONE AS WELL TO, UM, VERIFY THAT YOU HAVE AN APPOINTMENT AND TO PROVIDE, WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH TOOLS ON HOW TO GET THE APPOINTMENT AND ALSO CHECK YOUR ACCOUNT, MAKE SURE THAT YOU, UH, WHEN YOU LOOK AT YOUR ACCOUNT TO SEE IF YOU'VE HAD AN APPOINTMENT, UM, AND AGAIN, REACH OUT TO THREE OH ONE, IF YOU'VE MISSED YOUR APPOINTMENT, OR IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN SCHEDULED AND WE CAN ASSIST YOU IN, IN GETTING THAT SECOND DOSE, UM, AND NOT JUST THAT ALSO PUBLIC HEALTH TO PROVIDE PPE TO THE PUBLIC, UM, AND, AND, AND TESTING TO THE PUBLIC.

SO IF YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT, YOU KNOW, MAYBE YOU DON'T HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL MASKS AROUND OR YOU'RE, YOU NEED TO GET THAT FOR YOUR FAMILY.

UH, THERE ARE THOSE, UH, RESOURCES ARE STILL AVAILABLE IN THE COMMUNITY.

IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR TESTS, THERE ARE A LOT OF RESOURCES FOR TESTING.

SO DON'T LET, UM, ACCESS BE A BARRIER.

THERE'S A LOT OF, OF, UM, OPPORTUNITIES OUT THERE FOR INDIVIDUALS TO GET THAT.

AND AGAIN, AS STEPHANIE MENTIONED, IT IS AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK, AND ALL OF US CAN BE AMBASSADORS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH.

WE ALL HAVE A ROLE IN PROTECTING EACH OTHER, UM, AND PROTECTING OUR FAMILIES, PROTECTING THIS COMMUNITY, BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW WHAT TO DO.

WE ALL HAVE ACCESS TO THE TOOLS AND WE CAN, WE CAN, WE CAN STOP THE SPREAD OF THIS PANDEMIC AND, UM, AND GET US BACK INTO, UM, THE, THE AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY THAT, THAT WE KNOW AND LOVE AND, AND BACK INTO OUR NORMAL REGULAR LIVES.

UM, SO AGAIN, BE VIGILANT, TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER.

UM, AND, AND WE CAN, WE CAN STOP THE SPREAD OF THIS DISEASE.

THANK YOU.

THAT CONCLUDES OUR MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR TODAY.

THANK YOU TO APH DIRECTOR.

STEPHANIE HAYDEN HOWARD, DR.

MARK S. SCOTT, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JANET PICHET, SANDRA DE LEON APH, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, DS PREVENTION, HEALTH PROMOTION DIVISION, AND OUR POOL REPORTER THAT'S SULLIVAN FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE.

THANKS FOR JOINING US AND HAVE A SAFE WEEKEND.

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