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[00:00:08]

GOOD MORNING.

I'M

[COVID-19: Press Q & A]

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, WOLFFER SAY A FEW WORDS FOLLOWED BY DR.

MARK CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, CITY OF AUSTIN AND INTERIM AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY HEALTH AUTHORITY.

THEN JANET PICHET AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST FOLLOWED BY CASSANDRA DAILY ON 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 MEETING, STEPHANIE, OVER TO YOU.

GOOD MORNING.

WE ARE SO EXCITED ABOUT OUR PARTNERSHIPS.

OUR MOBILE TEAM IS GOING TO BE PROVIDING VACCINES TODAY TO OUR MUSICIANS.

WE'RE EXCITED TO BE WORKING WITH THE HEALTH ALLIANCE FOR MUSICIANS, HAM, AND REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THAT PARTNERSHIP.

THAT IS WHAT'S GOING TO BE SO IMPORTANT FOR US.

AS WE PIVOT OUR OPERATIONS TO PICK UP MORE PARTNERSHIPS, WORKING WITH GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATIONS, WORKING AND MEETING PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE TO PROVIDE THE VACCINES.

AS WE CONTINUE TO PLAN AND SHIFT OUR MA OUR OPERATIONS, WE'RE GOING TO START GOING INTO THE NEIGHBORHOOD MORE WORKING IN, UH, APARTMENT COMPLEXES, UM, BEING A COMMUNITY CENTERS AND CHANGING, UM, OUR HOURS OF OPERATION, WE MUST BE FLEXIBLE.

OUR GOAL IS, IS TO PROVIDE VACCINES TO OUR COMMUNITY AND MEET THEM WHERE THEY ARE AT THIS TIME.

I WILL TRANSITION TO DR.

SCOTT GOOD MORNING, UH, AND, UH, WE'RE CERTAINLY EXCITED ABOUT THE AVAILABILITY TO BACK THE VACCINE INCREASING ACROSS OUR COMMUNITY.

UH, BUT COVID IS STILL HERE AND IT'S STILL SPREADING.

UNFORTUNATELY, WE ARE SEEING AN INCREASE IN CASES WITH A 25% INCREASE IN THE MOVING AVERAGE OF NEW CASES.

UH, OVER THE PAST WEEK, WE'RE SEEING AN INCREASE IN HOSPITALIZATIONS LOCALLY, UH, WITH A 10% INCREASE SO FAR AS COMPARED TO LAST WEEK IN TERMS OF INDIVIDUALS HOSPITALIZED.

UH, SO WE'VE GOT TO MAINTAIN THOSE PROTECTIONS SO THAT WE CAN DRIVE DOWN DISEASE AND ALLOW THE OPPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE TO BE VACCINATED.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE RECENTLY, UH, RENEWED AND REVISED THE HEALTH AUTHORITY ORDERS, UH, WHICH ARE IN EFFECT ARE MAY 18TH, WHICH CONTINUED TO REQUIRE MASKING AND PROTECTIONS IN PUBLIC PLACES SO THAT WE CAN CONTINUE TO DRIVE DOWN DISEASE AND GET MORE PEOPLE VACCINATED.

WHAT'S THAT I WILL TURN IT OVER TO JANET FOR CHEF.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

UM, I JUST WANTED TO, UH, KIND OF ECHO WHAT DR.

S SCOTT HAD TO SAY, AND THAT WAS, UH, WHILE WE ARE SEEING INCREASES IN CASES, NEW CASES, UH, OCCURRING THAT ARE, WE'RE SEEING OUR RATE HAS BEEN RELATIVELY FLAT, BUT IT'S BEEN ALSO LADING OVER TIME AND WE WANT TO KEEP IT DOWN AND KEEP TRANSMISSION RISKS LOW.

UM, YOU KNOW, THIS IS A GOOD REMINDER AS PEOPLE ARE GETTING THE VACCINE ONBOARD, UH, AND BEING COMING VACCINATED AND OUR TRANSMISSION RISK IN THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE VACCINATED, VACCINATED BECOMES LOWER.

THE TRANSMISSION RISK IN CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS STILL REMAINS HIGH.

SO WE HAVE BEEN SEEING, UH, SCHOOL CLUSTERS MAINLY ASSOCIATED WITH ATHLETIC ATHLETICS, SCHOOL ATHLETICS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES.

AND, UM, WE JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE CONTINUE TO USE THOSE PREVENTION MEASURES THAT KEEP YOU SAFE AND KEEP OTHERS SAFE.

AND THAT'S MASKING AND SOCIAL DISTANCING, STAYING HOME IF YOU'RE ILL.

UM, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, WE DON'T WANT TO SEE A DEPARTURE FROM A VERY FLAT STATE UP TO A HIGH LEVEL.

AGAIN, LIKE WE'RE STARTING TO SEE IN SOME OTHER, UH, US STATES, UH, IN THE NORTHEAST AND WHATNOT, WE JUST WANT, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE STAY AT A RELATIVELY LOW AND FLAT RATE.

UH, BUT WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT SOME OF THIS, THESE OFFLOADING NUMBERS THAT ARE SHOWING INCREASES IN OUR COMMUNITY.

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

THANK YOU, JANET.

AND GOOD MORNING.

UM, WE ARE LOOKING AT HOW, UM, VACCINE DEMAND IS CHANGING.

AS STEPHANIE

[00:05:01]

MENTIONED, SOME OF THE STRATEGIES THAT WE ARE, UH, TAKING OUT TO THE COMMUNITY TO TRY TO ENSURE THAT THERE IS VACCINE AVAILABLE IN EVERY SPACE, UM, THAT SOMEONE WOULD GO SEEKING VACCINE.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, WE ENCOURAGE ANYONE WHO IS IN NEED OF VACCINE TO CONTACT THREE, ONE, ONE, SO THAT WE CAN ASSIST YOU IN FINDING, UM, A VACCINE LOCATION AND, UH, REGISTERING IN OUR SYSTEM AND SCHEDULING THAT FIRST DOSE APPOINTMENT.

IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF YOUR SECOND DOSE VACCINE, AND YOU RECEIVED THE MADRONA VACCINE, AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH CAN PROVIDE THAT SECOND DOSE, UM, REGARDLESS OF THE LOCATION THAT YOU RECEIVED IT OR PROVIDER.

SO IF YOU WERE IN NEED OF THAT VACCINE, PLEASE CONTACT THREE, ONE, ONE AS WELL.

AND WE WILL MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT CLINICS ARE AVAILABLE TO YOU TO RECEIVE A VACCINE.

AND WE'LL GIVE YOU INSTRUCTIONS ON WHAT THE NEXT STEPS ARE FOR GETTING THOSE VACCINES.

AGAIN, WE WANT EVERYONE TO GET VACCINE, GET IT AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN.

UM, THERE'S LOTS OF VACCINE OPTIONS, AND IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO USE AUSTIN PUBLIC HILL, PLEASE SEEK A PROVIDER THAT IS PROVIDING VACCINES SO THAT YOU CAN, UM, GET FULLY VACCINATED AND PROTECT YOURSELF AND PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND PROTECT OUR COMMUNITY.

AND WITH THAT, I'LL OPEN US UP FOR QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU, CASSIE NOW TO OUR POOL REPORTER STORYLINE WITH KATE VIEW TORI.

HI, GOOD MORNING, EVERYBODY HAPPY TO BE HERE ON BEHALF OF ALL THE RECORDERS.

SO I'LL START OFF WITH A QUESTION FROM US.

KVU APH POSTED LAST NIGHT IN MULTIPLE NIGHTS, THERE WAS NOBODY WAITING TO GET INTO THE PORTAL YET.

THOUSANDS OF WOMENS ARE AVAILABLE.

HAS VACCINE SUPPLY MET THE DEMANDS IN TRAVIS COUNTY? WE DEFINITELY ARE CONSTANTLY ASSESSING, UH, THE VACCINE SUPPLY AND ENSURING THAT THERE ARE MULTIPLE OPPORTUNITIES FOR INDIVIDUALS TO GET VACCINE.

UM, AND THAT AGAIN IS KIND OF REFERENCING BACK TO WHAT STEPHANIE MENTIONED, THAT WE ARE TRYING TO ENSURE THAT, UM, WE REACH PEOPLE WHERE THEY'RE AT.

UH, WE GIVE PEOPLE MULTIPLE OPPORTUNITIES AND WE REALIZE THAT, UM, VACCINATE THE VACCINE APPOINTMENT, UM, IS, IS IMPORTANT TO, TO HAVE TO GET THE VACCINE TO PLAN FOR THE CLINIC.

BUT ALSO WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE APPOINTMENT PROCESS IS FLEXIBLE ENOUGH, THAT IT ALLOWS PEOPLE TO PLAN FOR, FOR THEIR WORK AND FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL SCHEDULES.

AND SO WE ARE WORKING ON STRATEGIES TO ENSURE THAT THERE ARE VERY LIMITED BARRIERS TO ANYONE GETTING VACCINE.

UM, AND SO WE HOPE THAT THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR FOLKS TO REALLY START IF THEY'D BEEN DISCOURAGED, BECAUSE THEY HAD DIFFICULTY FINDING VACCINE THAT WE'RE AT A POINT WHERE FOLKS HAVE A LOT MORE EASE OF GETTING VACCINE.

AND AGAIN, THERE ARE A LOT OF TOOLS AND RESOURCES TO HELP FOLKS FIND VACCINES.

SO IF YOU'RE IN NEED OF VACCINE, PLEASE CONTACT THREE, ONE, ONE.

UM, WE'RE STILL AT A POINT WHERE WE ARE SEEING QUITE A FEW THAT ARE STILL NEEDING VACCINE.

UM, AND WE'RE, AGAIN, ARE LOOKING TO IDENTIFY ADDITIONAL STRATEGIES TO REACH OUT TO THOSE WHO JUST HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO GET ONE YET.

AND I'LL ADD ON TO THAT.

UH, YOU KNOW, THIS IS CERTAINLY WHAT WE ANTICIPATED THAT WAS GOING TO BE THE PROGRESSION OF, UH, VACCINE SUPPLY AND ADMINISTRATION FOR US ACROSS TEXAS AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

UH, WE WERE GOING TO HAVE A PERIOD WHERE DEMAND FAR EXCEEDS SUPPLY, AND THEN WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A PERIOD WHERE VACCINE SUPPLY AND DEMAND ARE, UH, YOU KNOW, IN STEADY STATE.

SO WE PLATEAU OUT AND THEN WE'RE GONNA GO INTO A PHASE WHERE A VACCINE SUPPLY EXCEEDS DEMAND.

AND THIS IS WHAT WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT AGAIN, ABOUT SHIFTING STRATEGIES, CHANGING HOURS, CHANGING LOCATIONS, SO THAT WE CAN MAKE IT EASIER FOR FOLKS TO GET THE VACCINE CLOSE TO HOME.

OF COURSE, APH IS ONE OF 350 PROVIDERS ACROSS TRAVIS COUNTY.

UH, SO THIS IS A COMMUNITY WIDE EFFORT.

IT'S NOT JUST APH OR COMMUNITY CARE OR THE CITY OR COUNTY, UH, AND WE'RE PLEASED TO SAY THAT MORE VACCINE IS AVAILABLE ACROSS OUR COMMUNITY.

UH, SO THIS DOES PROVIDE US AN OPPORTUNITY AS AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, TO TRANSITION BACK TO OUR SAFETY NET STATUS, UH, TO START TO FOCUS MORE EFFORTS ON THOSE INDIVIDUALS THAT DON'T HAVE THE ACCESS THAT OTHER PEOPLE DO IN OUR COMMUNITY, UH, SO THAT WE CAN PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES TO THE FOLKS WHO NEED IT THE MOST.

OKAY, THIS NEXT ONE IS FROM COMMUNITY IMPACT.

WILL APH CONSIDER LEAVING THE VACCINE REGISTRATION PORTAL OPEN AROUND THE CLOCK RATHER THAN ONLY OPENING IT DURING LIMITED WINDOWS.

NOW THAT APPOINTMENTS ARE BEING CONSISTENTLY LEFT UNFILLED DURING THOSE WINDOWS? UH, YES, WE ARE LOOKING AT STRATEGIES TO HELP ALLEVIATE THE SCHEDULING, UM, PROCESS SO THAT FOLKS CAN JUST SCHEDULE WHEN THEY ARE, UM,

[00:10:01]

THINKING ABOUT GETTING US A VACCINE THAT THEY JUST GO ONLINE AND GET SCHEDULED.

WE ARE CURRENTLY LOOKING AT HOW THAT, HOW THAT COULD ROLL OUT AND ANTICIPATE PROVIDING INFORMATION ABOUT THAT IN THE NEAR FUTURE KX DIANE, THEY ASKED, DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT THE REBOUND OF VISITORS TO AUSTIN, ESPECIALLY AS GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT HAS SIGNALED THAT TEXAS IS 100% OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

HAS THERE BEEN ANY DIFFICULTY ENFORCING HEALTH GUIDELINES WITH TOURISTS? I'M HAPPY TO TAKE THAT ONE.

UM, YOU KNOW, CERTAINLY WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT THINGS BEING OPEN A HUNDRED PERCENT, BUT WE'RE PLEASED TO BE ABLE TO CONTINUE, UH, THE MASK MANDATE LOCALLY TO CONTINUE THE OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BUSINESSES AND OTHER PUBLIC PLACES, WHICH IS GOING TO MITIGATE THAT RISK OF BEING 100% OPEN.

I THINK THE BUSINESSES IN OUR COMMUNITY BY AND LARGE, UH, UNDERSTAND THE ROLE THEY PLAY IN CONTROLLING RISK.

I THINK OUR BUSINESSES UNDERSTAND THAT IF, IF TOO MUCH RISK, UH, HAPPENS AND WE SURGE AGAIN, THAT THAT MAY IMPACT THEIR BUSINESSES, UH, IN, IN A MORE PROFOUND WAY THAN, THAN, UH, ADOPTING THOSE PROTECTIONS RIGHT NOW.

SO I'M PLEASED WITH WHAT OUR BUSINESS COMMUNITY IS DOING TO RESPOND, UH, TO THE RULES, WHICH ARE IN PLACE.

AND I THINK THAT'S GOING TO CONTINUE TO PROTECT AUSTIN.

UH, OUR HOPE IS THAT ANY VISITORS TO AUSTIN RECOGNIZE WHAT THE LOCAL REQUIREMENTS ARE, WHAT THE LOCAL LAWS ARE AND THAT THEY WILL BUY BY THOSE, THIS ONE'S FROM THE AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN.

WHAT'S THE PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE WHO NEVER SHOWED UP TO RECEIVE THEIR SECOND SHOT THROUGH AUSTIN, PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE CIRCUIT OF AMERICA EFFORTS.

UM, WE ARE HAVING A PRETTY GOOD UPTAKE OF OUR SECOND DOSE, AND I CAN'T RECITE THAT EXACT PERCENTAGE FOR ALSO PUBLIC HEALTH OR A CIRCUIT OF AMERICAS, UM, AT THIS, AT THIS TIME, HOWEVER, WE ARE SEEING QUITE A FEW, UM, FOLKS, UM, WHO ARE STILL COMING BACK TO THEIR SECOND DOSE.

I WILL MENTION, UM, ANECDOTALLY THAT WE SEE AT, UM, OUR SECOND DOSE CLINICS, ABOUT A 10 TO 20%, UM, UH, NO-SHOW RATE, UM, THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THEY DID NOT COME BACK FOR THEIR SECOND DOSE, UM, FROM AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, THEY MAY HAVE GOTTEN THEIR SECOND DOSE AT A DIFFERENT CLINIC FROM AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, OR THEY'RE CHOOSING TO DELAY AND GET THEIR SECOND DOSE ON ANOTHER DAY.

UM, HOWEVER, UH, WE ALSO KNOW THAT SOME, UH, INDIVIDUALS ARE GETTING SECOND DOSES FROM OTHER PROVIDERS AND THAT'S COMPLETELY FINE.

WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT INDIVIDUALS ARE VIGILANT ABOUT GETTING THAT SECOND DOSE, UM, AND NOTING THAT IF YOU ATTEMPT TO GET IT WITHIN THAT 28 TO 42 DAY WINDOW, IF IT'S MADONNA, UM, IF IT'S A PFIZER, UH, PATIENT, A PATIENTS WHO SEE THE PFIZER VACCINE THAT YOU GET THAT VACCINE WITH WITHIN THE 21 DAYS AFTER YOU HAD YOUR INITIAL DOSE, AND YOU GO TO A PROVIDER THAT IS PROVIDING THE PFIZER VACCINE.

AND SO WE REALLY WANT TO ENCOURAGE FOLKS TO MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW UP ON THAT SECOND DOSE.

UM, IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO BE FULLY VACCINATED.

UM, AND IF YOU ARE HAVING ANY DIFFICULTY OR STRUGGLING TO FIND A LOCATION TO GET YOUR SECOND DOSE, THESE CONTACT THREE, ONE, ONE, UM, AND WE CAN DEFINITELY ASSIST YOU IN TRYING TO CONNECT YOU TO, UM, A PROVIDER.

I'D ALSO LIKE TO ADD THAT WE HAVE WITH OUR SYSTEM, WE'VE IMPLEMENTED, UM, A PROCESS WHERE THE SYSTEM WILL SEND AN EMAIL OUT OR A TEXT MESSAGE TO ALERT YOU, YOU KNOW, THAT YOU MISSED HER APPOINTMENT AND OUR, OUR STAFF WILL, UM, RESCHEDULE YOU.

SO WE HAVE A PROCESS TO BE ABLE TO RESCHEDULE FOLKS IN ADDITION TO RESCHEDULING INDIVIDUALS.

UM, YOU ALSO HAVE THE ABILITY TO GO INTO YOUR SYSTEM AND MAKE A NOTE TO LET US KNOW THAT YOU DID RECEIVE THAT VACCINE FROM ANOTHER PROVIDER.

AND SO WHAT THAT DOES IS, IS THAT THAT ALERTS US THAT YOU NO LONGER NEED THAT SECOND VACCINE FROM PUBLIC HEALTH.

AND WE ARE ABLE TO, UM, TO REDISTRIBUTE THAT VACCINE TO ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL, AS CASSIE STATED EARLIER, UM, THE IMPORTANCE OF US BEING ABLE TO BE FLEXIBLE WITH ALL OF THE REST OF THE PROVIDERS TO PROVIDE A SECOND DOSE VACCINE TO ANYONE THAT'S RECEIVED ON MADONNA.

SO IT'S IMPORTANT FOR THE PUBLIC TO UNDERSTAND THAT THEY CAN COME TO US FOR THEIR SECOND DOSE, EVEN IF THEY RECEIVED IT FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE.

WE KNOW THAT INDIVIDUALS MAY HAVE TRAVELED TO OTHER PLACES TO GET THAT FIRST DOSE.

AND SO IT IMPORTANT FOR THEM TO KNOW THAT WE ARE AVAILABLE TO PROVIDE THE SECOND DOSE OF MEDINA TO THEM

[00:15:01]

FROM CBS AUSTIN YESTERDAY, DSHS THAT THE VACCINE HUBS ACROSS TEXAS, WE'RE SEEING SLOW DOWNS IN DISTRIBUTION, AND THAT THEY WOULD HONOR REQUESTS TO RECEIVE LESS VACCINE.

DO YOU PLAN TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT APH RECEIVES EACH WEEK, IF NOT, HOW WILL YOU CHANGE YOUR STRATEGY? WE WERE ANTICIPATING, UM, THAT WE WERE GOING TO SEE A DECLINE IN THE CONVERSATIONS THAT I'VE HAD WITH OTHER HEALTH DIRECTORS ACROSS THE STATE OF TEXAS.

THAT IS SOMETHING THAT THEY ARE SEEING AS WELL.

AND SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT, UM, IS IMPORTANT IS THAT AS WE ANTICIPATED THIS KIND OF LOOKING AT LESSONS LEARNED FROM H ONE N ONE, PROVIDING THAT VACCINE, UH, THIS IS THE TIME THAT WE GRADUALLY START TO PIVOT, UM, TO ESTABLISH THOSE PARTNERSHIPS WHERE WE'RE DOING MORE WITH OUR MOBILE VACCINE TEAM.

AND THEN ALSO, UM, LOOKING AT, UM, LOCATIONS WHERE WE ARE PARTNERING.

UM, FOR EXAMPLE, AS I STATED EARLIER, EARLIER WITH THE HEALTH ALLIANCE, UM, FOR MUSICIANS, AND THEN ALSO, UM, AN EVENT THAT WE HAVE THIS WEEKEND HAPPENING AT SACRED HEART.

AND SO IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO, UM, TO, TO KIND OF PIVOT AND START DOWN THAT PATH WHERE WE'RE WORKING IN SMALLER LOCATIONS, LOOKING AT MORE OF A NEIGHBORHOOD MODEL.

AND SO WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT.

AS WE KNOW, AS DR.

SCOTT STATED EARLIER, WE KNOW THAT THERE ARE 350 PROVIDERS.

AND SO WE'RE ANTICIPATING THAT IF NOT ALL OF THEM, MOST OF THEM ARE RECEIVING VACCINE AND IT IS MORE WIDELY AVAILABLE.

AND SO BEING THE SAFETY NET PROVIDER, THE GOAL IS AS LONG-TERM IS THAT WE WILL, UM, DECREASE THE NUMBER OF VACCINES THAT WE ARE RECEIVING TO BE ABLE TO, TO HAVE THE FOOTPRINT OF BEING THE SAFETY NET PROVIDER.

ONCE WE HAVE MORE FOLKS THAT HAVE RECEIVED THE VACCINE IN TRAVIS COUNTY, THIS IS FROM KOP RADIO.

THE 1918 FLU IS SAID TO HAVE MUTATED OVER THE LAST CENTURY TO BECOME THE LESS MEDICINE COMMON, WHERE WE FACE EACH FALL WITH BOOSTER SHOTS.

IS THIS WHAT YOU EXPECT TO HAPPEN WITH COVID-19? UH, I CERTAINLY ANTICIPATE THAT, UH, COMPLETELY READING, UH, THE WORLD OF COVID-19, UH, IS, IS GOING TO BE NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE.

SO IT'S A VERY DIFFICULT TASK BECAUSE IT IS SUCH A WIDESPREAD DISEASE RIGHT NOW WITH MULTIPLE VARIANTS PRESENT.

UH, YOU KNOW, WE ARE SEEING SIGNIFICANT VARIATIONS IN THE VACCINATION RATES ACROSS THE WORLD.

UH, THE U S IS DOING VERY WELL AS COMPARED TO MANY OTHER COUNTRIES.

UH, BUT I THINK THAT POSES A CHALLENGE FOR US TO, UH, TO, TO ELIMINATE COVID-19.

I THINK THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIO AT THIS STAGE IS THAT WE WILL NEED A SPACE SEASONAL BOOSTER FOR COVID-19.

AGAIN, WHEN WE THINK ABOUT FLU, UH, YOU KNOW, WE, WE HAVE SOME PREEXISTING IMMUNITY, UH, FROM FULLY WE EVERY YEAR.

THERE'S SOME SUBTLE VARIATIONS THAT HAPPEN, UH, IN TYPICAL YEARS, UH, WE ASSESS WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE, UH, IN, IN THE FLU SEASON AND SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE.

AND THEN WE CREATE THE VACCINE FOR THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE.

UH, I IMAGINE THAT WE WILL SEE A SIMILAR PATTERN FOR COVID-19 AND THAT, UH, ANNUAL BOOSTER WILL TAKE THE DOMINANT STRAINS AND CREATE THAT BOOSTER SHOT TO BOOST THE IMMUNITY, UH, FOR COVID-19.

UH, OF COURSE, UH, YOU KNOW, WE STILL HAVE THE THREAT OF A NEW VARIANT EMERGING, WHICH ELUDES THOSE VACCINATION EFFORTS.

UH, SO, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, WE, WE ALL NEED TO BE CAREFUL.

I THINK THE BEST THING THAT WE CAN DO RIGHT NOW TO AVOID THAT LONG-TERM PERPETUAL ISSUE WITH COVID-19 IS TO DO TWO THINGS.

NUMBER ONE, GET VACCINATED, NUMBER TWO, CONTINUE THE PROTECTIONS, THE MASKING, THE DISTANCING, THE HAND HYGIENE, THE STAYING AT HOME.

IF YOU'RE SICK, THE MORE WE CAN REDUCE TRANSMISSION RIGHT NOW, THE MORE WE REDUCE THE CHANCE OF NEW VARIANTS SPREADING, UH, AND, AND EVADING VACCINATION EFFORTS.

UH, SO AGAIN, UH, WE GOT VACCINATED OURSELVES AND THEN WE HAVE TO VACCINATE THE REST OF THE WORLD.

SO PART OF OUR OVERALL STRATEGY AS A COMMUNITY, AS A COUNTRY HAS TO BE IMMEDIATELY TRANSITIONING FROM CURRENT HUMIDITY IN THE UNITED STATES TO HERD IMMUNITY ACROSS THE GLOBE.

THIS QUESTION IS FROM KUT.

YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT PIVOTING VACCINE EFFORTS TO MEET PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE, HOW QUICKLY CAN YOU MAKE THAT TRANSITION?

[00:20:02]

WE CAN MAKE THAT WE HAVE ALREADY MADE THAT TRANSITION.

UM, OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF MONTHS, UM, WE HAVE PILOTED, UH, SEVERAL EVENTS.

WE HAVE BEEN, UM, AT CHURCHES.

UM, WE HAVE BEEN, UM, WORKING AT THE HOUSING AUTHORITY, UM, UM, IN THEIR COMMUNITY ROOMS, ET CETERA.

UM, THIS WEEKEND, UM, WE ARE GOING TO BE AT SACRED HEART.

UH, THIS MORNING WE ARE GOING TO BE WORKING WITH HAM.

AND SO, UM, THAT IS OUR ALWAYS BEEN IN OUR PLANS.

AND SO THE GOAL WILL BE, IS TO START DOING MORE OF THOSE TYPE OF EVENTS, WHERE WE ARE ABLE TO DO THOSE EVERY SATURDAY.

AND, UM, WE'RE DEFINITELY ON THAT PATH TO DO MORE LAST QUESTION.

THIS FIRST ROUND OF QUESTIONS IS FROM FOX.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE SO PLUS OF UNUSED VACCINE DOSES, WE TYPICALLY USE ALL OF OUR VACCINE.

UM, AND SO OUR GOAL WAS, IS NOT TO WASTE ANY VACCINE.

SO TYPICALLY AS PROVIDERS, UM, YOU ACCOUNT FOR HOW MUCH VACCINE YOU HAVE AND KEEP AN INVENTORY THAT INVENTORY, UM, IS SENT BACK TO THE STATE.

AND SO THEY'RE ABLE TO ACCOUNT FOR HOW MUCH VACCINE YOU HAVE.

AND SO IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US AS WE ARE PLANNING OUR EFFORTS AND, UM, AND SCHEDULING APPOINTMENTS THAT WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO SCALE UP AND DO MORE AT, UM, EVENTS THAT WE HAVE SCHEDULED IN THE WEEKEND.

SO IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO STAY ON TOP OF OUR INVENTORY AND ALWAYS KNOW THAT WE ARE NOT WASTING ANY VACCINE.

UM, WORST CASE SCENARIO, ALL OF THE PARTNERS, INCLUDING AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO, UH, TRANSFER VACCINES TO OUR OTHER PARTNERS THAT HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE STATE OF TEXAS TO PROVIDE VACCINES.

AND SO WE ALWAYS KEEP THAT IN MIND, IF THAT IS AN OPTION THAT WE NEED TO USE.

OKAY.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM COMMUNITY IMPACT AS A HUB PROVIDER, IS IT POSSIBLE FOR APH TO RE REALLOCATE SOME OF ITS MASS VACCINATION SITE DOSES TO OUTREACH PROGRAMS LIKE THE MOBILE VACCINE UNIT, DOES THE REQUIREMENT TO MAKE YOUR DOSES AVAILABLE TO STATEWIDE RESIDENTS, COMPLICATE EFFORTS TO SHIFT FOCUS TO COMMUNITY-BASED OUTREACH? UM, WE HAVE ACTUALLY HAVE DONE THAT THIS ENTIRE TIME.

UM, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT AS A HUB, UM, IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR YOU TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THOSE VACCINES STATEWIDE, UM, HAVE A SYSTEM WHERE FOLKS CAN ACCESS THOSE VACCINES.

BUT WHAT WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO IS, IS TO ALLOCATE, UM, VACCINES TO OUR MOBILE TEAM.

UM, WE HAVE ALSO, UM, BEEN ABLE TO, UM, WORK IN WITH OUR PILOTS TO ALLOCATE A VACCINE THAT WAY.

AND WE'VE ALSO BEEN ABLE TO, UM, UH, PUT VACCINE, UM, ASIDE TO SCHEDULE APPOINTMENTS INTO EXISTING CLINICS, UM, WHERE FOLKS DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO ACCESS OUR PORTAL THROUGH OUR EQUITY LINE.

AND SO THAT TEAM IS MAKING OUTBOUND CALLS TO INDIVIDUALS FROM THAT, UM, ALLOCATION THAT WE RECEIVED.

AND SO WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT.

UM, BUT BEING A HUB, IT DOES ALLOW US TO THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE STATE DOES HAVE IN PLACE, BUT ALSO ADHERE TO BEING A SAFETY NET PROVIDER.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, UM, UH, SOME OF OUR OTHER LOCATIONS OUTSIDE OF THE HUB DOES DO CONTINUE TO RECEIVE VACCINE.

FOR EXAMPLE, OUR REFUGEE CLINIC, UM, RECEIVES A SMALL ALLOCATION, UM, AS WELL AS OUR ADULT SHOT CLINIC RECEIVES THE SMALL ALLOCATION.

AND SO WE ARE ABLE TO, UM, CONTINUE TO BE A SAFETY NET THROUGH THAT METHOD.

HEY, SAM ASKS WHAT PERCENTAGE OF NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY HAVE BEEN LINKED TO VARIANCE VERSUS THE ORIGINAL STRAIN, WILL THIS IMPACT THE DECISION TO MOVE FROM STAGE THREE RISK LEVEL TO STAGE TWO? SO I'M HAPPY TO TAKE THAT ONE.

UM, YOU KNOW, AS YOU MAY BE AWARE, THERE IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE, UH, GENOMIC SURVEILLANCE PROCESS IN THE STATE OF TEXAS.

UH, THERE ARE SOME, UH, TESTS WHICH ARE SEQUENCED.

UH, WE WERE LOOKING AT OPPORTUNITIES FOR INCREASING THE GENOMIC SURVEILLANCE,

[00:25:01]

UH, WITHIN OUR SYSTEM AND ACROSS THE STATE AS WELL.

UM, BUT WE ARE SEEING THAT, THAT, UH, THE, UH, UK VARIANT SEEMS TO BE THE DOMINANT STRAIN IN THE GENOMIC SURVEILLANCE SURVEILLANCE THAT'S BEING DONE.

NOW, WE HAVE SEEN ONE CASE OF THE BRAZILIAN VARIANT, UH, AND WE'RE CERTAINLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE GROWING IMPACT OF THOSE VARIANTS.

WE'RE PARTICULARLY CONCERNED ABOUT, UH, THE POTENTIAL FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN VARIANT, WHICH IS MORE SUCCESSFUL AT EVADING, UH, THE VACCINE.

SO AGAIN, ANOTHER REASON WHY THE ONGOING PROTECTIONS, THE ONGOING MASK MANDATE LOCALLY IS IMPORTANT TO AVOID, UH, IN PARTICULAR THAT, UH, THAT SOUTH AFRICAN VARIANT, BUT AS THE OTHER VARIANTS AS WELL, I DON'T ANTICIPATE IT'S GOING TO IMPACT, UH, OUR TRANSITION POINT.

WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF RE-EVALUATING THE TRANSITION POINTS FOR THE STAGES OF RISK, UH, WITH DUE TO THE VACCINATION EFFORTS TO SEE IF THAT MAY IMPACT THE THRESHOLDS FOR TRANSITION.

UH, BUT, UH, THE VARIANTS THEMSELVES, WE DON'T ANTICIPATE WILL IMPACT, UH, THE, UH, THE, THE STAGES ITSELF.

AND I'LL ADD THAT, UH, AGAIN, YOU KNOW, PART OF THE CHALLENGE IS THERE'S SO MANY VARIETY OF TESTING OPTIONS OUT THERE.

RAPID TESTING MAY NOT BE, UH, A GOOD WAY TO, UM, IF, ESPECIALLY IF THEY'RE DOING AN ANTIGEN TESTING, IT MAY NOT BE EASILY SEQUENCED OR WHATNOT, BUT, UM, WE ARE DOING, ESPECIALLY IN EVALUATING BREAKTHROUGH CASES, UH, LOOKING AT CASES THAT WERE VACCINATED, UM, OR CASES, UH, WHO HAVE HAD A HISTORY OF COVID, UM, WE'RE TRYING TO SEND SOME OF THAT INFORMATION ONTO THE STATE LAB AND TO OTHER LABORATORIES TO SEE IF WE CAN SEE IF, UH, YOU KNOW, BREAKTHROUGH CASES AND VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS ARE, UH, THE RESULT OF, UH, VARIANT STRAINS THAT MAY BE CIRCULATING IN THE COMMUNITY.

AS I MENTIONED BEFORE, THIS IS A VERY GOOD REMINDER.

AND DR.

SCOTT MENTIONED THIS AS WELL, WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO CONTINUE USING PREVENTION MEASURES, ESPECIALLY IF WE HAVE AN INFLUX OF VISITORS COMING IN FROM VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD OR THE UNITED STATES, UH, WE'RE VARIANT STRAINS MAY BE PREDOMINANT LIKE CALIFORNIA OR FLORIDA OR DIFFERENT PLACES WHERE THEY HAVE, UM, A HIGH PREVALENCE OF VARIANT STRAINS.

UM, THE POSSIBILITY OF IT BEING INTRODUCED INTO OUR COMMUNITY, OR IF IT ISN'T ALREADY IN OUR COMMUNITY, UH, IS VERY HIGH.

SO, UH, WE WANT TO KEEP THOSE TRANSMISSION RISKS FROM THOSE VARIANT STRAINS DOWN.

SO IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO MAINTAIN THE MASK AND, AND SOCIAL DISTANCING, UH, IF YOU'RE OUT AND ABOUT IN THE COMMUNITY, THE AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN ASKS, CAN YOU PLEASE DESCRIBE THE DEMAND FOR VACCINES THROUGH APH IN THE PAST FEW DAYS, AND ALSO PROVIDE AN UPDATE ON HOW MANY VACCINE APPOINTMENTS HAVE YET TO BE BOOKED? SO WE HAVE BEEN, UM, EVOLVING OUR VACCINE SCHEDULING PROCESS TO MAKE SURE THAT AS WE HAVE, UH, CLINIC, UH, APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE, THAT, UM, WE CONTINUE TO PUSH THOSE CLINIC APPOINTMENTS OUT TO THE PUBLIC.

UM, THIS WEEK WE'VE OPENED THE SCHEDULER MULTIPLE EVENINGS, UH, JUST TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE ARE AMPLE OPPORTUNITIES FOR INDIVIDUALS TO GET VACCINATED AND TO SCHEDULE THAT VACCINE.

UH, WE HAVE, UH, HAD SOME, UH, GAP AND THE UPTAKE OF VACCINE, UH, DEMAND FOR, UM, APPOINTMENTS SCHEDULED THAT WE TRIED TO SCHEDULE LAST NIGHT.

UM, AND WE ARE WORKING TO TRY TO FILL THOSE APPOINTMENTS, UM, TO MAKE SURE THAT AGAIN, WE, UM, ARE ABLE TO OFFER VACCINE TO ALL INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE LOOKING FOR THAT.

UM, AGAIN, NOTING THAT, UM, THAT IS AN INDICATOR THAT, UM, THERE'S, UH, ADDITIONAL WAYS WE NEED TO TRY TO OPEN THE VACCINE SCHEDULER UP, UM, MORE BROADLY TO ENSURE THAT FOLKS ARE ABLE TO SCHEDULE WHENEVER THEY, UM, UH, GO ONLINE TO LOOK FOR A VACCINE.

UH, WE ARE LOOKING AT THOSE OPTIONS.

AND SO, UM, IN ANTICIPATION OF THAT, WE WANT TO ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO REGISTER FOR VACCINE IF YOU'VE NOT, UM, UH, REGISTERED ALREADY TO REGISTER FOR A VACCINE, IF YOU ALREADY ARE REGISTERED FOR VACCINE TO BE CONSTANTLY LOOKING TO SEE, UM, CAUSE WE KNOW WE HAVE BEEN CHANGING OUR SCHEDULING, UM, OPTIONS AND PROVIDING MORE AND MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THOSE TWO TO SCHEDULE.

SO JUST BE VIGILANT, UH, BE LOOKING FOR THOSE OPTIONS TO EXPAND, UM, BECAUSE WE DO ANTICIPATE THAT THAT WILL BE SOMETHING WE'LL BE OFFERING IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

CVS AUSTIN ASKS DO AWESOME

[00:30:01]

FIRE STATIONS THINK THEY CAN COMFORTABLY HANDLE BEING ONGOING LOOP ON GOING LOCATIONS FOR VACCINE DISTRIBUTION AS WAS SUGGESTED BY AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS.

AND WHAT IS THE REACTION APH IS GETTING FROM APARTMENT COMPLEXES ABOUT BEING TEMPORARY OR ONE TIME DISTRIBUTION.

SO I GOT TO GET ENOUGH SIGN TEMPORARY OR ONE-TIME DISTRIBUTION POINTS IN OUR CONVERSATIONS WITH, WITH CHIEF BAKER.

UM, HE IS DEFINITELY, UH, BEEN A TRUE PARTNER IN THIS SPACE EARLY ON.

UM, HE TALKED WITH US ABOUT THE ABILITY FOR, UM, THE FIRE STATIONS TO BE ABLE TO HELP US WITH THE VACCINE DISTRIBUTION.

UM, WE TOLD THEM AT THAT TIME WE REALLY NEEDED TO BE ABLE TO, UM, PROVIDE QUITE A BIT OF VACCINE OUT IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.

AND SO, UH, THE CONVERSATIONS, UM, TO BE ABLE TO PIVOT, TO BE ABLE TO USE, UH, FIRE STATIONS, OUR PLANS THAT WE WOULD DEVELOP AND LOOKING AT LOCATIONS IN THE EASTERN CRESCENT TO BE ABLE TO AUGMENT WHAT WE WILL CURRENTLY BE DOING AND OUR VARIOUS LOCATIONS.

UM, ONE OF THE THINGS WE KNOW IS IMPORTANT, UM, THAT WE'VE ESTABLISHED, UH, QUITE A FEW RELATIONSHIPS AND WILL CONTINUE TO ESTABLISH OTHER RELATIONSHIPS WITH APARTMENT COMPLEXES.

UM, UH, INDIVIDUALS ARE VERY EXCITED TO PARTNER WITH US.

UM, THEY, UM, KNOW THAT BEING ABLE TO, TO MARKET TO THEIR RESIDENTS, THAT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH WILL BE THERE AND WHAT TIME WE WILL BE THERE PROVIDING THE SERVICES IS DEFINITELY, UM, AN ADVANTAGE FOR AN APARTMENT COMPLEX TO PARTNER WITH US.

AND SO WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING ABLE TO IDENTIFY PLACES THAT WE'VE GONE TO IN THE PAST TO PROVIDE VARIOUS SERVICES TO, UH, AND LOOKING AT, UM, HOW WE CAN BE IN THAT SPACE TO PROVIDE VACCINES.

AND SO, UM, WE, LIKE I SAID EARLIER, WE'RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTNER IN NON-TRADITIONAL SPACES.

AND I JUST WANT TO ADD IN, UM, AS WE HAVE BEEN ROLLING OUT, UM, MORE OF A MOBILE STRATEGY THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE, UM, VACCINE RESPONSE, THERE HAVE BEEN PARTNERSHIPS THAT WE'VE ALREADY LEVERAGED WITH.

UM, FOR EXAMPLE, THE HOUSING AUTHORITY, UM, TO WORK, UM, UH, MULTIPLE RESIDENTIAL COMP, UH, COMPLEXES TO PROVIDE VACCINE.

UM, AND PARTICULARLY FOR THOSE COMPLEXES THAT, UM, ARE, UM, HOUSING FOR OLDER ADULTS.

SO WE DEFINITELY HAVE A MODEL THAT, UH, WE ARE PREPARED TO ROLL OUT AND, AND HOPEFULLY BE ABLE TO EXPAND TO OTHER TYPES OF, UM, RESIDENTIAL LIVING FACILITIES.

AND SO I THINK THAT'S AN OPPORTUNITY THAT WE REALLY ARE LOOKING TO LEVERAGE AND TO ENSURE THAT WE CAN EXTEND VACCINE TO REALLY MEET FOLKS WHERE THEY'RE AT, UM, AND, UH, PROVIDE VACCINE AND ENSURE THAT THERE'S NO BARRIERS FOR ANYONE WHO'S, WHO'S SEEKING A VACCINE.

LET ME JUST ADD ON, UH, ONE THING ABOUT THE FIRE AND EMS STATIONS.

UH, SO I THINK SOME PEOPLE WONDER, YOU KNOW, WHY FIRE AND EMS STATIONS, UH, AND THE ANSWER IS FOR EAST AUSTIN IN PARTICULAR, THAT PART OF TOWN, BLACKS, THE HEALTHCARE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT EXISTS IN OTHER PARTS OF TOWN.

WHEN I LEAVE MY NEIGHBORHOOD AT THE CORNER, THERE'S AN HEB, A CVS OR WALGREENS, OR RANDAL'S AN URGENT CARE AND A FREESTANDING ER, ALL IN ONE INTERSECTION THAT IS NOT THE CASE IN EAST AUSTIN.

THAT IS NOT THE CASE IN RURAL PARTS OF OUR COUNTY.

UH, AND IT BECOME BECAUSE OF THOSE DIFFERENCES, UH, IS PART OF THE REASON WHY WE HAVE TROUBLE DISTRIBUTING THE VACCINE AND WHY WE HAVE TROUBLE PROVIDING HEALTHCARE EFFECTIVELY IN SOME PARTS OF OUR CITY, IN SOME PARTS OF OUR COUNTY.

UH, SO THE FIRE EMS STATIONS, HOWEVER, ARE PRESENT IN THOSE COMMUNITIES.

THERE ARE VACCINATORS ON THOSE FIRE APPARATUS IN THOSE AMBULANCES.

AND IT'S AN EASY PARTNERSHIP THAT IS CONVENIENTLY LOCATED FOR MANY PEOPLE ACROSS OUR COMMUNITY.

SO OUR HOPE IS THAT OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS, THAT WE CAN BUILD THOSE, UH, THOSE PLANS OUT AND TRANSITION SOME VACCINES TO THOSE SITES, UH, TO, TO BETTER PROVIDE FOR FOLKS IN OUR EASTERN CRESCENT, IN OUR RURAL PARTS OF THE COUNTY, OKAY.

FROM KOP CONSIDERING RESISTANCE, INDIFFERENCE AND INEQUITY REGARDING THE VACCINE RULE OUT IN THE U S AND GLOBALLY, AND GIVEN THE AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC BETWEEN

[00:35:01]

AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY AND OTHER PLACES IS REACHING HERD IMMUNITY THROUGH VACCINATIONS OR REAL PROSPECT RESIDENTS.

UH, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, IT'S, UH, IT'S GOING TO BE A CHALLENGE FOR US.

UH, WE CAN CERTAINLY REACH HERD IMMUNITY HERE, LOOKING AT SOME OF THE SURVEYS NATIONAL SURVEYS, UH, ABOUT, UH, VACCINE HESITANCY AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY PERFORMED BETTER THAN ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE STATE OF TEXAS WITH 85% OF RESPONDENTS INDICATING THEIR DESIRE TO BE VACCINATED.

UH, SO I, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT IT'S GOING TO BE EASIER FOR US TO GET THERE THAN PEOPLE, BUT THERE'S QUITE A BIT OF VARIATION EVEN ACROSS OUR AREA.

UH, WE'LL, WE'LL LOOK AT BASTROP AND CALDWELL COUNTY VACCINATION RATES ARE LOWER NOW THEY'RE LOWER IN OTHER PARTS OF TEXAS.

AND CERTAINLY THEY ARE MUCH, MUCH LOWER IN MANY OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD WITH MOST OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, ABOUT HALF OF THE VACCINATION RATE OF, UH, THE UNITED STATES RIGHT NOW, UH, IT'S GOING TO BE A LONG-TERM EFFORT TO, TO REACH HERD IMMUNITY.

AGAIN, THE GOAL OF HERD IMMUNITY IS REALLY TO HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE VACCINATED, WHERE THERE IS NOT SUSTAINED OUTBREAKS, WHERE WE CAN TRACK EVERY CASE BACK TO WHERE IT CAME FROM.

UH, THAT'S HOW WE HAVE CONTROLLED, UH, TRANSMISSION LIMITED TRANSMISSION OF DISEASE.

UH, SO WE CAN HAVE SOME PROTECTION HERE LOCALLY ACROSS THE U S ACROSS THE STATE OF TEXAS WHEN WE REACH HERD IMMUNITY, BUT REAL HERD IMMUNITY REQUIRES GLOBAL HERD IMMUNITY AND THAT'S, AND THAT'S, WHAT'S GOING TO BE A MORE DIFFICULT TASK TO ACHIEVE.

OKAY.

AND IT LOOKS LIKE THE LAST QUESTION IS FROM FOX SEVEN, IS THERE CONCERN THAT WE HAVE PLATEAUED ON VACCINATIONS AND PEOPLE ARE NO LONGER INTERESTED IN RECEIVING IT? HOW WILL THAT AFFECT THE GOAL OF HER COMMUNITY IN UNITY? EXCUSE ME.

I DON'T THINK WE HAVE AN ISSUE OF PEOPLE NOT WANTING THE VACCINE.

I THINK WE'VE REACHED THAT STAGE WHERE SUPPLY AND DEMAND ARE IN EQUILIBRIUM.

UH, AND THAT'S OKAY.

WE STILL HAVE PEOPLE SIGNING UP.

WE STILL HAVE LOTS AND LOTS OF PEOPLE EVERY WEEK WHO ARE CREATING ACCOUNTS AND SIGNING UP TO GET VACCINATED.

SO THIS WAS AGAIN ANTICIPATED.

UH, WE EXPECT THAT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A STAGE WHERE, UH, YOU KNOW, IT BECOMES MORE DIFFICULT TO GET PEOPLE IN THE QUEUE TO GET THEM SIGNED UP FOR VACCINATION EFFORTS, WHICH IS WHY PART OF THE APH STRATEGY ALL ALONG HAS BEEN TO RAMP UP THOSE, UH, THOSE EFFORTS AT OUTREACH, UH, IN TRANSITION FROM A PASSIVE MODEL OF VACCINATION TO AN ACTIVE MODEL.

SO ACTIVELY RECRUITING PEOPLE, NOT GOING OUT TO COMMUNITY CENTERS, TO RELIGIOUS GROUPS, TO, UH, YOU KNOW, NEIGHBORHOODS, UH, MAKING IT EASIER AND MORE CONVENIENT FOR PEOPLE TO BE VACCINATED.

SO THIS IS A, YOU KNOW, THIS IS AN EVOLVING PROCESS OF VACCINATING FOLKS, AND I THINK WE'RE, WE'RE STILL IN A GOOD, STILL IN A VERY GOOD STAGE RIGHT NOW, UH, IN TERMS OF THE VACCINE DEMAND.

BUT, UH, AGAIN, UM, WHEN WE HAVE WHERE WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO TWEAK AND MODIFY THOSE OPERATIONS UNTIL WE GET EVERY LAST PERSON VACCINATED WHO WANTS, THAT'S IT, THANK YOU.

YEP.

YOU'RE WELCOME.

UH, NOW WE WILL MOVE INTO OUR CLOSING REMARKS, STEPHANIE, OVER TO YOU.

WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT OUR PARTNERSHIPS.

UM, AND AS WE CONTINUE TO, UM, PROVIDE VACCINES IN OUR COMMUNITY, OUR GOAL IS REALLY TO BE ABLE TO MEET PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE.

AND SO THE, THE, THE MOBILE VACCINE TEAM, AS WELL AS THE REST OF OUR STAFF ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO WORK WITH OUR PARTNERS TO STRATEGIZE, ALWAYS LOOKING TO BE FLEXIBLE, BECAUSE ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE KNOW IS THAT AS WE MOVE ALONG, UH, AND THERE CONTINUES TO BE MORE VACCINE AVAILABLE, WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO MEET PEOPLE AND BE IN A PLACE THAT THEY CAN EASILY ACCESS.

AND SO, AS WE CONTINUE TO TRANSITION OUR PLAN, IT IS GOING TO BE SO IMPORTANT FOR US TO COMMUNICATE THAT WITH THE PUBLIC, BUT WE ARE LOOKING VERY EXCITED TO OUR EXISTING PARTNERSHIPS, BUT WE'RE ALSO LOOKING FORWARD TO NEW PARTNERSHIPS THAT WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF DEVELOPING TO BE IN NON-TRADITIONAL PLACES TO PROVIDE VACCINES AFTER THIS TIME, I'LL TRANSITION OVER TO DR.

SCOTT.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, STEPHANIE.

AND AGAIN, UH, YOU KNOW, WE ARE SEEING INCREASES IN CASES TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT INCREASE OVER LAST WEEK IN TERMS OF OUR MOVING AVERAGE OF NEW CASES.

UH, WE'RE SEEING INCREASES IN HOSPITALIZATIONS.

UH, WE'RE STILL WAITING ON THE FINAL NUMBERS FOR TODAY, BUT IT APPEARS THAT OUR ADMISSIONS TO HOSPITAL FOR TODAY MAY BE, UH, 30, AND

[00:40:01]

THAT'S ALMOST DOUBLE THE MOVING AVERAGE OF NEW ADMISSIONS TO A HOSPITAL.

UH, AGAIN, IT'S, IT'S NOT A SURGE YET, BUT IT GIVES US CONCERN THAT THERE'S STILL EFFICIENT TRANSMISSION OF DISEASE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

UM, SO THAT'S WHY WE'VE RENEWED THE HEALTH AUTHORITY RULES, UH, WHICH EXTEND THE MASK MANDATE AND OTHER PROJECTIONS IN PUBLIC PLACES UNTIL MAY 18TH.

SO IT IS CRITICAL FOR US TO CONTINUE THOSE PROTECTIONS, CONTINUE TO MASK, CONTINUE TO DISTANCE, CONTINUE TO WASH OUR HANDS AND STAY HOME WHEN WE'RE SICK IN ORDER FOR US TO DRIVE DOWN DISEASE AND BUY US MORE TIME TO GET MORE PEOPLE VACCINATED WITH THAT.

I WILL TRANSITION OVER TO JANET PICHET.

THANKS.

AND, UH, AS DR S SCOTT MENTIONED, WE ARE SEEING THIS OSCILLATION IN THE NUMBER OF CASES WE'RE SEEING ON A DAILY BASIS.

AND, UH, AS EPIDEMIOLOGISTS, WE CONTINUE TO MONITOR THAT VERY CLOSELY.

UH, AND I THINK IT JUST SERVES AGAIN AS A GOOD REMINDER, THAT AS VACCINE BECOMES AVAILABLE TO YOU, UH, THOSE THAT ARE OVER THE AGE OF 18, ESPECIALLY WITH THE MATERNAL OR 16, IF IT'S PFIZER, THAT, UM, THERE'S STILL THE POSSIBILITY, A VERY HIGH POSSIBILITY THAT YOU'RE GOING TO SEE INCREASED TRANSMISSION RISK IN THOSE THAT YOUNG ADULTS WHO HAVE NOT RECEIVED VACCINE, OR THOSE CHILDREN WHO HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED.

UH, WE'RE SEEING IT AS EVIDENCE BY INCREASED NUMBERS IN SCHOOL POPULATIONS, ESPECIALLY THOSE RELATED TO SCORE ATHLETICS.

UM, UH, WE AS CONTINUE TO DO OUR CASE INVESTIGATION AND CONTACT TRACING.

AND I WOULD ASK THAT WE GET FULL COOPERATION FROM INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE CONTACTED BY AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, OR OUR PARTNER, UH, UH, CONTACT TRACERS AT GENERAL MEDICAL TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE INFORMATION ON CONTACTS AND EXPOSURES.

SO WE DON'T GET THIS.

WE DON'T GET TO A SPOT WHERE WE'RE OUT OF CONTROL AGAIN, LIKE WE WERE BACK IN JUNE OR BACK IN THE NOVEMBER TIMEFRAME.

SO IT'S AGAIN VERY IMPORTANT, UH, THAT YOU COOPERATE, UH, WITH THOSE CASE INVESTIGATORS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION SO THAT WE CAN SQUASH TRANSMISSION RISKS WITHIN THE COMMUNITY AND GET PEOPLE INTO PROPER QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION, UM, WHERE ISOLATION FACILITY IS STILL OPERATING.

IF YOU NEED A PLACE TO ISOLATE, UH, FROM ILLNESS.

AND, UM, AGAIN, WE CONTINUE TO LOOK AT TRENDS IN DISEASE, UH, AND HOPE THAT THEY REMAIN RELATIVELY FLAT AND NOT ON THE INCREASE OR TO THE POINT WHERE WE'RE NOT SEEING THE SURGE AGAIN.

UH, SO AGAIN, AS I SAID THROUGH THE LAST YEAR, MAKE SURE YOU'RE WEARING YOUR MASKS SOCIALLY, DISTANCING, WASHING YOUR HANDS, UH, AVOID TOUCHING YOUR FACE.

AND IF YOU'RE ILL, EVEN IF YOU HAVE MILD SYMPTOMS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO ALLERGIES, PLEASE BE SURE TO STAY HOME SO THAT YOU'RE NOT SPREADING ILLNESS.

UH, AND I'LL, I HOPE THE REST, EVERYBODY HAS A GREAT WEEKEND.

CAN I SEE, I THINK YOU'RE ON ME NOT WORKING.

OKAY.

IT SEEMS LIKE CASSIE'S HAVING SOME TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES AT THIS TIME.

THAT CONCLUDES OUR MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR TODAY.

THANK YOU TO APH DIRECTOR.

STEPHANIE HAYDEN HOWARD, DR.

MARK S. SCOTT, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JANET PICHET AND CASSANDRA, NO MICROPHONE.

THEY LEON APH ASSISTANT DIRECTOR DISEASE PREVENTION, HEALTH PROMOTION DIVISION, AND TO OUR POOR REPORTER TORY LAWN FROM KV.

THANKS FOR JOINING US AND HAVE A SAFE WEEKEND.

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