Link

Social

Embed

Download

Download
Download Transcript

[COVID-19: Press Q & A]

[00:00:11]

GOOD MORNING.

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

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

SPANISH INTERPRETATION IS AVAILABLE ON ATX IN THREE TO START INTERIM AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR, ADRIAN STIRRUP WILL FIRST SAY A FEW WORDS FOLLOWED BY DR.

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

THEN JANET PICHET AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST FOLLOWED BY CASSANDRA DE LEON APH, CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER FOR DISEASE PREVENTION AND HEALTH PROMOTION DIVISION.

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

GOOD MORNING, PLEASURE TO BE HERE WITH YOU ALL TODAY.

MY NAME IS ADRIAN STARK AND I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF SERVING AS THE INTERIM DIRECTOR FOR AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH.

UM, THIS WEEK HAS BEEN A WEEK OF MILESTONES.

WE ARE IN A GOOD PLACE AS A COMMUNITY WITH RESPECT TO MANAGING COVID, BUT ACKNOWLEDGING THAT WE STILL HAVE MORE WORK TO DO.

AND IN THE COMING WEEKS, YOU WILL SEE US, UM, CHANGE OUR STRATEGY TO HAVE MORE OF AN EQUITY FOCUS.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH OUR COMMUNITIES TO REACH OUT TO THOSE ZIP CODES AND AREAS WHERE WE'RE STILL SEEING SOME DISPARITIES, BUT STILL REMAINING CONFIDENT THAT WE ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK TO GET TOWARDS HER INTO THE UNITY.

DR ASCOTS.

THANK YOU.

AND GOOD MORNING.

UH, I WANT TO START BY FIRST SAYING THAT EARLIER TODAY, I SIGNED A NOTICE TRANSITIONING THE HEALTH AUTHORITY RULES ISSUED ON TUESDAY INTO RECOMMENDATIONS.

UH, AS WE'RE AWARE THE GOVERNOR ABOUT TWO HOURS FOLLOWING THE ISSUANCE OF THOSE ORDERS, UH, ISSUED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER HIMSELF, WHICH CREATED CONFLICT BETWEEN THE TWO.

UH, NOW'S NOT THE TIME FOR US TO BE IN CONFLICT.

NOW'S THE TIME FOR US TO FOCUS ON THE MESSAGE AND THE MESSAGE IS THAT UNVACCINATED PEOPLE ARE PARTIALLY VACCINATED.

PEOPLE NEED TO WEAR A MASK WHEN THEY'RE OUT IN PUBLIC, THOSE WHO ARE UNVACCINATED NEED TO GET VACCINATED.

THIS IS THE BEST PROTECTION THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW.

THE DATA THAT WE HAVE FOR VACCINATED PEOPLE IN TRAVIS COUNTY INDICATE TO US THAT 99.9% OF THEM HAVE NOT YET, UH, UH, DEVELOP COVID-19 INFECTION.

THAT'S INCREDIBLY GOOD.

THIS IS MUCH BETTER THAN THE BEST FLU SHOT WE'VE EVER HAD.

SO RIGHT NOW WE WANT TO FOCUS ON THAT MESSAGE THAT FOLKS NEED TO GET VACCINATED IF THEY'RE UN-VACCINATED, UH, AND IF THEY ARE VACCINATED, IT IS NOW TIME FOR THEM TO BE ABLE TO RELAX A LITTLE BIT.

UH, THERE'S STILL CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE FOLKS SHOULD STILL MASK, UH, AS OUTLINED IN, IN THOSE GUIDELINES.

AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO OUR COMMUNITY CONTINUING TO EMBRACE THE, THE KEYS TO SUCCESS, WHICH HAVE WORKED SO FAR SO FAR.

TRAVIS COUNTY HAS LESS THAN HALF OF THE DEATH RATE FROM COVID-19 AS ANY OTHER, UH, JURISDICTION IN THE STATE OF TEXAS, IN TERMS OF MAJOR METROPOLITAN AREAS, LESS THAN HALF THE RATE OF TEXAS AS A WHOLE, LESS THAN HALF THE RATE OF THE UNITED STATES AS A WHOLE, UM, YOU KNOW, OUR, OUR TRANSMISSION IS LOWER THAN ANY OTHER METROPOLITAN AREA OF TEXAS AS WELL.

UH, THIS IS BECAUSE OUR COMMUNITY HAS WORKED TOGETHER.

THEY'VE CONTINUED TO MASK WHEN OTHERS DIDN'T, THEY CONTINUE TO DISTANCE WHEN OTHERS DIDN'T, THEY CONTINUE TO STAY HOME WHEN THEY'RE SICK AND GET TESTED.

THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT HAVE WORKED AND WILL CONTINUE TO WORK AS WE DRIVE COVID-19, UH, TO ZERO.

SO WITH THAT, I WILL TURN IT OVER TO JANET.

PICHET GOOD MORNING.

UH, I'LL JUST ADD THAT.

YES.

AS BOTH ADRIAN AND DR.

ESCADA MENTIONED, WE ARE IN A REALLY GOOD PLACE NOW IN AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY AND IN TEXAS AS A WHOLE.

AND I DO FEEL LIKE WE ARE ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY.

UH, AND WITH THAT, I THINK WHAT WILL HAPPEN IS OUR FOCUS WILL THEN BEGIN TO TRANSITION SO THAT WE LOOK AT VIR VARIANTS THAT ARE CIRCULATING IN OUR COMMUNITY.

WE'RE GOING TO BE FOCUSING ON RE-INFECTION AND BREAKTHROUGH DISEASE, UH, FOLLOWING VACCINATION, SO THAT WE CAN TRY TO REALLY UNDERSTAND, UH, YOU KNOW, WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO PROTECT OURSELVES, UH, FROM HERE ON OUT.

[00:05:01]

UM, YOU KNOW, UH, THE FOCUS ON CLUSTERS AND THE CASE NOW THAT THE CASES ARE LOW ARE INCREASE IN CASE INVESTIGATION AND CONTACT TRACING WILL INCREASE WITH THE GOAL OF TRYING TO STAMP OUT THIS DISEASE.

WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHERE THOSE CLUSTERS ARE, WHERE THOSE HOTSPOTS MIGHT BE AND TRY TO CHAMP THOSE DOWN.

UM, SO THAT WE DON'T HAVE A RE-IGNITION OF A, OF A SURGE.

SO, UM, YOU KNOW, UM, YOU KNOW, I THINK, UH, WITH, UH, VARIANTS THAT ARE CIRCULATING, WE'VE RECENTLY HEARD THAT DALLAS HAD THE INDIAN VARIANT IN THE VARIANTS FROM INDIA IDENTIFIED, AND THOSE WERE IDENTIFIED IN, UH, PEOPLE WITH NO TRAVEL HISTORY MEANS THAT WE HAVE THAT VARIANT IN THIS STATE AND IT'S CIRCULATING, IT COULD VERY WELL BE IN OUR COMMUNITY, BUT WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CONTINUE TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM THOSE TYPES OF ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO PROTECT OURSELVES RIGHT NOW IS TO GET VACCINATE, GET VACCINATED VACCINES, SAVE LIVES.

UH, AND WE'VE SEEN THAT HAPPEN, UH, WITH, WITH HOW EFFECTIVE THEY'VE BEEN IN REDUCING THE NUMBER OF CASES.

SO WITH THAT ALTERNATE OVER TO, UM, UH, CASSIE DELEON ON JANET, UM, AND, UH, WANT TO JUST, UM, REALLY COMMEND THE COMMUNITY ON, UH, BEING WILLING TO GET OUT THERE AND GET THE VACCINE, GET OUT THERE AND MAKE SURE THAT AS YOU'RE, UM, AS WE'RE REOPENING THAT YOU'RE CONTINUING TO BE CAREFUL.

UM, AND THAT, THAT, UM, SPEAKING BACK TO WHAT DR.

SCOTT SAID, THAT REALLY TRANSLATES TO HOW WELL WE HAVE FARED THROUGHOUT THIS ENTIRE PANDEMIC AND HOW WE'LL BE ABLE TO FAIR, UH, MOVING THROUGH THE NEXT FEW MONTHS AND, AND ONGOING YEARS, UM, WITH THE NEW PFIZER EXPANDED, UM, POPULATION THAT'S ELIGIBLE FOR THAT VACCINE AND IS APPROPRIATE FOR THE PFIZER VACCINE.

WE HAVE SEEN SOME GOOD UPTAKE, ALMOST 9,000, UH, CHILDREN BETWEEN THE AGES OF 12 TO 15, UM, HAVE AT LEAST GOTTEN ONE DOSE OF PFIZER.

AND SO THAT, THAT REALLY IS VERY ENCOURAGING, KNOWING THAT THAT'S ONLY BEEN AVAILABLE FOR ABOUT A WEEK.

UM, SO WE REALLY WANT TO ENCOURAGE, UM, PARENTS AND FAMILIES AND ANYONE WHO HASN'T GOTTEN VACCINATED TO GO AHEAD AND GET THE VACCINE IT'S AVAILABLE IN MANY, MANY LOCATIONS.

UM, IF YOU GET YOUR VACCINE FROM AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, YOU CAN WALK UP TO ANY OF OUR LOCATIONS, ENCOURAGE YOU TO CALL THREE ONE, ONE, JUST TO FIND OUT WHAT THE HOURS ARE AND WHERE WE'RE OPERATING, BUT YOU CAN GO TO ANY LOCATION REQUEST YOUR VACCINE.

UM, IT'S FREE.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOW ANY ID.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO, UM, PROVE INSURANCE.

IT SHOULD BE AS EASY AS ANYTHING ELSE, UH, TO GET YOUR VACCINE.

UM, ALSO JUST TO KIND OF PIGGYBACK ON WHAT, UM, DIRECTOR STIRRUP SAID, WE ARE REALLY LOOKING TO RIGHT-SIZE THE VACCINE INTERVENTION.

UM, WE KNOW THAT REALLY TAKING THE VACCINE WHERE PEOPLE ARE, WHERE PEOPLE LIVE, WHERE PEOPLE CAN ACCESS, UM, IS REALLY THE KEY RIGHT NOW TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO BARRIER.

AND, UM, PEOPLE HAVE A LOT OF RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO THEM.

SO WE'LL BE LOOKING IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS, THEN WORKING WITH OUR PARTNERS TO REALLY MAKE SURE THAT WHEREVER THE VACCINE CAN, CAN BE OF HELP AND NEEDS TO BE, UM, PROVIDED THAT WE'RE THERE.

AND WE'RE PROVIDING THAT TO, TO THE GREATER COMMUNITY.

UM, WITH THAT I'LL OPEN UP, UH, OPEN US UP FOR, THANK YOU, CASSANDRA.

AT THIS TIME, WE WERE NOW GO TO OUR POOL REPORTERS AND GITA MEN IN THE, FROM K U T SANGEETA.

THE FIRST QUESTION IS FROM KUT.

I WAS THE NEW COMMUNITY-BASED APPROACH FOR VACCINE DISTRIBUTION GOING, HOW MANY EVENTS HAVE BEEN HELD AND HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN VACCINATED AT THOSE EVENTS? I'LL JUMP IN.

UM, THEY'VE ACTUALLY BEEN GOING REALLY WELL.

WE ARE CONNECTED, UM, FROM AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH PERSPECTIVE, WE PROVIDED QUITE A FEW EVENTS, UM, STARTING IN MARCH WHERE IT'S REALLY, WHEN WE STARTED PARTNERING WITH FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS AND MANY OTHER GROUPS TO REALLY CONNECT, UH, TO PROVIDE VACCINE.

AND THERE'S A MINI PLAN.

WE USUALLY HAVE ABOUT TWO TO THREE PER WEEK THAT WE POP UP, BUT WE ALSO HAVE HAD A MOBILE VACCINE.

UM, THE TEAM THAT HAS BEEN WORKING SINCE FEBRUARY TO GO TO MANY, MANY DIFFERENT LOCATIONS AND THEY ARE GETTING THREE DIFFERENT LOCATIONS PER DAY THROUGHOUT THE WEEK.

SO THERE'S, THERE'S QUITE A FEW THAT WE'VE DONE.

UM, AND WE DEFINITELY ARE SEEING THAT THIS IS THE TIME TO REALLY MOBILIZE AND, AND REALLY, UM, EXPEDITE THOSE DIFFERENT TYPES OF OPERATIONS TO ANY PLACE WE CAN ACROSS THE COMMUNITY.

AND NEXT QUESTION IS FROM ME.

NO, GO AHEAD, ADRIAN.

ALL RIGHT.

I JUST WANT TO JUMP IN REAL QUICK AND ADD ONTO WHAT, UM, CASSIE SHARED.

UM,

[00:10:01]

I BELIEVE OUR MOBILE OUTREACH TEAM HAS PROVIDED FIVE OVER 5,000 VACCINATIONS IN THIS ARM.

AND, UM, THIS WEEK WE WILL BE AT THE SACRED HEART CHURCH ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY.

WE'LL BE AT DEL VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL ON SATURDAY, AND THAT IS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TRAVIS COUNTY.

AND THEN ON SUNDAY WEATHER PERMITTING, WE WILL HAVE, WE'LL BE HAVING AN LGBTQ PLUS EVENT AND THEN COLLABORATION WITH MANY PARTNERS THAT SERVICE THAT COMMUNITY AT GIVENS PARK.

AND SO WE ARE REALLY, UM, IN DIGGING OUR TEETH AND OUR HEELS INTO, INTO THIS COMMUNITY BASED APPROACH TO MAKE SURE THAT WE LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED.

AND THEN EVERYONE WHO WANTS A VACCINE HAS THAT EQUITABLE ACCESS.

THANK YOU.

AND NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN CAN BUSINESSES LEGALLY REQUIRE PROOF OF VACCINATION FOR CUSTOMERS, WHAT LAWS ALLOW OR PREVENT THEM FROM DOING SO I'M HAPPY TO ADDRESS THAT ONE.

UH, FIRST LET ME SAY, I'M NOT A LAWYER, SO IT'S IMPORTANT TO CONSULT, UH, YOUR, YOUR ATTORNEYS ON THIS QUESTION IN PARTICULAR.

HOWEVER, WHEN WE LOOK AT THE PRIVACY OF MEDICAL INFORMATION, THAT PRIVACY IS THE INFORMATION THE PERSON HAS.

OKAY.

UH, SO IF AN INDIVIDUAL CHOOSES TO SHARE THEIR VACCINATION STATUS WITH SOMEONE ELSE, A BUSINESS OWNER, AS A CONDITION OF ENTRY, UH, THERE'S NOT A PRIVACY ISSUE BECAUSE THE OWNER OF THAT INFORMATION IS SHARING IT.

UH, CERTAINLY THE INFORMATION THAT WE'VE SEEN SO FAR INDICATE THAT A BUSINESS, UH, CAN ASK FOR PROOF OF VACCINATION FOR ENTRY INTO A PRIVATE SPACE, WHICH IS, WHICH IS THEIR BUSINESS.

UM, SO YOU KNOW, IT, IT UNLIKELY THAT WE'RE GOING TO SEE THAT TO A LARGE EXTENT, BUT THERE ARE SOME PLACES AS I DISCUSSED ON TUESDAY, UH, THAT MAY BE MORE INCLINED TO WANT CERTAINTY ABOUT INJURY, UH, WITHOUT MASKING, FOR INSTANCE, A HAIR SALONS WHERE AN INDIVIDUAL MAY BE, UH, IN THE HAIR SALON FOR SEVERAL HOURS AT A TIME.

UH, FACE-TO-FACE WITHOUT MASK ON, THIS IS A HIGH-RISK CIRCUMSTANCE THAT IN THAT KIND OF CIRCUMSTANCE, A INDIVIDUAL MAY WANT MORE PROOF THAN, THAN SOMEONE'S WORD.

UH, BUT AGAIN, UH, IT'S IMPORTANT FOR THOSE BUSINESSES TO CONSULT, UH, FOR, FOR LEGAL ADVICE, UH, WHEN THEY'RE DEVELOPING THEIR POLICIES.

I ALSO WANT TO MENTION THAT THE, THE, THE GOVERNOR HAS BEEN VERY CLEAR THROUGHOUT THIS PANDEMIC AND THAT IS BUSINESSES HAVE THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE THE CONDITIONS OF ENTRY.

SO IF A BUSINESS SAYS AS A MASS REQUIRED SIGN, MASTER REQUIRE AS A CONDITION OF ENTRY, UH, IF SOMEBODY ENTERS WITHOUT A MASK ON THEY'RE TRESPASSING, UM, AND CAN BE ASKED TO LEAVE, UH, THIS IS, THIS IS THE RIGHT OF A BUSINESS OWNER.

UH, AND CERTAINLY, UH, WE EXPECT HERE LOCALLY THAT, THAT PEOPLE WILL RESPECT THAT AND THAT MANY BUSINESSES WILL CHOOSE TO CONTINUE, UH, MASKING IN THE, YOU KNOW, IN THE SHORT TERM, THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KX A N LAST UPDATE, DR.

S SCOTT SAID, IF YOU HAD COVID, YOU STILL NEED TO GET VACCINATED.

SOME PEOPLE QUESTION THAT, CAN YOU EXPAND ON WHY IT'S IMPORTANT? THE EVIDENCE THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW IS THAT THEY PROTECTION FROM THE COVID VACCINE IS A MORE COMPREHENSIVE THAN HAVING THE DISEASE ITSELF.

WHEN WE LOOK AT THE RE-INFECTION RATE VERSUS THE BREAKTHROUGH INFECTION RATE.

SO YOU'VE BEEN FULLY VACCINATED AND GETTING INFECTED.

THE REINFECTION RATE FOR COVID-19 IS ABOUT 20 TIMES HIGHER THAN IT IS FOR BREAKTHROUGH INFECTIONS.

UM, AGAIN, RIGHT NOW, THE DATA THAT WE HAVE AT HAND IS THAT 99.9% OF PEOPLE WHO'VE BEEN VACCINATED HAVE NOT BEEN INFECTED WITH COVID AFTER THEY WERE FULLY VACCINATED.

UM, IT'S INCREDIBLY POWERFUL VACCINE.

IT'S AN INCREDIBLY SAFE VACCINE.

AND SO WE ENCOURAGE ALL MEMBERS, OUR COMMUNITY, EVEN THE ONES WHO'VE HAD COVID TO GET THE SHOT.

UH, I THINK AS WE GO THROUGH THE SUMMER AND WE SEE EUAS LIFTED AND FULL APPROVAL GRANTED FOR MANY OF THESE VACCINES, WE'RE ALSO LIKELY TO SEE INSTITUTIONS STARTING TO REQUIRE THEM.

UH, SO SCHOOLS, UNIVERSITIES, UH, IN, IN SOME BUSINESSES AS WELL.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM CVS, AUSTIN, DO YOU THINK THE

[00:15:01]

CHANGE IN MASKING POLICY WILL HAVE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON AUSTIN'S ABILITY TO REACH HERD IMMUNITY? THE PREVIOUS RELAXATION OF MASKING RULES BY GOVERNOR ABBOTT DID NOT SEEM TO NEGATIVELY IMPACT REDUCING CASES? WELL, MY CONCERN IS, YOU KNOW, I AGREE THAT THE, THE, UH, THE CASES HAVE CONTINUED TO DROP, HOWEVER, UH, YOU'LL NOTICE THAT WE'VE HAD DROPPING AND THEN PLATEAU AND THEN DROPPING AND THEN PLATEAU OUR CONCERN IS THAT, UM, THAT WE'RE, WE'RE GOING TO SEE A PROLONGED TAIL ON THIS, UH, ON THIS PANDEMIC HERE IN TEXAS.

UH, WHEN WE LOOK AT THE DATA, UH, OF TRAVIS COUNTY ACTIVE CASES PER 100 POPULATION VERSUS THE REST OF THE STATE, THE NUMBER OF CASES PER 100 RESIDENTS IS FOUR TO FIVE TIMES HIGHER OUTSIDE OF TRAVIS COUNTY, UH, AS COMPARED TO INSIDE TRAVIS COUNTY.

THE SAME IS TRUE.

WHEN WE LOOK AT TRAVIS COUNTY VERSUS THE OTHER COUNTIES IN THE MSA 4.5 TIMES HIGHER ACTIVE CASES AS COMPARED TO TRAVIS COUNTY, TO ME, THAT'S EVIDENCE THAT, UH, THAT, THAT MASKING POLICY WORKS.

AND THAT'S WHY WE CONTINUE TO ENCOURAGE OUR BUSINESSES, OUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS, PARTICULARLY THOSE WHO ARE UNVACCINATED OR PARTIALLY VACCINATED TO CONTINUE MASKING UNTIL WE CAN REACH A BETTER PLACE OF HERD IMMUNITY.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM COMMUNITY IMPACT IN THE PAST LOCAL AUTHORITIES HAVE PUSHED BACK ON GOVERNOR ABBOTT'S ORDERS, BANNING MASS MANDATES FROM LOCAL OFFICIALS.

WHY NOT NOW? SO, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, WHEN WE ENGAGE IN BATTLE BETWEEN THE CITY AND THE STATE, THE MESSAGE BECOMES ABOUT THE BATTLE AND NOT ABOUT THE MESSAGE AND THE MESSAGE THAT WE WANT PEOPLE TO HEAR IS THAT IF YOU'RE VACCINATED COMPLETELY, THEN YOU'RE RELATIVELY SAFE.

AGAIN, 99.9% OF FOLKS WHO'VE BEEN VACCINATED HAVE NOT GONE ON TO DEVELOP COVID-19 SO FAR, HOWEVER, THOSE WHO ARE UNVACCINATED OR PARTIALLY VACCINATED NEED TO CONTINUE TO PROTECT THEMSELVES.

UH, WHEN THEY'RE OUT IN PUBLIC, THIS IS THE MESSAGE THAT THE CDC SHARED A WEEK AGO.

AND SOMEHOW WE TRANSITIONED FROM, UH, THAT MESSAGE INTO THIS PERCEPTION THAT THAT MASKING IS OPTIONAL FOR THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.

THAT'S NOT AT ALL WHAT THE CDC SAID.

WHAT THEY SAID IS FOR VACCINATED PEOPLE, YOU CAN MOVE AROUND RELATIVELY FREELY, EXCEPT FOR CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE VULNERABILITY IS MUCH HIGHER UNVACCINATED PEOPLE, PARTIALLY VACCINATED.

PEOPLE SHOULD STILL WEAR MASKS.

THAT PIECE OF THE MESSAGE HAS BEEN LOST IN THE PAST WEEK.

AND WE WANT TO BRING THAT MESSAGE BACK TO THE FOREFRONT.

UH, I ALSO WANT TO SAY WE'RE GRATEFUL FOR THE STATE.

WE'RE GRATEFUL FOR THE GOVERNOR AND WHAT THEY'VE DONE TO SUPPORT AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY THROUGHOUT THE PAST YEAR.

THE GOVERNOR'S ISSUING OF MASS MANDATE BACK IN JUNE WHEN IT WAS A VERY, VERY UNPOPULAR THING TO DO FOR REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR, BUT HE DID IT ANYWAY BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT HE NEEDED TO PROTECT TEXANS.

AND THE RESULT HAS BEEN THOUSANDS OF LIVES SAYING BECAUSE OF THAT DECISION, WE'VE HAD SUPPORT FROM, FROM THE TEXAS DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FROM DSHS IN, UH, IN OUR ORIGINAL INFUSION CENTER, IN OUR AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER, WHICH WAS OUR ALTERNATE CARE SITE AND A NUMBER OF OTHER INITIATIVES, THE STATE HAS COME IN TO SUPPORT THIS COMMUNITY, INCLUDING HEALTHCARE PERSONNEL FOR ALL OF OUR AREA HOSPITALS.

UH, SO I DON'T WANT TO VILIFY THE STATE.

UH, WE HAVE WORKED TOGETHER WITH THE STATE THROUGHOUT THIS PANDEMIC.

YES, THERE IS A DISAGREEMENT ON WHAT THAT POLICY SHOULD BE, BUT WE WANT THE MESSAGE HEARD.

AND I THINK BY AVOIDING A PROLONGED LEGAL BATTLE, WE CAN FOCUS OUR EFFORTS ON THE BATTLE IN FRONT OF US, WHICH IS ENSURING THAT FOLKS ARE VACCINATED AND ENSURING THAT THE MESSAGE IS HEARD.

AND I'LL ADD WHAT I SAID EARLIER IN MY OPENING REMARKS.

AND THAT IS WHAT WE HAVE SEEN IS THAT VACCINES SAVE LIVES.

AND, YOU KNOW, I THINK AS DR S SCOTT MENTIONED, I THINK THE GOAL HERE FOR ALL OF US IS TO GET AS MANY PEOPLE VACCINATED AS POSSIBLE.

TRY TO BREAK DOWN THE BARRIERS AND PAY DOWN THE REASON WHY PEOPLE ARE HESITANT TO RECEIVE THAT VACCINE.

UM, I THINK WE ALL WANT TO GET BACK TO NORMAL.

AND I THINK ONE OF THE KEY WAYS TO DO IT IS, UH, TO GET VACCINATED.

UM, AND IF YOU'RE NOT VACCINATED, OR IF YOU FEEL UNSURE ABOUT

[00:20:01]

GOING OUT IN PUBLIC, YOU CAN ALWAYS STILL WEAR YOUR MASK.

THAT'S, YOU KNOW, A LOW LEVEL OF PROTECTION.

UM, AND YOU KNOW, I THINK PEOPLE NEED TO BE RESPECTFUL AND MINDFUL THAT THERE ARE REASONS WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO DO, UH, THEY'RE MASKING, UH, IN PUBLIC PLACES.

UH, IT COULD BE D B B TO PROTECT A LOVED ONE, BUT, UH, AGAIN, VACCINATIONS ARE, HAVE BEEN KEY IN OUR RESPONSE.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM K O P RADIO.

HOW CONCERNED ARE YOU ABOUT THE TWO CASES OF THE INDIA VARIANT IN NORTH TEXAS AND THE PAST? YOU HAVE STATED THAT IF A VARIANT IS IN THE U S OR THE STATE, IT IS ALSO HERE.

UM, I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THAT OBVIOUSLY, UM, VIRUSES DON'T LIKE TO STAY THE SAME.

THEY LIKE TO MUTATE.

THEY LIKE TO CHANGE THEIR CONFIGURATION TO TRY TO OUTSMART THE HOST.

AND SO I, I THINK THE VARIANT FROM INDIA BEING ON, ON OUR HORIZON IN, IN OUR, IN OUR STATE IS CONCERNING AND WE WILL BE WATCHING IT VERY CLOSELY OF CONCERN BASED ON THE INFORMATION I'VE RECEIVED IS THAT THESE, UH, CASES ARE NOT IN PEOPLE WHO HAVE A TRAVEL HISTORY ANYWHERE.

SO TO ME, THAT MEANS THAT IT'S OUT IN THE COMMUNITY, UH, YOU KNOW, AND SO ONCE YOU HAVE IT IN THE COMMUNITY, WE CAN BEGIN TO, UM, SEE IT SPREAD WITHIN THE COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE.

AREN'T CAREFUL.

SO, YOU KNOW, THAT'S ONE REASON WHY WE ARE TRYING TO FOCUS, UH, REFOCUS OUR EPIDEMIOLOGIC RESPONSE EFFORTS ON LOOKING AT VARIANTS SURVEILLANCE AND TRYING TO GET, UH, SOME OF THESE, UH, SAMPLES, UH, SEQUENCE TO IDENTIFY WHAT VARIANTS ARE CIRCULATING IN OUR COMMUNITY.

IT'S KIND OF THE, THE THING WE DO, UH, WHETHER IT BE FLU OR CORONA VIRUS NOW, UM, YOU KNOW, THE BETTER AND MORE QUICKLY WE CAN IDENTIFY SOMETHING THAT THE FASTER WE CAN SQUASH THAT DISEASE AND KEEP IT AT BAY, UM, AND PREVENT CLUSTERS AND OUTBREAKS FROM OCCURRING.

UM, SO, SO WE ARE CONCERNED.

LET ME ALSO JUST ADD, I THINK THE SITUATION IN INDIA IS A REMINDER TO US AS A COMMUNITY, AS A COUNTRY, THAT OUR DUTY DOESN'T STOP WITH VACCINATING, THE UNITED STATES.

WE HAVE TO WORK HARD TO VACCINATE THE REST OF THE PLANET.

UH, WE'RE GOING TO SEE NEW VARIANTS EMERGE IN PLACES LIKE INDIA, PLACES LIKE MEXICO CITY, SOUTH PAOLO, BIOS, NIGERIA, UH, THESE DENSELY POPULATED PLACES ARE, ARE WHERE WE'RE GOING TO SEE VARIANTS EMERGE.

AND AS THE VARIANTS, UH, CONTINUE TO BECOME MORE COMPETITIVE, WE RISK THE DEVELOPMENT OF A VARIANT THAT, UH, ELUDES THE CURRENT VACCINE.

SO AGAIN, WE NEED TO WORK QUICKLY TO GET OUR COMMUNITY VACCINATED SO THAT WE CAN PIVOT, UH, TO THOSE, THOSE AREAS OF THE PLANET THAT, THAT ARE STRUGGLING WITH THEIR VACCINATION EFFORT.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE AUSTIN, AMERICAN STATESMAN HAS OFTEN PUBLIC HEALTH HAD ANY CORONAVIRUS VACCINES GO TO WASTE IN RECENT WEEKS BECAUSE OF A DECREASE IN DEMAND.

IF SO, HOW MANY I'LL JUMP IN AND RESPOND.

SO I THINK IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO THINK ABOUT THE COVID VACCINE CLINICS AND THE PROCESS.

AND THEN ALSO, UM, THERE'S WASTE, THAT'S INVOLVED WITH COVID VACCINE CLINICS, AND THEN THERE'S ALSO, UM, AREAS THAT WE HAVE TO TRACK TO MAKE SURE WE DON'T HAVE VACCINE LOSS.

UM, AND IT'S TWO DIFFERENT, UM, CONSIDERATIONS VACCINE LOSS IS WHEN WE HAVE VACCINE THAT'S BEEN STORED IN A STORAGE FACILITY, A REFRIGERATION OR FREEZER.

AND FOR SOME REASON, UM, THAT VACCINE BECOMES VIABLE, MEANING THAT IT EITHER WAS OUT OF TEMPERATURE FOR A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME, OR IT EXPIRED.

UM, AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH HAS HAD NO INCIDENCES OF THAT OCCURRING.

SO I THINK THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE'VE REALLY BEEN TRACKING OUR VACCINE INVENTORY TO MAKE SURE IT'S APPROPRIATE FOR THE POPULATION THAT WE'RE SERVING IN FOR THE, UM, GAUGING TO SEE IF THE POPULATION DEMAND DWINDLES, THAT WE'RE ABLE TO UTILIZE ALL OF THE VACCINE THAT WE HAVE AND NOT RISK ANY EXPIRATION.

WE'VE ALSO BEEN ABLE TO HELP OTHER CITIES TO, UM, UH, TRANSFER VACCINE FROM THEM TO US BECAUSE THEY HAD SOME RISK OF VACCINE POTENTIALLY EXPIRE, AND WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO INTEGRATE THEM INTO THOSE VACCINES INTO OUR OPERATIONS SO THAT THERE'S NO LOSS AND WE CAN SUPPORT THE LARGER STATEWIDE EFFORT.

VACCINE WASTE AT A CLINICAL EFFORT DOES HAPPEN FROM TIME TO TIME.

AND PARTICULARLY WHEN WE HAVE MASS LARGE

[00:25:01]

CLINICS, UM, VACCINE WASTE WILL OCCUR FROM MECHANICAL FAILURE FROM SYRINGES, FROM, UH, POTENTIAL, UM, UM, CONTAMINATION THAT MIGHT HAPPEN TO THE NEEDLE.

UH, AND THOSE THINGS HAPPEN CAN HAPPEN DAILY AT A CLINIC.

AND, AND, UM, TYPICALLY IS SOMETHING THAT, UH, WE DO ANTICIPATE WHILE IT IS FEW.

USUALLY IT'S UNDER, YOU KNOW, FIVE OR SO PER CLINIC.

IT IS SOMETHING THAT WE, WE DO TAKE VERY SERIOUSLY ON THE OTHER PIECE WHERE WE DRAW A VACCINE AND WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH, UM, INDIVIDUALS TO COME TO THE CLINIC.

WE WORK WITH OUR OTHER CLINICS ACROSS THE CITY TO TRY TO PUSH THAT VACCINE TO ANOTHER LOCATION SO THAT WE CAN FIND ARMS TO PUT THE VACCINE IN, TO MINIMIZE AS MUCH, UH, WASTE AS POSSIBLE.

IF THERE'S JUST NOT SOMEONE TO PROVIDE THE VACCINE TO THAT BEING SAID, WE REALLY ARE ENCOURAGED.

THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES HAS, UM, EASED SOME ON, UM, IF YOU HAVE AN ARM AND YOU HAVEN'T, UM, OPENED UP A NEW VIAL, GO AHEAD AND DO THAT BECAUSE VACCINATING THAT ONE PERSON PROVIDING THEM WITH THAT PROTECTION IS MUCH MORE PRECIOUS AND MUCH MORE IMPORTANT IN PROTECTING THAT INDIVIDUAL AND THE COMMUNITY THEN POTENTIALLY WASTING ADDITIONAL VACCINE BECAUSE WE DIDN'T HAVE ADDITIONAL ARMS TO PROVIDE TO.

SO WE REALLY WORKED TOWARDS THAT.

UM, WE WORK VERY HARD NOT TO WASTE ANY VACCINE, BUT AS WE SEE LESS AND LESS, UM, DEMAND FOR VACCINE, UM, OUR FIRST PRIORITY IS GOING TO BE TO MAKE SURE WE VACCINATE ANYONE WHO IS WILLING AND READY TO GET THAT VACCINE AND NOT LET THE FACT THAT SOME VACCINE MAY GO TO WASTE VIA A BARRIER TO THEM GETTING THE VACCINE.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS KSAN.

WHAT'S YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE RIGHT NOW AS AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH? I'LL BE HAPPY TO, TO START THAT.

YEAH, I THINK THE, THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE AT THIS STAGE IS, IS THE THREAT OF A LONG TAIL TOWARDS HERD IMMUNITY.

UH, IT'S GETTING THAT LAST, UH, PERCENTAGE OF OUR POPULATION VACCINATED.

UH, WE'VE, WE'VE DONE A GREAT JOB.

UH, WE'RE SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER IN TERMS OF VACCINATION RATES IN THE STATE OF TEXAS.

UH, AND WE'RE HAPPY THAT THAT OUR COMMUNITY HAS BEEN ENGAGED IN, IN GETTING VACCINATED, BUT WE'VE GOT MORE WORK TO DO, UH, AS THE SCHOOL YEAR ENDS, AS SUMMER BEGINS AS PEOPLE, UH, GET THE SENSE THAT THINGS ARE BETTER BECAUSE THEY ARE, WE ALSO RISK THE FACT THAT, UM, THEY MAY BE LESS INCLINED TO GET THE VACCINE.

IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE CONTINUE THOSE EFFORTS.

WE CONTINUE SHARING THE, UH, THE EFFICACY AND THE SAFETY INFORMATION RELATED TO VACCINES SO THAT WE CAN TRULY GET TO HERD IMMUNITY, UH, AND DRIVE THOSE CASE NUMBERS DOWN TO ZERO.

AND I'LL ADD THAT, YOU KNOW, I THINK WE'RE AT A POINT NOW WHERE WE ARE TRYING TO RIGHT SIZE OUR OPERATIONS TO MAKE SURE THAT, UM, AS WE DEVOLVE SOME SERVICES, UM, WHETHER IT BE TESTING OR VACCINE OPERATIONS TRANSITION TO A MORE COMMUNITY AND MOBILE APPROACH, UH, THERE IS STILL A LOT OF FROM THE OUTSIDE.

IT MAY LOOK LIKE OUR WORK IS OVER, BUT IT REALLY IN REALITY IS NOT, WE ARE CONTINUING TO WORK.

YOU HAVE A S A STRONG PUBLIC HEALTH WORKFORCE THAT CONTINUES TO DO CASE INVESTIGATIONS AND TRACK DOWN OUTBREAKS AND CLUSTERS, AND ENSURE THAT OUR COMMUNITY IS SAFE.

UH, IF WE, IF WE IDENTIFY PEOPLE, MAKING SURE THEY GET INTO QUARANTINE OR ISOLATION SO THAT WE CAN, UH, YOU KNOW, WE CAN GET THIS BEHIND US.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE'RE WORKING VERY HARD ON, UH, EVALUATING AND ASSISTING THOSE WHO ARE BEGINNING TO REINTEGRATE BACK INTO THE WORKFORCE AND MAKING SURE, UH, THEY UNDERSTAND THE BEST WAY TO, UH, PROTECT THEIR WORKFORCE AS WELL.

BUT THERE'S A LOT OF WORK THAT WILL CONTINUE AS DR.

SCOTT SAYS, AS THIS TALE CONTINUES TO TRAIL OUT, UH, YOU KNOW, WE, WE STILL ARE DOING A LOT OF WORK THAT MAY GO UNNOTICED.

THANKS, JANET.

AND I'LL JUST JUMP IN THERE AND KIND OF PIGGYBACK OFF OF WHAT YOU AND DR.

ASCOT JUST SHARED.

UM, WHEN I THINK ABOUT OUR NEXT BIGGEST CHALLENGE, IT REALLY IS, UM, SYSTEMIC DISTRESSED AND IN HEALTHCARE IN OUR HISTORICALLY MARGINALIZED POPULATIONS.

AND UNFORTUNATELY, THAT'S WHERE WE SEEING, UM, THE GREATEST DISPARITIES WITH RESPECT TO, UH, VACCINE UPTAKE.

AND SO, YOU KNOW, EVERY DAY WE ARE WORKING WITH OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS AND INTERNALLY WITH LEADERSHIP TO, AS KATHY SAID, RIGHT SIZE OUR OPERATIONS, SO THAT WE ARE MEETING

[00:30:01]

THOSE NEEDS.

UM, THERE'S A, A SENSE OF SENSITIVITY WITH WHICH WE HAVE TO APPROACH THAT BECAUSE, UM, THAT HASN'T BEEN SEEN COMES FROM HISTORIC MISTRUST AND, AND, AND, AND MISUSE AND THOSE COMMUNITIES AND HOW WE APPROACH THAT AND HOW WE WORK TOGETHER WITH THEM TO, TO GET OVER THIS LAST TIME WILL BE IMPORTANT.

THANK YOU.

THE LAST QUESTION IS FROM K O P RADIO WITH THE REAL POTENTIAL THAT MANY UN-VACCINATED WILL LIKELY REMAIN.

SO WILL IT BE POSSIBLE TO REACH HERD IMMUNITY OVER A MUCH LONGER TIME AS THEY ARE EXPOSED AND THEREFORE BEING VACCINATED THROUGH EXPOSURE TO THE VIRUS? AGAIN, I THINK THERE'S DANGER IN, IN THAT APPROACH BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT THE REINFECTION RATES ARE MUCH HIGHER THAN THE BREAKTHROUGH INFECTION RATES.

UM, AND YOU KNOW, AGAIN, THE, THE CONCERN THAT WE HAVE REGARDING OVER RELAXATION OF POLICY RIGHT NOW IS THAT YOU ALLOW COVID-19 TO FESTER FOR LONGER.

NOW'S THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHOP THE HEAD OFF THE SNAKE.

IT'S TAP NOW THE TIME, THE OPPORTUNITY TO KILL IT.

AND IF WE MAINTAIN THE VIGILANCE A LITTLE BIT LONGER, IF WE CONTINUE A HARD PUSH ON VACCINATIONS, IF WE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT MASKING BY UNVACCINATED PEOPLE, BY PEOPLE IN PUBLIC TRANSIT, UH, UH, METHODS IN LARGE GATHERINGS, THEN WE CAN CUT THE HEAD OFF THE SNAKE.

OTHERWISE THIS MAY FESTER FOR A VERY LONG TIME, BUT I THINK WE'RE ALL BEST SERVED BY ENDING COVID-19 NOW.

UH, SO OUR HOPE IS THAT OUR COMMUNITY WILL COME TOGETHER, UH, CONTINUE TO ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER, TO GET VACCINATED AND TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT MASKING FOR UN-VACCINATED FOLKS.

THANK YOU, DR.

SCOTT, THANK YOU, SANGITA.

WE WILL NOW MOVE INTO OUR CLOSING REMARKS.

WE WILL START WITH DIRECTOR ADRIAN OR FIRST ADRIAN.

THANK YOU.

UM, AS I LISTENED TO THE CONVERSATION THAT WE HAD TODAY, I'M STRUCK BY WHAT THAT REALLY, IF YOU BOILED DOWN ON ALL OF THE DATA AND THE MEASURES OF SUCCESS, IT REALLY SPEAKS TO THE STRENGTH OF OUR COMMUNITY.

THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT WAS DONE TO US, OR FOR US, THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE DECIDED, AND WE STILL HAVE THE POWER OF THAT DECISION.

SO YOU CAN DECIDE TO WEAR YOUR MASK.

IF THAT'S WHERE YOU'RE COMFORTABLE, YOU CAN DECIDE TO GET VACCINATED, AND YOU CAN DECIDE TO SUPPORT OTHERS IN THAT EFFORT.

SO AS LONG AS WE KEEP MAKING GOOD DECISIONS, I'M COMPETENT THAT WE WILL GET TO WHERE WE NEED TO BE.

I WOULD BE REMISS IF I DID NOT ACKNOWLEDGE THAT PART OF, UM, THE ABILITY FOR OUR COMMUNITY TO COME TOGETHER IS HAVING ACCESS TO GOOD INFORMATION AND SOUND ADVICE.

AND SO I'D LIKE TO THANK DR.

ESCALADE FOR HIS SERVICE OVER THESE LONG MONTHS.

UM, YOU HAVE BEEN THE VOICE OF REASON AND IN MANY CONVERSATIONS FOR US INTERNALLY AS A CITY, AND I KNOW FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

AND SO I JUST THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, ADRIAN.

UH, YOU KNOW, THIS IS MY LAST, UH, PRESS BRIEFING.

SO I AGAIN APPRECIATE THE PARTNERSHIP, UH, WITH ALL OF YOU, BUT, BUT WITH OUR MEDIA AS WELL, UH, I APPRECIATE THE, THE APPROACH THAT YOU ALL HAVE TAKEN.

UM, AND, UH, I THINK IT CERTAINLY HAS BEEN A PART OF, OF OUR SUCCESS HAS BEEN THAT INTERACTION WITH THE MEDIA.

SO MY MANY THANKS FOR THAT.

UM, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE ASK ABOUT, ABOUT MASKING AND DISTANCING AND, YOU KNOW, IS IT TOO BURDENSOME? AND DOES IT WORK? IT HAS WORKED IN OUR CASE.

FATALITY RATE IS AMONGST THE LOWEST OF ANY CITY IN THE UNITED STATES, PEOPLE ASK, WELL, WHAT ABOUT THE ECONOMIC IMPACT? OUR UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS AMONG THE LOWEST IN THE UNITED STATES.

WHAT THAT TELLS ME IS THAT WE FOUND THE RIGHT BALANCE.

AND IF WE CONTINUE THAT BALANCE, IF WE CONTINUE TO PUSH FOR VACCINATIONS, IF WE CONTINUE TO MASK IN PUBLIC PLACES WHERE PEOPLE WHO WERE UNVACCINATED OR PARTIALLY VACCINATED NOW A LITTLE BIT LONGER, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ANOTHER TWO TO FOUR WEEKS.

WE CAN KILL THE SNAKE.

WE CAN END THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND WE CAN ALL GET BACK TO NORMAL.

YES, THERE'S GOING TO BE SOME ONGOING RISK FOR YOUNG SCHOOL, AGE

[00:35:01]

CHILDREN, BUT FOR ADULTS, UH, INDIVIDUALS 12 AND OLDER, UH, WE'RE, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A VERY QUICK, UH, PROGRESSION TO ZERO CASES.

UH, SO I HOPE THAT OUR COMMUNITY WILL CONTINUE TO STAY IN THE FIGHT.

UH, I HOPE THAT WE WILL CONTINUE TO BE A MODEL FOR OTHER CITIES IN THE UNITED STATES.

AND I HOPE THAT ONCE WE GET PAST COVID HERE, THAT THAT SENSE OF COMMUNITY WILL TRANSITION TO SUPPORT THE EFFORT ACROSS THE GLOBE, UH, WHICH IS MUCH, MUCH NEEDED FOR US TO REALLY, UH, CONQUER COVID-19 WITH NO, TURN IT OVER TO JEN.

THANKS.

AND I TOO WOULD LIKE TO THANK DR.

S GOD, HE'S BEEN A ROCK FOR US HERE AT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, AND, UH, WE HAVE VALUED HIS, UH, EXPERIENCE AND HIS DECISION-MAKING AND, UH, UH, YOU KNOW, THERE WERE A LOT OF, UH, A LOT OF, UH, HURDLES THAT WE HAD TO OVERCOME OVER THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF.

SO I I'VE APPRECIATED THAT HE HAS BEEN HERE FOR US AND BEEN THAT SUPPORT FOR US.

AND WITH THAT, YOU KNOW, WE ARE ON OUR ROAD TO RECOVERY AND, YOU KNOW, WE WILL CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN OUR PUBLIC HEALTH EPIDEMIOLOGIC OPERATIONS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE, UH, GETTING THE BEST INFORMATION WE CAN ABOUT WHAT'S CIRCULATING IN OUR COMMUNITIES SO THAT WE CAN, AGAIN, TAMP OUT, UH COVID FOR GOOD.

AND, UH, UM, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, YOU KNOW, VACCINES ARE SAVING LIVES.

IT'S IMPORTANT THAT IF YOU HAVE ANY RESERVATIONS THAT YOU EDUCATE YOURSELF AND TRY TO GET VACCINATED, UH, IF NOT FOR YOURSELF, FOR SOMEONE WHO MAY BE IN YOUR FAMILY, WHO, OR SOMEBODY WHO'S IMMUNOCOMPROMISED THAT YOU MAY ENCOUNTER, UM, YOU KNOW, WE ALL WANT TO GET BACK TO NORMAL, AND I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE, THE BEST WAYS TO DO IT.

UH, AND IF AS, AS ADRIAN MENTIONED EARLIER, IF YOU WANT TO WEAR A MASK, WEAR YOUR MASK, I PLAN ON WEARING MY MASK STILL WHEN I GO OUT, BECAUSE I HAVE A LOVED ONE AT HOME WHO I AM TRYING TO PROTECT AND CONTINUE TO PROTECT.

SO, UM, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, I, I ENCOURAGE PEOPLE, STRONGLY ENCOURAGE THEM TO GET VACCINATED SO THAT WE CAN, UH, GET BACK TO AUSTIN BEING AS WEIRD AS POSSIBLE, I GUESS.

AND I JUST HAVE TO ECHO, UM, BOTH DIRECTOR STIRRUP AND, UM, JANET'S, UM, REALLY WORDS OF THANKS TO DR.

S SCOTT.

UM, HE'S BEEN A CORNERSTONE IN THIS ENTIRE RESPONSE AND BEEN SO, UH, IMPORTANT IN JUST LEADING OUR LOCAL EFFORT.

AND, UM, IT, UH, WAS A ASK THAT CAME AT A TIME WHERE WE DIDN'T HAVE A HEALTH DIRECTOR OF MEDICAL DIRECTOR HEALTH AUTHORITY, AND HE WAS WILLING TO STEP UP AND TOOK IT AND HAS BEEN AN INCREDIBLE LEADER.

AND JUST TO THANK HIM FOR HIS, UM, AND CREDIBLE LEADERSHIP DURING THIS TIME.

AND AS WE LOOK INTO THIS NEXT WEEKEND, AND AS WE LOOK TO, UH, THE SUMMER, I JUST, AGAIN, ECHOING EVERYONE ELSE SAYING, PLEASE GET YOUR VACCINE, PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH.

UM, KNOW THAT VACCINE IS READILY AVAILABLE IN LOTS OF DIFFERENT OUTLETS.

UM, YOU CAN GET IT ON THE WEEKEND.

YOU CAN GET IT IN THE EVENING, GET IN THE MORNING.

THERE'S JUST SO MANY PLACES YOU CAN GET YOUR VACCINE.

SO PLEASE CHECK IT OUT.

SEE YOUR CHURCH MAY BE OFFERING IT.

YOUR SCHOOL MAY BE OFFERING IT JUST YOUR, IS IT A PLACE OF WORK THERE'S VACCINE IN LOTS OF DIFFERENT PLACES.

SO PLEASE CHECK TO SEE WHERE YOU CAN GET YOUR VACCINE.

IT'S FREE.

UM, YOU DON'T HAVE TO PROVIDE INSURANCE.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOW ANY ID.

YOU JUST NEED TO GO GET THAT VACCINE, AND I WISH YOU A HAPPY, GREAT WEEKEND.

AND, UM, LET'S ALL JUST KEEP TAKING CARE OF EACH OTHER.

THANK YOU, AUSTIN.

THANK YOU, CASSANDRA.

THAT CONCLUDES OUR MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR TODAY.

THANKS TO INTERIM APH DIRECTOR, ADRIAN STIRRUP, DR.

MARK S. SCOTT, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JANET PICHET, CASSANDRA DAILYOM APH CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER FOR DISEASE PREVENTION AND HEALTH PROMOTION DIVISION AND TO OUR POOL REPORTER SANGEETA MEN AND FROM KATIE.

THANKS FOR JOINING US AND HAVE A SAFE WEEKEND.



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