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[00:00:09]

GOOD MORNING

[COVID-19: Press Q & A]

AND HAPPY FRIDAY, EVERYONE.

I'M MATT, LAURA PIO FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

AND I AM THE MODERATOR FOR TODAY'S MEDIA AVAILABILITY, SPANISH INTERPRETATION AS AVAILABLE ON ATX N THREE.

WE'LL BEGIN WITH UPDATES FROM OUR PANEL.

THAT INCLUDES DR.

WALKS AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY HEALTH AUTHORITY, INTERIM AUSTIN, PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR, ADRIAN STIRRUP, APH, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JANET PRESET, AND APH CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER FOR DISEASE PREVENTION AND HEALTH PROMOTION, CASSIE DALIAN WE'LL THEN OPEN IT UP TO OUR POLL REPORTER FROM CBS AUSTIN, WHO WILL ASK QUESTIONS ON BEHALF OF THE MEDIA WITH THAT, I'LL TURN IT OVER TO DR.

WACHS TO GET THINGS STARTED.

GOOD MORNING, AUSTIN.

UM, WE'RE HERE TO SAY A BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE FOR ALL THEIR HARD WORK IN THESE LAST FEW MONTHS TO GET US TO WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW, WE'RE IN STAGE FOUR.

AND THAT IS A MILESTONE THAT WE'VE GOTTEN TO WITH PEOPLE INCREASING THEIR USE OF MASKING SOCIAL DISTANCING AND STAYING HOME WHEN THEY WERE SICK.

AND OF COURSE, EVERYBODY GETTING OUT THERE TO GET US TO A 70% LEVEL OF THOSE WHO ARE ELIGIBLE BEING FULLY VACCINATED.

AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT WE'RE REALLY EXCITED TO REPORT.

WE HAVE, UH, SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO THIS WEEKEND, AND THAT IS THAT WITH, UH, THE MITIGATION PLAN THAT ACL HAS PRESENTED.

AND IF THAT'S FOLLOWED WHERE, UH, PEOPLE HAVE A NEGATIVE TEST WITHIN 72 HOURS, OR THEY HAVE PROOF OF VACCINATION OR PAYING ALLOWED ENTRY INTO THE FESTIVAL GROUNDS, WE'RE ANTICIPATING THAT WE SHOULD HAVE A LOW NUMBER OF COVID CASES THAT RESULT FROM THIS LARGE GATHERING EVENT THAT WE ARE HAVING, UH, THIS WEEKEND AND NEXT WEEKEND.

SO, UM, AGAIN, WE DON'T WANT TO TAKE OUR FOOT OFF THE BRAKE AS FAR AS WE DO WANT TO KEEP PEOPLE WEARING MASKS AND SOCIALLY DISTANCING AND STAYING HOME WHEN THEY'RE SICK AND WE NEED TO KEEP, UH, THE MOMENTUM GOING FORWARD TO GET PEOPLE VACCINATED WHO ARE NOT FULLY PROTECTED BY THE VACCINE.

AND IF YOU'RE VACCINATED AND YOU KNOW, SOME WOMEN WHO'S NOT PLEASE GO AND REACH OUT TO THEM AND ASK THEM TO GO AND GET VACCINATED.

IT'S A BALANCING ACT.

AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK AT THE SCIENCE AND DECIDE WHAT OUR NEXT STEPS ARE.

AND, UM, I'M GOING TO PASS THIS ON TO OUR DIRECTORS SO THAT SHE CAN TELL YOU HOW WE'RE GOING TO GO ABOUT THAT.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, DR.

WACHS, YOU ARE SO RIGHT.

UM, RAISING THE ROOF OVER, REACHING THAT 70% MARK.

UM, WE'RE MAKING GREAT STRIDES AS A COMMUNITY.

WE'RE IN STAGE FOUR, UH, BUT THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO GIVE UP.

WE HAVE THE KEY, KEEP THE PEDAL TO THE METAL AND STAY STRONG IN OUR COURSE AND BECAUSE THE COMMUNITY HAS RESPONDED SO WELL, AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH IS RIGHT THERE WITH YOU.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT OPERATIONS IN OUR COMMUNITY TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE HAS ACCESS TO VACCINE AND THAT ONCE MONTH.

AND IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT VACCINE, WE'RE GOING TO BE IN THE COMMUNITY SO WE CAN PROVIDE ANY INFORMATION AND DIRECT YOU TO RESOURCES THAT WILL HELP YOU MAKE THE BEST CHOICE TO KEEP YOU IN YOUR FAMILY SAFE.

SO WE'RE, WE'RE WITH YOU WITH VACCINES.

WE'RE, WE'RE ALSO WITH YOU WITH TESTING.

THIS IS THE TIME OF RUNNY NOSES AND SNIFFLES, AND WE'RE NOT SURE IF IT'S DUE TO HAY FEVER COVID OR FLU, BUT YOU CAN BE SURE YOU CAN VISIT US AT ONE OF OUR TESTING SITES.

NOT ONLY DO WE HAVE STATIC TESTING AT ST.

JOHN'S AND AT, UM, DOVE SPRINGS, BUT WE CAN ALSO COME TO YOUR HOME IF YOU'RE UNABLE TO GET TO US THE MOST IMPORTANT NUMBER THAT YOU CAN REMEMBER IS 3 1 1 DURING THE SEASON, IF YOU CALL 3, 1, 1, THEY'LL CONNECT YOU TO OUR TESTING SERVICES, AS WELL AS OUR VACCINATION SERVICES.

AND IN ADDITION TO THOSE FRONT FACING SERVICES THAT WE ARE PUTTING INTO PLACE TO KEEP YOU GUYS SAFE.

UM, WE ARE IN THE BACKGROUND WORKING ON PROTECTING OURSELVES, UM, IN THE EVENT OF ANOTHER SURGE, WORKING WITH OUR HOSPITAL PARTNERS AND OTHER VACCINE PROVIDERS TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR COMMUNITY HAS ACCESS TO THE BEST CARE POSSIBLE SO THAT WE CAN GET THROUGH THIS THING.

AND WITH THAT, I'LL PASS IT ON TO JANET BECAUSE SHIT, GOOD MORNING.

UM, AS I MENTIONED A FEW WEEKS AGO, UH, WE ARE STARTING TO SEE SOME POSITIVE INDICATORS AND CONTINUE TO SEE POSITIVE INDICATORS, UH, IN OUR COMMUNITY AND ALSO THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES.

UH, AS FAR AS WE'RE SEEING DECREASING NUMBER OF CASES, WE'RE SEEING DECREASES IN HOSPITALIZATIONS, WE'RE EVEN SEEING DECREASES IN OUR TESTING DEMAND.

UM, BUT WE DO HAVE THOSE ASSETS, AS ADRIAN

[00:05:01]

MENTIONED AVAILABLE TO US TO USE, UM, OUR, OUR, OUR MAIN POINT IS WE ENTER, UH, THIS VERY CRITICAL TIME PERIOD.

AND THAT IS WE'RE ABOUT TO ENTER COLD AND FLU SEASON.

AND SO AS DR.

WACHS AND ADRIAN HAVE MENTIONED, WE NEED TO REMAIN VIGILANT.

IT'S ABOUT PREVENTION AND VIGILANCE RIGHT NOW.

UM, AGAIN, WE'RE SEVEN WEEKS FROM THANKSGIVING, AND I KNOW EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE ABLE TO ENJOY THE HOLIDAY SEASON AS FAST APPROACHES.

AND ONE WAY TO DO THAT IS TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE MAKING EVERY EFFORT TO CONTINUE TO PROTECT YOURSELF.

IF FOR SOME REASON YOU ARE EXPOSED TO COVID AND YOU GET COVID AND IT REQUIRES YOU TO GO INTO THE HOSPITAL, UH, AND REQUIRES, YOU KNOW, INTENSIVE CARE SUPPORT.

YOU'RE GOING TO BE IN THE HOSPITAL FOR THE LONG HAUL.

SO THE GOAL WAS NOT TO GET TO THE HOSPITAL.

THE GOAL IS TO, TO NOT GET COVID.

AND THE WAY YOU DO THAT IS REMAINING VIGILANT DURING THIS VERY CRUCIAL TIME PERIOD.

AND THAT'S WEARING YOUR MASK, GETTING VACCINATED, SOCIALLY DISTANCING, AND, YOU KNOW, UM, AND IF YOU'RE SICK, EVEN WITH MILD SYMPTOMS THAT YOU MAY THINK ARE ALLERGIC IN NATURE, AS WE ENTER EVEN CEDAR FEVER SEASON, YOU NEED TO STAY HOME IF YOU'RE SICK, UH, BECAUSE YOU COULD BE INFECTIOUS.

AND, AND WE HAVE SEEN CASE AFTER CASE WHERE PEOPLE, UH, HAD ILLNESS AND HE THOUGHT IT WAS ALLERGIES, BUT IT WAS COVID.

SO, UH, AGAIN, STAY SAFE AND I'LL, I'LL, UH, TURN IT OVER TO CATHY TO, TO WRAP UP BEFORE QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU, JANET.

UM, AND THANK YOU EVERYBODY FOR COMING OUT TODAY.

WE ARE, UM, AGAIN, CONGRATULATING OUR COMMUNITY FOR BEING SO, UH, PROGRESSIVE WITH, UM, WORKING ON GETTING THIS VACCINE ROLLED OUT.

UM, WE AGAIN HAVE REACHED THAT 71% FOR THE ENTIRE POPULATION BEING VACCINATED.

UM, BUT THERE'S STILL WORK TO DO.

WE STILL HAVE OVER 300,000 INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE ELIGIBLE FOR VACCINE THAT HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED.

AND SO THAT'S A REALLY IMPORTANT SPACE THAT WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY'RE PROTECTED, UM, AND ENSURE THAT THEY HAVE ACCESS TO VACCINE.

SO WE'RE WORKING DILIGENTLY TO HELP PROVIDE SUPPORT SO THAT ANYONE WHO NEEDS VACCINE HAS ACCESS AND CAN, AND CAN GET THAT TAKEN CARE OF.

AGAIN, IT'S, WE'RE SEEING NEW PHASES COMING OUT.

WE'VE SEEN THIRD DOSES, UH, BEING RECOMMENDED FOR ANYONE WHO'S IMMUNOCOMPROMISED.

IF YOU MEET THAT CRITERIA FOR ONE OF THE PFIZER OR MODERNA MRMA BOOSTER, UM, THIRD DOSE VACCINES, YOU SHOULD SEEK THAT VACCINE TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE FULLY PROTECTED.

IF YOU MEET THAT IMMUNE COMPROMISE CRITERIA REGARDING BOOSTERS FOR PFIZER, WE DO WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT, UM, THE ANYONE THAT HAS RECEIVED THE FIRST AND SECOND DOSE OF PFIZER AND ARE AT SIX MONTHS AND ARE WITHIN THE CRITERIA THAT HAS BEEN RECOMMENDED BY THE FDA THAT YOU SEEK THAT VACCINE AS WELL.

WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE THAT FULL PROTECTION.

UM, WE KNOW THAT IMMUNITY STARTS TO WANE OVER TIME.

AND SO WE ENCOURAGE FOLKS IF YOU MEET THAT CRITERIA THAT YOU SEEK THAT PFIZER BOOSTER SO THAT YOU CAN HAVE ASSURANCE THAT YOU HAVE FULL PROTECTION AND TO HELP US REDUCE FURTHER SPREAD AND REDUCE A POTENTIAL, UH, UH, SECOND, ANOTHER WAVE OF SURGE.

AND FINALLY IT IS FLU SEASON.

AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYONE IN THE MONTH OF OCTOBER IS, UM, SEEKING THAT FLU SHOT GETS VACCINATED.

AND IF YOU HAVE INDIVIDUALS IN YOUR FAMILY OR COMMUNITY WHO, YOU KNOW, STILL NEEDS THAT COVID VACCINE, THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO ENCOURAGE THOSE WHO HAVEN'T GOTTEN THEIR COVID VACCINE TO GET THE COVID SHOT AND TO GET THEIR FLU SHOT.

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

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

THIS IS BETTY CROSS FROM CBS, AUSTIN, AND HAPPY TO BE WITH YOU THIS MORNING.

AND I'M SURE ALL OF YOU ALL KNOW, BUT ACL FEST BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER IS NOT GOING TO BE OPENING AT SKATES UNTIL THREE O'CLOCK TODAY.

UM, BUT IT SEEMS LIKE IT'S DRYING OUT.

SO HOPEFULLY EVERYTHING WILL GET RIGHT BACK ON SCHEDULE.

AFTER THAT, MY FIRST QUESTION IS ABOUT ACL AND IT'S HOW WILL AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH BE MONITORING THE ACL MUSIC FESTIVAL TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH THE HEALTH PLAN THAT WAS APPROVED BY THE CITY? WE ARE GOING TO BE IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH THE ACL THEN ORGANIZERS AND OUR EVENTS TEAM.

WE'LL BE MONITORING THE SITUATION ON THE GROUND AT THE FESTIVAL GROUNDS, AND I'LL PASS IT OVER TO OUR DIRECTOR TO ELABORATE FURTHER.

UM, JOHN MIKE MOMENT FOR YOU, DR.

WATSON, NOT TOO MUCH MORE TO ADD TO THAT.

UH, WE'VE BEEN WORKING

[00:10:01]

DILIGENTLY WITH THE ORGANIZERS OF ACO.

UM, WE REFERENCED, CHECKED, UM, OTHER CITIES WHERE THEY'VE HELD LARGE FESTIVALS.

UM, THERE WAS ONE PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR THAT DID A SECRET SHOPPER OF THE EVENT AND FOUND EVERYTHING TO BE IN ORDER NOT SAYING THAT WE WON'T DO THAT AS WELL, BUT WE HAVE THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF CONFIDENCE THAT THE PLAN THAT HAS BEEN PUT FORWARD WILL BE FOLLOWED.

AND WE ALSO KNOW THAT OUR COMMUNITY HAS RESPONDED, UM, TO, UM, MITIGATION MEASURES BEING IN PLACE.

AND SO WE FULLY EXPECT THAT EVERYONE WILL HAVE A GREAT AND SAFE ACL SEASON.

THE NEXT QUESTION, OH, I'M SORRY.

GO AHEAD, JEN.

I WAS JUST GOING TO SAY, YOU KNOW, UM, THE EPIDEMIOLOGIST STAFF AT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, UM, WE'RE IN THE BUSINESS OF, YOU KNOW, GIVING CASE INVESTIGATION AND, UH, INVESTIGATING ANY CLUSTERS OR OUTBREAKS.

AND SO THEY ARE AWARE THAT ACO IS OCCURRING.

WE'RE GOING TO BE MONITORING THE DATA VERY CLOSELY TO DETERMINE IF WE ARE SEEING ANY TYPES OF CLUSTERING OR EVENTS THAT MAY OCCUR THAT MIGHT BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE EVENT AT ALL.

UM, AND HOPEFULLY IF WE ARE ABLE TO, IF WE DO SEE SOMETHING, IT WILL HELP US INFORM, UH, UH, THE DIRECTOR AND DR.

WACHS AND THE EVENT PLANNERS, UH, TO, YOU KNOW, IMPLEMENT ANY KIND OF MEDICATION MEASURES THAT MAY RESULT FROM THAT INFORMATION.

THANK YOU.

AND THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE STATESMAN DR.

WALKS, HOW SOON DO YOU PREDICT THE AUSTIN AREA? COULD INTERSTAGE THREE OF THE RISK-BASED GUIDELINES AND WHAT RECOMMENDATIONS WILL BE LIFTED UNDER THAT STAGE? WE'RE STILL MONITORING THE SCIENCE.

UM, DELTA'S A GAME CHANGER WE'VE KNOW THAT IT GIVES, UM, UH, TRANSMITS OR SPREADS LOTS FASTER IN OUR COMMUNITY.

UM, WE GOT FROM, UH, UH, STAGING, UM, PERSPECTIVE FROM ONE POINT TO THE OTHER IN THREE WEEKS, THREE TO FOUR WEEKS WITH THE DELTA VARIANT AND IN PREVIOUS, UM, SURGES AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS YEAR, FOR INSTANCE, IT TOOK 10 WEEKS TO GO TO, TO REACH THAT POINT FROM A STAGING PERSPECTIVE.

SO WE ARE LOOKING AT THE MODELING, WE'RE LOOKING AT THE SCIENCE AND WE ARE GOING TO BE, UM, ASSESSING WHAT, AND IF ANY CHANGES NEED TO BE MADE, UM, BEFORE WE MAKE OUR NEXT MOVE, UM, AS WITH REGARDS TO STAGING.

SO MORE TO COME ON THAT, AND WE'LL BE SURE TO GET THE WORD OUT AND, AND FULLY EXPLAIN ANY CHANGES THAT WE MAKE IF WE INDEED MAKE ANY CHANGES.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KUT, IS THERE KNOWLEDGE AS TO WHAT EXTENT THE DECREASING HOSPITALIZATION IN CASE NUMBERS ARE ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE NATURE OF THE DELTA VARIANT, AS OPPOSED TO MITIGATION EFFORTS SUCH AS MASKING AND VACCINES, THE DECREASE IN CASE NUMBERS THAT WE'RE SAYING ARE ATTRIBUTABLE TO MASKING SOCIAL DISTANCING PEOPLE, STAYING HOME WHEN THEY'RE SICK, UM, THE USE OF MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY THERAPY IN THOSE WHO WERE ELIGIBLE FOR THAT TREATMENT, UM, ALSO REDUCED THE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE THAT WERE HOSPITALIZED IN OUR HOSPITALS AND LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST THE GREAT EFFORTS THAT WERE TAKEN BY OUR COMMUNITY AND BY OUR VACCINE COLLABORATIVE, UM, VACCINE PROVIDERS ALL OVER OUR COUNTY WHO GOT US TO THE 71% MARK.

SO THE DELTA VARIANT IS A GAME CHANGER IN THAT IT SPREADS RAPIDLY CAUSES MORE SEVERE DISEASE, BUT WE WON AS A COMMUNITY.

WE DID WHAT IT TOOK TO GET US TO WHERE WE ARE NOW, UM, BETTER VACCINE RATES AND DECREASE CASE NUMBERS.

AND I'LL ADD ON TO THAT.

UM, I WILL SAY THAT, YOU KNOW, AS FAR AS DELTA GOES, YOU KNOW, UH, ONCE AGAIN, I, I THINK WE, WE'VE LEARNED THROUGHOUT THIS PANDEMIC THAT MASKING REALLY DOES WORK.

AND, UH, IN SCHOOL SITUATIONS WHERE WE HAVE AN UN-VACCINATED POPULATION, LARGELY, UH, YOU KNOW, IN, IN SETTINGS WHERE MASKING WAS IMPLEMENTED, WE HAVE MUCH LOWER INCIDENT RATE OF, UH COVID IN THOSE SITUATIONS COMPARED TO SCHOOLS THAT DIDN'T REQUIRE MASKING.

UM, YOU KNOW, THE OTHER GAME CHANGER BASED ON HOSPITALIZATION INFORMATION IS THAT THOSE PEOPLE THAT

[00:15:01]

ARE IN THE HOSPITAL ARE, AND THAT ARE SUFFERING SEVERE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS ILLNESS ARE THOSE WHO ARE LARGELY UN-VACCINATED.

AND SO IT JUST DRIVES HOME THAT PREVENTION MESSAGE THAT WE'VE BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG.

AND THAT IS, YOU KNOW, THE GOAL HERE IS PREVENTING GETTING THIS DISEASE.

AND THE BEST WAY TO DO THAT IS ONCE YOU GET VACCINATED AND TO WEAR YOUR MASK, AND THREE, IF YOU'RE SICK, STAY HOME, THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KX SAN AND WHAT AREAS AND FROM WHAT EVENTS OR SCHOOLS ARE YOU ALL SEEING CLUSTERS OF COVID-19 CASES RIGHT NOW? SO, UM, I WOULD SAY, YOU KNOW, WE ARE, WE HAVE, YOU KNOW, WE'RE FOLLOWING CLUSTERS THAT ARE OCCURRING IN THE SCHOOL SETTING.

UH, WE'RE WORKING VERY CLOSELY WITH THE SCHOOLS, UH, TO FOLLOW UP ON, ON SCHOOL CLUSTERS.

UH, WE FOLLOW LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES AS WELL.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE HAD A SITUATION WHERE WE HAD WIDESPREAD COMMUNITY CONTACT, SO, UH, UH, WE'RE JUST, WE WERE VARIED IN CASES FOR A PERIOD OF TIME.

SO, UM, YOU KNOW, WE DID TRY TO FOCUS ON, UH, STOPPING DISEASE SPREAD AND CLUSTER SITUATIONS, BUT I WOULD SAY MOST OF IT, YOU KNOW, MOST OF OUR FOCUS OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS HAS BEEN A RESULT OF, UH, UH, CLUSTERS ASSOCIATED WITH, UH, THE SCHOOL SETTING.

CURRENTLY.

I'LL JUST FOLLOW UP WITH THAT JANET VISIT WITH THE SAME EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES THAT WE SAW EARLIER.

YES, WE'VE SEEN SOME EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES, BUT NOT AS MUCH.

I THINK WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR REALLY KIND OF DROVE HOME TO SCHOOL ATHLETICS IN SCHOOLS, UH, THAT THERE IS TRANSMISSION.

WE HAVE SEEN SOME THAT HAVE BEEN MAYBE RELATED TO, UH, UH, YOU KNOW, SCHOOL GATHERINGS OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL, THAT PEOPLE ARE STILL, UM, SOCIALIZING AND INTERACTING.

BUT, UM, AGAIN, YOU KNOW, IT'S REALLY NOT ANYTHING NEW, IT'S SORT OF THE SAME EXPOSURES AND SCENARIOS.

I THINK, UM, YOU KNOW, AS LONG AS PEOPLE ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING TO PREVENT EXPOSING THEMSELVES, I THINK THEY CAN PREVENT THE CLUSTER.

BUT, YOU KNOW, WE HAD A PRETTY STARK INCREASE, WHICH MADE, UH, SOME OF OUR INVESTIGATION A LITTLE BIT CHALLENGING TO LOOK AT CLUSTERS.

UH, BUT, BUT YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU HAVE WIDESPREAD COMMUNITY CONTACT, WE TRIED TO TEND TO FOCUS AND PRIORITIZE CASES AND LOOK AT THOSE BIG CLUSTERS AND OUTBREAKS.

AND I'LL JUST ADD ON TO JANA THAT BECAUSE SCHOOL IS A CONGREGATE SETTING AND WE REOPENED WITH, I'M NOT A UNIVERSAL MASKING POLICY INDOORS IN WHICH IS IN ALIGNMENT WITH WHAT THE CDC AND THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS RECOMMENDED.

WE ARE SEEING THIS YEAR, FAR MORE CASES DEVELOPING IN THE CLASSROOM SETTING, WHERE BEFORE LAST IN THE LAST YEAR'S NUMBERS WE WERE SEEING, AS YOU POINTED OUT JANET, UM, MORE CASES DEVELOPING IN AFTERSCHOOL AND, UM, ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES.

SO MASKING REALLY IS IMPORTANT.

UM, AND WHEN WE LOOK AT OUR MASK USAGE AND THE INCREASE OF THAT, THAT OCCURRED AS WE WENT UP IN STAGES TO GET TO STAGE FIVE, WE SAW AN INCREASE IN THE USE OF MASK AND A DECREASE IN CASE NUMBERS, WHICH AGAIN GOES TO THE POINT THAT JANET BROUGHT UP, WHICH IS THAT MASK WORK TO DECREASE THE SPREAD.

AND AS WE KNOW, VACCINATIONS HELP DECREASE INFECTIONS.

SO, UM, MASKING REALLY AS AN IMPORTANT PIECE THAT NEEDS TO BE ENCOURAGED AND CONTINUED AS WE GO INTO THIS NEXT PHASE OF, UM, WATCHING AND BEING ON TOP OF SURVEILLANCE OF COVID-19 AND THE FLU.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM K O P M THE MERCH PILL LIKE MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY INJECTIONS BEFORE IT TREATS THE INFECTED AND DOES NOT PREVENT COVID.

DOES THIS BREAKTHROUGH WORK AGAINST THE DIFFICULT PUSH TO VACCINATE? AND THE NEXT QUESTION, WILL IT OVER TIME HELP LEAD TO HERD IMMUNITY, VACCINES, UH, THE WAY THAT WE, UH, COMBAT THIS VIRUS BY PROTECTING OURSELVES FROM INFECTION AND SO TREATMENT, UM, IS JUST THAT IT'S TREATMENT, BUT OUR GOAL IS TO WIN AND WE WIN BY BECOMING VACCINATED

[00:20:01]

AND PROTECTED WITH IMMUNITY.

I JUST WANT TO ADD ON, OH, SORRY.

I JUST WANT TO ADD ON THAT.

IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT, UH, TO BE PROACTIVE ABOUT YOUR HEALTH, UM, AND VACCINES ARE THAT, UM, OPPORTUNITY TO, UH, BEFORE YOU'RE AT RISK OF, OF, UH, GETTING THAT INFECTION, UH, HAVING THAT IMMUNITY BUILT SO THAT IF YOU ARE EXPOSED THAT YOU HAVE THAT PROTECTION, UM, NO ONE LIKES TO HAVE TO TAKE MEDS, UH, WHEN THEY'RE SICK.

UM, AND SO REALLY IF YOU HAVE THAT VACCINE THAT HELPS TO STAVE THAT OFF AND TO GIVE YOU THAT PROTECTION, THAT YOU REALLY NEED TO, UM, PROTECT YOURSELF AND TO AVOID ANY SEVERE ILLNESS, BUT IN PARTICULAR, IN ANY, UM, POTENTIAL LONG-TERM COMPLICATIONS THAT CAN HAPPEN BECAUSE YOU CONTRACTED THE VIRUS WITH A VACCINE COULD HAVE PROTECTED YOU, ADRIAN, WERE YOU GOING TO ADD ANYTHING? CASSIE BEAT ME TO IT JUST VACCINES ARE THE WAY TO GO PREVENTION, PREVENTION, PREVENTION.

YOU GOT IT.

THANK YOU.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KVU FLU SEASON IS HERE AND DOCTORS ARE ENCOURAGING.

THE FLU SHOT HAS AM ANTI COVID VACCINE NARRATIVE HURT THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE SEEKING OTHER VACCINES, LIKE FOR THE FLU.

UM, WE, YOU KNOW, CONTINUE TO PROVIDE FLU AND WE ARE REALLY CONNECTING FLU VACCINE OPPORTUNITIES WITH OUR COVID VACCINE, UM, CLINICS, UM, AND WANTING TO MAKE SURE THAT IT'S AMPLY AVAILABLE TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE WHO IS SEEKING A FLU VACCINE.

IT'S REALLY TOO EARLY TO TELL FLU VACCINE PUSHES THROUGH THE MONTH OF OCTOBER AND IN NOVEMBER.

AND SO AS WE PUSH FLU VACCINE, WE'LL KIND OF WE'LL ASSESS THAT, UH, FLU VACCINE UPTAKE.

UH, WE DO, WE DO KNOW FROM LAST YEAR, UH, WE HAD A REALLY GOOD, UM, UH, FLU VACCINE UPTAKE, UH, AMONG OUR COMMUNITY.

AND SO WE'RE HOPING THAT PEOPLE WHO GOT VACCINATED LAST YEAR WILL SEEK THE VACCINE THIS YEAR AND WE'LL CONTINUE TO ENCOURAGE THEIR LOVED ONES IN ANYONE ELIGIBLE TO GET VACCINATED.

BECAUSE LAST YEAR WE SAW VERY LITTLE FLU AND WE KNOW THAT'S ATTRIBUTED TO VACCINE AND ALSO ALL THE OTHER INFECTION CONTROL MITIGATION MEASURES THAT WE HAD IN PLACE.

SO WE'RE HOPEFUL THAT EVERYONE WILL GET THEIR FLU VACCINE AND GET THEIR COVID VACCINE.

IF YOU'RE SEEKING A FLU VACCINE, YOU CAN DEFINITELY CONTACT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH AND IDENTIFY AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET THE VACCINE AS WELL.

OKAY.

THAT IS THE END OF OUR FIRST QUESTION.

SO WE'LL START BACK UP WITH QUESTION TWO.

AND IT'S COMING FROM CBS, AUSTIN, HOW HAS BOOSTER SHOT DISTRIBUTION PROGRESSING FOR APH? HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF ADMINISTERED DOSES? YEAH, THAT'S A REALLY GREAT QUESTION.

SO WE HAVE SEEN ACROSS TRAVIS COUNTY AS A WHOLE, AND THERE ARE MANY PROVIDERS THAT ARE PROVIDING THIRD DOSES AND BOOSTER.

AND SO WE'VE SEEN OVER 26,000, BUT THIRD DOSE AND BOOSTER VACCINES, UH, PROVIDED ACROSS THE COUNTY THROUGH MULTIPLE DIFFERENT PROVIDERS.

AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH IS ALSO ADMINISTERING BOOSTERS AND WE'RE SEEING, UH, A NICE UPTAKE AND IT'S NOT THE MAJORITY OF THE VACCINES THAT WE'RE PROVIDING, BUT WE ARE SEEING, UM, ABOUT A THIRD OF OUR CLINICS ARE, ARE GETTING REQUESTS, UH, FOR ABOUT A THIRD OF THE VACCINE THAT WE DISTRIBUTE OUR THIRD DOSE, OUR BOOSTERS.

UM, AND SO WE'RE EXCITED THAT PEOPLE ARE SEEKING THAT OUT.

THEY'RE FINDING THEIR OPTIONS, UM, AND THOSE THEY'RE HAVING THOSE DISCUSSIONS, UH, WITH THEIR PHYSICIAN AND, AND COMING OUT AND GETTING THE THIRD DOSE AND A BOOSTER.

UM, BECAUSE NOW THEY'RE ELIGIBLE.

WE WANT TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE HAS THAT PROTECTION.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE STATESMAN, WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO GET THE AUSTIN AREA INTO NO STAGES OF APH IS RISK-BASED GUIDELINES.

WE WILL, UH, SEE THE END OF THE PANDEMIC, WHICH IS WHAT I THINK THAT QUESTION'S ASKING WHEN WE HAVE, UH, TWO INCUBATION PERIODS WITH NO CASES.

AND THAT WOULD BE 28 DAYS.

SO THE WAY WE'RE GOING TO GET THERE IS WITH CONTINUING TO MASK, STAY HOME WHEN WE'RE SICK, DO SOCIAL DISTANCING WHEN WE'RE IN CROWDED AREAS.

UM, AND THEN ALSO VACCINATIONS.

AND WE NEED THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN UNPROTECTED BY VACCINE TO GET OUT THERE AND GET THEIR FIRST SERIES B THAT TWO SHOTS FOR SOMEONE WHO'S NOT IMMUNOCOMPROMISED OR THREE SHOTS FOR SOMEBODY WHO IS IMMUNOCOMPROMISED.

AND THEN IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT THOSE WHO ARE ELIGIBLE BOOSTERS GO AND GET THEIR BOOSTER.

VACCINATIONS BOOSTERS ARE REQUIRED BECAUSE THERE'S A DECREASE IN THE LEVEL OF PROTECTION AFTER SIX MONTHS.

AND WE NEED EVERYBODY TO BE FULLY PROTECTED AS WE MOVE FORWARD.

NOW, OUR CASE NUMBERS ARE COMING DOWN, BUT IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE KEEP THOSE NUMBERS DOWN.

AND THE WAY THAT WE'RE GOING TO DO THAT IS TO HAVE EVERYBODY FULLY PROTECTED WITH

[00:25:01]

A VACCINATION.

THANK YOU.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS KUT.

THE CROWDS AT ACL MUSIC FESTIVAL OFTEN LEAD TO INJURIES LIKE BROKEN BONES ARE HOSPITALS PREPARED TO HANDLE THESE INJURIES.

IN ADDITION TO COVID-19, OUR HOSPITALS ARE PREPARED TO HANDLE AND TAKE CARE OF PEOPLE WHO ARE SICK.

WE NOW HAVE A DECREASE IN OUR CASE NUMBERS, AND WE WILL BE ABLE TO TAKE ON WHATEVER IS PRESENTED TO PRESENTING TO THE HOSPITAL, UM, AT ACL AS PART OF THEIR MITIGATION PLAN, THEY HAVE A MEDICAL UNIT THAT WILL TAKE CARE OF A LOT OF THE MAJOR, UM, THINGS THAT OCCUR IN THE SITUATIONS SUCH AS FESTIVALS, WHERE YOU GOT DEHYDRATION, UM, HEAT, EXHAUSTION, UM, INTOXICATION, UM, MINOR CUTS AND SCRAPES.

AND WE'VE DONE A REALLY EXTENSIVE LOOK AT THOSE ISSUES AND WHAT IS USUALLY BEING, UM, BEEN SEEN AND THE FESTIVAL GROUNDS AT THE COASTAL GROUNDS AND FEEL CONFIDENT THAT IF THEY FOLLOW THEIR PLAN, THAT WE WILL HAVE A LOW IMPACT ON OUR HOSPITAL SYSTEM.

IT'S IMPORTANT.

HOWEVER, THAT WE, AS A COMMUNITY, WHEN WE LEAVE THE FESTIVAL GROUNDS, CONTINUE THOSE MEASURES TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM DEVELOPING COVID AND INJURY.

SO SAFE PRACTICES.

UM, DON'T DRIVE.

IF YOU'RE INTOXICATED, MAKE SURE YOU GET A GOOD HYDRATION, UM, GET OUT OF THE HEAT AND TRY TO COOL OFF WEAR SUNSCREEN.

DON'T DON'T GET INTOXICATED.

UM, AND THEN FROM A COVID PERSPECTIVE, WE NEED PEOPLE TO WEAR THEIR MASKS.

AND FOR SURE IF YOU FEEL SICK OR HAD ANY SYMPTOMS, DON'T GET OUT AND, UM, GO TO, UM, ANYTHING THAT'S OUTSIDE THE FESTIVAL GROUNDS, UM, STAY HOME, UM, GET TESTED, UH, SEEK MEDICAL CARE.

UM, THESE ARE SOME OF THOSE BASIC THINGS THAT WE NEED TO DO AS A COMMUNITY GOING FORWARD TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM A FURTHER SPREAD OF COVID-19 AND PARTICULARLY THIS DELTA BERRIEN.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KX, A N R U P, ARE YOU ANTICIPATING ANOTHER SPIKE IN CASES COME THE HOLIDAY SEASON, THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS AS PEOPLE, UH, WORK TO PREPARE RIGHT NOW, THAT'S PART OF WHY WE'RE DOING THIS.

UM, PUSH FOR PREVENTION, VACCINATE, VACCINATE, VACCINATE US.

THE DIRECTOR SAID BECAUSE IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO PROTECT OURSELVES.

WE LOVE TO SEE OUR FAMILIES TO HUG OUR GRANDCHILDREN AND CHILDREN AND SEE OUR, UM, EXTENDED FAMILY MEMBERS DURING THIS HOLIDAY TIME.

SO AS WE LOOK FORWARD TO THOSE, THOSE FESTIVITIES, IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE GET OUR FLU VACCINATION AND OUR COVID VACCINE.

UM, AND IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE DON'T GO TO THOSE FESTIVITIES IF WE FEEL SICK, UM, SO THAT WE DON'T MAKE ANYBODY IN OUR EXTENDED FAMILY OR, OR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES ILL.

UM, AND THAT, THAT'S THE MESSAGE THAT WE'RE GOING TO BE, UM, CONTINUING TO GIVE AS WE GET CLOSER TO ALL OF THESE NEW, THESE EXCITING TIMES, AND JUST ADD ONTO DR.

WACHS STATEMENT.

YOU KNOW, I THINK AS SHE MENTIONED, IT'S PREVENTION AND VIGILANCE RIGHT NOW, BECAUSE, UH, WE'VE SEEN WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE LET OUR GUARD DOWN.

AND, YOU KNOW, WE'VE SEEN A SPIKE IN CASES, SO ANYTHING WE CAN DO TO HELP PREVENT, UH, ILLNESS, ALTHOUGH ALL THOSE NON-PHARMACEUTICAL INTERVENTIONS THAT SHE MENTIONED AND VACCINE ON TOP OF THAT, UH, WILL KEEP US SAFE FROM NOT ONLY COVID, BUT ALSO FROM FLU AND OTHER RESPIRATORY VIRUSES, WHICH ARE REALLY COMMON DURING THIS TIME PERIOD.

AND NOW WE'RE TO OUR LAST QUESTION FROM KOP.

DO YOU SEE THE CURRENT TRACK OF THE DELTA VARIANT TO BE A PASSIVE V CURVE, TYPICAL OF VIRAL OUTBREAKS OR THE RESULT OF ACTIVE RESPONSES TAKEN BY THE COMMUNITY? WE LOOK AT THE RESPONSE OF THIS COMMUNITY TO BE ILLUSTRATED IN OUR CURVE.

UM, WE ASKED FOR THE COMMUNITY TO TAKE THE MEASURES THAT WE TOOK, WHICH IS WHERE MASK GET OUT THERE AND GET VACCINATED, STAY HOME.

IF YOU'RE SICK, UM, SOCIALLY DISTANCE, THEY DID IT,

[00:30:01]

AND WE ARE REAPING THE REWARD OF THAT.

WE'RE BACK DOWN IN STAGE FOUR AND THAT ONGOING COMMUNITY, UM, COOPERATION AND COMMUNITY, UM, WORK TOGETHER, UM, HAS REALLY TO OUR SUCCESS IN GETTING TO WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW.

THAT'S ALL THE QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA TODAY.

THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH FOR ANSWERING THESE.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

UH, BETTY FOR ASKING QUESTIONS ON BEHALF OF THE MEDIA AT THIS TIME, WE WILL GO AHEAD AND MOVE INTO OUR WRAP-UP STATEMENTS AND WE'LL GO AHEAD AND START WITH DR.

WACHS AGAIN, THANK YOU AUSTIN, FOR WORKING WITH US TO PROTECT OUR COMMUNITY FROM THE SPREAD OF THE DELTA VARIANT OF COVID-19.

IT TRULY HAS BEEN A GAME CHANGER.

IT'S CAUSED A LOT FASTER SPREAD OF THIS VIRUS IN OUR COMMUNITY, A LOT MORE SEVERE DISEASE, UM, INCREASED HOSPITALIZATIONS AND SUCH A RAPID PROGRESSION THAT, UM, WE REALLY HAD TO MOVE QUICKLY AND BE NIMBLE ON OUR FEET AND OUR COMMUNITY MOVED AND, AND PIVOTED WITH US.

AND SO THANK YOU.

UM, WE'RE IN A BALANCING HOUR.

NOW WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO DO WHAT IT TAKES TO PROTECT THOSE WHO ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 12.

WE'RE UNABLE TO BE VACCINATED BY OURSELVES WHO GETTING VACCINATED, GETTING THOSE WHO ARE ELIGIBLE VACCINATED AND TO CONTINUE TO WEAR MASS, UM, AND TO SOCIALLY DISTANCE AND TO STAY HOME WHEN SICK, UM, ALL OF THE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN DONE HAVE WORKED, AND WE ARE CONTINUING TO ASSESS WHAT WE NEED TO DO GOING FORWARD TO CONTINUE TO PROTECT OUR HOSPITAL SYSTEMS. THAT'S THE NAME OF THE GAME.

THAT'S WHAT WE STARTED OFF WITH.

UM, WE ARE NOW LOOKING AT A SITUATION WHERE THERE ARE FEWER PEOPLE IN ICU AS A RESULT OF COVID-19.

WE'D LIKE TO KEEP IT THAT WAY BECAUSE WE HAVE ONGOING MEDICAL NEEDS AND CARE THAT NEEDS TO BE DELIVERED IN OUR COMMUNITY.

SO IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE REMEMBER THAT AND REMEMBER THAT IT'S STILL IMPORTANT TO BE VACCINATED FOR COVID-19 AND FOR THE FLU.

UM, AND IT'S STILL IMPORTANT FOR US TO CONDUCT OUR DAILY ACTIVITIES AS SAFELY AS POSSIBLE.

I WANT EVERYBODY TO ENJOY, ENJOY OUR SUCCESSES AND ENJOY THIS MOVE, TO OPENING UP OUR FESTIVAL SEASON AND LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FESTIVITIES OF THE HOLIDAYS, TO COME WITH THE EYE TO PREVENTION.

AND, UM, WITH THAT, I'LL PASS THIS ONTO OUR DIRECTOR STIR.

THANK YOU, DR.

WACHS.

UM, AS I THINK ABOUT MY CLOSING STATEMENTS TODAY, I THINK ABOUT MY SON, UM, FRESHMEN IN HIGH SCHOOL TOLD THEM YOU GOT TO DO SOMETHING HE DIDN'T PAY WELL.

WE KIND OF PICKED CROSS COUNTRY.

THIS IS NOT AN ACTIVE CHILD.

AND THE PREP WAS GRUELING.

UM, FOR THE LONG RUNS.

I REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME I TOOK HIM ON THE TREADMILL, IT WAS GASPING AND WHINING AND EYES FLAILING.

AND MOM, MY HEART'S GOT TO COME OUT OF MY CHEST, RIGHT? SO THIS IS, THIS IS IN JULY THE OTHER DAY, WE WENT TO WORK OUT TOGETHER, UM, BECAUSE HE DIDN'T HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO TO PRACTICE.

I SET UP THE TREADMILL FOR HIM AND, YOU KNOW, WE'RE LONG SIDE AND I'M LOOKING AT HIM AND I KEEP PRESSING UP TO SPEED AND I'M LOOKING AT HIM, HE'S GOT HIS EAR BUDS ON AND HE'S JUST GETTING GOOD AT GETTING THERE.

AND AT THE END OF THE FOUR MILES, I LOOKED AT HIM AND I SAID, WHAT'S DIFFERENT.

HE'S LIKE, OH YEAH, MOM, I CAN, I CAN DO IT.

IT WAS HARD, BUT IT'S WORTH IT.

I APPRECIATE PRACTICE BECAUSE MY HEART DOESN'T HURT WHEN I'M RUNNING ON THE TREADMILL.

AND I DON'T FEEL LIKE I'M LOSING MY AIR.

AND I SHARE THAT STORY TO SAY, THIS IS THE SAME THING THAT WE WENT THROUGH AS A COMMUNITY, WHEREVER YOU WERE ON THE MASKS SPECTRUM, OR HOWEVER, COVID TIRED FATIGUE YOU HAD.

WHEN WE GOT BACK TO STAGE FIVE, WE BUCKLED DOWN AND WE DID WHAT WE HAD TO DO.

WE WORE OUR MASKS, WE SOCIALLY DISTANCE.

WE TESTED IF WE WERE SICK AND WE'RE SEEING THE RESULTS OF OUR EFFORTS.

AND SO SOMETIMES IT'S THOSE THINGS THAT ARE HARD IN THE BEGINNING THAT YOU JUST KEEP ON DOING.

AND BEFORE, YOU KNOW, IT, YOU'RE AT A SPACE WHERE YOU'RE TAKING IT ALL IN STRIDE.

AND SO I ENCOURAGE THE COMMUNITY TODAY TO KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

IF YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING THAT BENEFITS YOU, DO YOU EVER GET TO A PLACE THAT YOU STOPPED? AND, AND SO THAT'S THE QUESTION I POSE TO YOU.

WE MAY GET

[00:35:01]

TO A PLACE WHERE THE PANDEMIC IS NOT AS IMPACTFUL ON OUR COMMUNITY, BUT I THINK OUR GOAL SHOULD BE TAKE THE STEPS TO KEEP YOU AND YOUR FAMILY SAFE.

SO VACCINATE, RIGHT? GET THAT VACCINE TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS WHEN YOU'RE OUT AND ABOUT IF YOU'RE UNSURE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS, WEAR YOUR MASK.

IF YOU'RE NOT QUITE SURE IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO SOCIALLY DISTANCE, KEEP IT IN YOUR POCKET, LIKE YOU KEEP THAT CHAPSTICK, PULL IT OUT, PUT IT ON.

AND IF YOU'RE NOT SURE ABOUT HOW YOU'RE FEELING, IF IT'S SNIFFLES, IT'S FLU, IF IT'S COVID, YOU CAN GET TESTED.

WE KNOW WHAT'S WORKS, WE'VE SEEN THE RESULTS.

KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT.

THANK YOU.

AND I'LL JUST FOLLOW UP WITH, YOU KNOW, WE'RE, WE'RE IN A VERY GOOD SPOT.

WE'RE SEEING OUR POSITIVE TRENDS, BOTH ON A LOCAL LEVEL.

AND AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL, WE SEE CASES BEGINNING TO DECREASE AND WE SEE HOSPITALIZATIONS BEGINNING TO DECREASE, AND WE'RE AT A VERY CRUCIAL JUNCTURE RIGHT NOW.

WE HAVE THE HOLIDAY SEASON FAST APPROACHING.

IT'S ONLY SEVEN WEEKS AWAY.

AND, YOU KNOW, IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO ENJOY OUR FAMILIES AND OUR FRIENDS AND, AND HAVE THOSE GET TOGETHERS, I THINK OUR GOAL IN OUR COMMUNITY SHOULD BE PREVENTION, CONTINUED PREVENTION AND VIGILANCE.

UH, AS BOTH DR.

WACHS AND ADRIAN HAD MENTIONED, UH, WE NEED TO DO WHATEVER WE CAN, I'M GOING TO DO WHATEVER I CAN TO MAKE SURE MY FAMILY IS SAFE AND I CAN ENJOY THE HOLIDAY SEASON TOGETHER IN A SAFE MANNER.

UH, AND TH AND, AND MASKING, IT'S GONNA GET ME GET US THERE.

VACCINATION IS GOING TO GET US SCENARIO AVOIDING PLACING YOURSELF IN A, IN A SITUATION WHERE DISEASE TRANSMISSION RISKS CAN OCCUR IS GOING TO GET US THERE.

SO WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO BE VIGILANT AND, UH, UH, TRY TO GET US TO THROUGH IF WE CAN'T GET THROUGH COLD AND FLU SEASON AND, AND SEE SPRING IN A MUCH BETTER WAY.

YOU KNOW, I MEAN, THAT'S WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR.

UH, AND I HOPE EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING THE SAME.

AND AS EVERYBODY'S MENTIONED, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AUSTIN, AND I'LL JUST, UH, FINISH US OUT.

UM, THIS IS AN ENCOURAGING TIME THAT WE'RE SEEING THIS ARE STARTING TO COME DOWN AND WE ARE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE PROGRESS OF REMADE, BUT WE DO STILL CAUTION.

THIS IS IMPORTANT TO NOT GET COMPLACENT.

IT'S IMPORTANT TO CONTINUE THESE INFECTION CONTROL MEASURES, BECAUSE WHEN WE WERE, THE SURGE WAS ESCALATING, WE REALLY HAD TO MAKE SURE THAT WE PROTECTED OURSELVES.

AND SO THIS IS A KEY POINT TO CONTINUE TO THINK THROUGH, LIKE, EVEN THOUGH WE'RE SEEING THESE GOOD NEWS ABOUT THE HOSPITALS, WE'RE SEEING THIS GOOD NEWS ABOUT OUR, OUR CASES.

UM, IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT, UM, WE WANT TO AVOID A SURGE, UM, UH, FUTURE SURGES.

SO CONTINUE TO PRACTICE THOSE MITIGATION CONTROL MEASURES TO PREVENT EXPOSURES, TO, UH COVID AND ANY OTHER TYPE OF, UM, OF DISEASE SUCH AS, UH, THE FLU.

IT'S ALSO IMPORTANT TO GET VACCINATED, GET VACCINATED NOW, BECAUSE WE USUALLY SEE SURGES AND FLU IN JANUARY.

UM, AND SO THIS IS THE TIME TO PREVENT THAT SPREAD FROM STARTING SO THAT WE CAN PREVENT, UM, FLU FROM SPREAD SPREADING THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY.

AND IF YOU HAVEN'T RECEIVED YOUR COVID VACCINE, THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO GET YOUR COVID VACCINE SO THAT YOU CAN HAVE THAT FULL PROTECTION.

AND WE CAN TAMP THAT DOWN IF YOU NEED A BOOSTER, OR IF YOU NEED A THIRD DOSE, YOU CAN GET THAT FROM AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH.

UM, YOU CAN JUST CALL 3, 1, 1, AND FOR ANY OF THE THINGS THAT, UH, WE OFFER, UH, TO HELP, UH, HELP YOU THROUGH THIS PANDEMIC TESTING, UM, AND OTHER SERVICES JUST CONTACT THROUGH OH ONE, AND WE CAN PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES FOR YOU.

AND WITH THAT, HAVE A SAFE AND HEALTHY WEEKEND.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, CASSIE.

THIS CONCLUDES OUR PRESS CONFERENCE.

AGAIN.

I JUST WANT TO THANK DR.

WACHS DIRECTOR, STIRRUP, JANET PACET AND CASSIE DALIAN FOR JOINING US THIS MORNING.

AND I WANT EVERYONE IN AUSTIN TO HAVE A SAFE AND FUN WEEKEND.

GET VACCINATED, HELP REDUCE OUR STRESS ON THE HOSPITALS.

HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND.

EVERYONE

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