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[00:00:04]

OH, NO.

GOOD MORNING EVERYONE.

THIS IS OUR FIRST ATTEMPT OF HAVING MEDIA AVAILABILITY WEEKLY.

UM, THIS IS JEN SAMPA.

I AM THE PIO FOR AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH.

I AM INTRODUCING STEPHANIE HAYDEN, DIRECTOR OF AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH.

SHE IS ON THE PHONE, DR. MARK S. SCOTT, INTERIM AUSTIN TRAVIS COUNTY HEALTH AUTHORITY WITH AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH.

AND JANET HAS SHED CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST WITH AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH.

THIS IS GOING TO BE A LITTLE BIT OF A DIFFERENT FORMAT THAN OUR, UH, OUR PRESS CONFERENCES.

UH, SO WE'RE GONNA, WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO DO SOME RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS WITH MEDIA BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT WE'VE BEEN GETTING A LOT OF, UH, QUESTIONS THAT AS FAR AS THE OBVIOUSLY HEALTH-RELATED QUESTIONS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PANDEMIC, BUT, UH, YOU KNOW, REQUEST TO FOR ON CAMERA AND, UM, YOU KNOW, ON RADIO.

SO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS IS THE MEANS TO COMMUNICATE AND THE MEANS FOR, FOR BROADCAST AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE MAKE OURSELVES AVAILABLE.

SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, I, I'LL, I'LL GIVE IT TO THE STEPHANIE, DR ASCOT IN JANET, UM, TO, TO TAKE THE QUESTIONS AT OUR POOL REPORTER TODAY IS WITH CAKES AND I'LL LET THEM INTRODUCE THEMSELVES.

HI, GOOD MORNING.

THIS IS SALLY HERNANDEZ WITH KX EXAM AND THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

THANKS, SALLY.

GO AHEAD AND START WITH THE QUESTIONS.

OKAY.

FIRST QUESTION IS FROM A KX SANS COBIT 19 IN AUSTIN, DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTS THE HISPANIC POPULATION.

ARE YOU SEEING THE SAME TYPE OF ETHNIC BREAKDOWN AT NURSING HOMES AS YOU ARE AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC? IF YOU'RE NOT, DOES THAT MEAN THE IMPACT ON THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY IS EVEN GREATER AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC THAN WHAT WE'RE REPORTING? UH, SO I'LL TAKE THAT ONE.

UH, WE'RE IN THE PROCESS OF, OF, OF TEASING OUT THEY NURSING HOME DATA FROM THE COMMUNITY DATA SO THAT WE CAN PROVIDE A SEPARATE, UH, ETHNIC AND RACE, UH, BREAKDOWNS FOR OUR NURSING HOME RESIDENTS.

AND I THINK THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE, UH, AS WE'VE NOTED BEFORE, THE, THE MAJORITY OF OUR DEATHS AND A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF OUR HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE RELATED TO RESIDENTS OF NURSING HOMES.

SO WE REALLY WANT TO SEPARATE THAT DATA AND LOOK AT THE TRENDS SEPARATELY BETWEEN NURSING HOMES AND THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY SO THAT WE CAN ANSWER IMPORTANT QUESTIONS LIKE THAT AND WE CAN DIRECT APPROPRIATE TO PUBLIC, UH, TO THE RIGHT PLACE.

OKAY.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM A COOPERATIVE AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY APPEAR TO HAVE FLATTEN THE CURVE BUT AT GREAT COST AND STRESS TO THEIR RESOURCES OVER TIME, REOPENING PUTS MORE STRAIN ON THESE RESOURCES.

AS HOTSPOTS FLARE UP AT ASSISTED LIVING CENTERS, UT AND ESPECIALLY CONSTRUCTION SITES.

HOW WILL APH CONTINUE TO STAFF AND FUND THE SERVICES NECESSARY TO DEAL WITH THE PANDEMIC UNTIL A VACCINE IS ADMINISTERED OR THE VIRUS IS OTHERWISE UNDER CONTROL? THIS IS STEPHANIE AND I WILL TAKE THAT QUESTION.

UM, BASICALLY WHAT WE ARE DOING IS, IS THAT WE HAVE DEVELOPED A, UM, A SURGE PLAN AND THE THIRD PLAN IS BASED UPON, UM, LOOKING AT SOME MODELING, UM, THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM, UM, DALE MANN AS WELL AS THE INFORMATION THAT OUR EPIDEMIOLOGY, UM, AND PREPAREDNESS STAFF HAVE PROVIDED FOR US.

AND AS WE MOVE THROUGH THIS RESPONSE, UM, WE ARE ABLE TO, UM, BRING IN OTHER, UM, CITY EMPLOYEES THAT WORK OUTSIDE OF AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, UM, BUT WORK FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN TO ASSIST US WITH THIS RESPONSE.

AND SO WE HAVE PLANNED OUT OUR EFFORTS, UM, THROUGH THE END OF THIS CALENDAR YEAR AND WE, UM, WE'LL EVALUATE THAT WEEKLY AND IF WE NEED TO, UM, DECREASE OUR EFFORTS AS FAR AS STAFFING, WE WILL DO THAT.

AND IF WE NEED TO INCREASE, WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO INCREASE.

AND SO WE FEEL VERY CONFIDENT IN OUR PLAN THAT WE'VE DEVELOPED.

THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM UNITY.

SEON.

RECENT REPORTS HAVE STATED A VERY HIGH PERCENTAGE OF THE HISPANIC POPULATION IN AUSTIN HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR AT 19.

[00:05:01]

IN COMPARISON TO OTHER GROUPS.

WHAT MEASURES WILL YOU BE IMPLEMENTING TO STOP THE SPREAD AMONG THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY? DO YOU HAVE A PLAN FOR OUTREACH OR POSSIBLY CREATING A TASK FORCE TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE? THIS IS STEPHANIE AGAIN AND UM, YES, WE, WE ARE GOING TO, UM, DEVELOP A TASK FORCE THAT TASK FORCE.

UM, WE CURRENTLY HAVE, UM, SOME, UM, COUNCIL CABINETS.

AND SO, UH, THE TASK FORCE WILL BE, UM, A BRANCH IN THAT COUNTY COUNCIL CABINET, UM, WHERE WE WILL PUT TOGETHER A TEAM OF OUR, UM, COMMUNITY MEMBERS AS WELL AS OTHER PARTNERS THAT WE HAVE BEEN, UM, WORKING COLLABORATIVELY WITH DURING THIS RESPONSE.

OUR STAFF, UM, THE PUBLIC HEALTH STAFF AND OUR, UM, EQUITY AND UM, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT DIVISION HAVE DEVELOPED A PLAN AND WE ARE GOING TO SHARE THAT PLAN WITH THE, WITH THE TASK FORCE AND GET FEEDBACK FROM THEM AS WELL.

UM, IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO HAVE, UM, WE'VE, WE'VE HAD SOME ZIP CODES THAT WE HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING AND UM, HAVE NOTICED THAT THERE ARE SOME DISPARITIES IN ZIP CODES AND HONESTLY THOSE SAME ZIP CODES ARE OTHER ZIP CODES WHERE WE SEE HEALTH DISPARITIES OUTSIDE OF THE KOBE 19 RESPONSE.

AND SO, UM, WE ARE GOING TO UM, PUT IN PLACE THIS PLAN, WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH THE TASK FORCE, UM, WORKED COLLABORATIVELY WITH OUR COMMUNITY, UM, NONPROFIT PARTNERS, UM, AS WELL AS OTHERS WHO MAY BE INTERESTED.

BUT WE ARE ABSOLUTELY GOING TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH AMONGST OUR UM, LATIN EX.

UM, COMMUNITY.

QUICK FOLLOW UP TO THAT, WHEN DO YOU PLAN TO HAVE THE TASK FORCE IN PLACE AND WHICH ZIP CODES ARE YOU SEEING THAT ARE CONCERNING TO YOU? WE, WE ARE, UM, WE'RE FORMULATING THE TASK FORCE.

I DON'T HAVE A DATE ON WHEN THAT WILL BE STOOD UP.

UM, SOME OF THE ZIP CODES WHERE WE, UM, AND, AND THESE ZIP CODES ARE, ARE DEFINITELY ALIGNED WITH THE ZIP CODES THAT WE SEE, HEALTH DISPARITIES.

AND SO THEY ARE THE SAME ZIP CODES.

SO WHEN WE LOOK AT THE EASTERN CRESCENT AND WE START IN, UM, SOUTH EAST AUSTIN AND WE LOOK AT FOUR ONE AND FOUR, FOUR, UM, COME ACROSS, UM, AUSTIN, UM, OUT TO, UM, THE DEL VALLEY AREA, BUT THEN COME THROUGH, UM, CENTRAL AUSTIN.

OH, TO CONTINUE CONTINUING UP NORTHEAST TO TWO, FOUR TO FIVE.

UM, AND THEN WE HAVE SOME, UM, DISPARITIES OUT IN PFLUGERVILLE AND MANOR.

UM, SEVEN, EIGHT, SIX, SIX.

OH.

UM, AS WELL AS, UM, WE HAVE SOME NEIGHBORHOODS THAT WE ARE LOOKING AT IN THE FIVE, TWO AND FIVE, THREE AND FIVE, EIGHT AREA.

AND SO THOSE ARE JUST TO NAME A FEW OF THE ZIP CODES THAT WE KNOW THAT WE ARE GOING TO NEED TO DO SOME, SOME TARGETED OUTREACH.

UM, ONE OF THE STRATEGIES IS THIS AS WE WOULD LIKE TO, UM, WE SET UP A HOTLINE FOR VARIOUS NEEDS AND SO ONE WE'RE GOING TO, UM, WE'RE GOING TO SET UP A HOTLINE HOTLINE THAT'S SPECIFIC FOR FOLKS THAT, THAT HAVE QUESTIONS AND THAT ARE NEEDING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

UM, THE OTHER THING IS IS UM, WE HAVE, WE HAVE HAD STAFF THAT HAVE, HAVE SENT OUT FLYERS, UM, AS ARE SOME OF OUR SERVICE DELIVERIES HAVE, HAVE CONTINUED.

SO FOR EXAMPLE, OUR WOMEN, INFANTS AND CHILDREN OFFICES, UM, BEING ABLE TO PROVIDE, UM, EDUCATIONAL FLYERS AS WELL.

UM, WE'RE LOOKING TO DO SOME, SOME VIRTUAL CLASSES, UM, AS WELL AS SOME IN PERSON, UM, OUTREACH.

SO WE ARE DEFINITELY DEVELOPING, UM, A, UM, OUR PLAN IS DEVELOPED AND WE NEED TO REFINE IT, BUT WE WANT DEFINITELY TO GET THE TASK FORCE TO GIVE US INPUT SO WE CAN DO THIS COLLABORATIVELY TOGETHER.

OKAY.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM THE AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN.

WHAT HAS APH LEARNED FROM RECOVERED PATIENTS ABOUT IMMUNITY? AND WHEN WILL TEST RESULT TURNAROUND TIMES BE QUICKER THAN THREE TO FOUR DAYS.

WILL THE CITY START TESTING FOR ANTIBODIES AND WILL THAT HELP IN LEARNING ABOUT IMMUNITY? UH, SO THE, THE IMMEDIATE QUESTION IS, IS REALLY UNANSWERED AT THIS STAGE AND IT'S UNANSWERED BECAUSE THE DISEASE HAS NOT BEEN AROUND FOR THAT LONG.

UH, SO THERE'S CLEARLY EVIDENCE OF ANTIBODY DEVELOPMENT IN, IN, IN FOLKS WHO ARE SICK AND RECOVER.

UH, IN FACT, MANY OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS HAVE BEEN REFERRED TO.

WE ARE A BLOOD FOR CONVALESCENT

[00:10:01]

PLASMA DONATION, WHICH HAS BEEN ADMINISTERED DOZENS OF TIMES TO INDIVIDUALS HOSPITALIZED IN THE AUSTIN TRAVIS COUNTY AREA.

UH, BUT THE, YOU KNOW, THE JURY IS STILL OUT REGARDING LONGTERM IMMUNITY AND WE OBVIOUSLY WON'T KNOW ABOUT LONGTERM IMMUNITY UNTIL WE HAVE A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME OF EXPERIENCE WITH THIS DISEASE.

UH, WE ARE WORKING, UH, WE'VE ASKED THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS TO PUT TOGETHER A PROPOSAL FOR WHAT WE CALL A SERIAL PREVALENCE STUDY, WHICH IS A STUDY LOOKING AT, AT, UH, YOU KNOW, THE ANTIBODY PREVALENCE IN THE COMMUNITY.

AND, UH, YOU KNOW, TO, TO DECIDE WHAT OUR PREVALENCE RATE HAS BEEN, WHAT OUR PRIOR INFECTION RATE HAS BEEN, BUT ALSO TO MONITOR THE PRESENCE OF ANTIBODIES OVER ABOUT AN 18 MONTH PERIOD.

UH, SO WE'RE HOPEFUL TO IDENTIFY FUNDING FOR THAT STUDY SO THAT WE CAN ANSWER SOME OF THESE QUESTIONS.

NEXT QUESTION, K H O U 11 OUT OF HOUSTON.

PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE APH, HIS USE OF THE ABBOTT LABS POINT OF CARE MACHINE, ITS ACCURACY, USE AND CHALLENGES OF ANY I CAN, I CAN ANSWER THAT.

OR, JANET, DO YOU WANT TO START? UH, SO WE RECEIVED THE ABBOTT ID NOW, UH, ANALYZER SEVERAL WEEKS AGO, UH, FROM THE DSHS.

UH, WE JUST ON MONDAY RECEIVED THE FIRST SHIPMENT OF 24, UH, TEST KITS.

SO WE'VE ACTUALLY NOT RUN ANY TESTS ON IT.

UH, ID NOW ANALYZER, UH, TALKING TO SOME OF OUR, OUR PARTNERS AT, UH, AT OUR LOCAL HOSPITAL SYSTEMS, UH, THEY ARE NOT SEEING THE SAME RESULTS AS HAS BEEN RECENT, RECENTLY PUBLISHED IN FACT THEIR, THEIR RESULTS.

SO, UH, SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER ACCURACY AS COMPARED TO THE, UH, YOU KNOW, THE, THE, THE SEND OFF TESTS, UH, THE RTPCR TEST.

UH, SO THERE ARE SOME NUANCES OF, OF HOW TESTS ARE COLLECTED, UH, WHETHER THEY'RE NASAL SWABS OR NASAL PHARYNGEAL SWABS, WHICH ARE THE DEEPER ONES, UH, IF THEY'RE STORED IN VIRAL TRANSPORT MEDIA OR NOT.

AND UH, YOU KNOW, THESE ARE SOME OF THE, THE, THE, THE QUESTIONS THAT STILL NEED TO BE ANSWERED REGARDING THE REPORTED INACCURACY OF THIS TEST.

UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK FOLKS SHOULD BE, UH, COGNIZANT OF, OF THAT CONCERN.

UH, WE KNOW THAT THAT SENSITIVITY OF, OF TESTS ALSO VARIES BETWEEN, UH, IF THE PERSON IS SYMPTOMATIC OR ASYMPTOMATIC, IF THEY'RE HOSPITALIZED OR NOT HOSPITALIZED.

SO, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE A LOT OF FACTORS INVOLVED IN THE ACCURACY OF A TASK AND I THINK WE STILL NEED TO COLLECT SOME MORE INFORMATION RELATED TO, UH, HOW TO INTERPRET THOSE RESULTS RELATED TO THIS RAPID ANALYZER.

JANET, DID YOU NEED TO ADD ANYTHING? NO, I THINK HE SAID IT ALL.

OKAY.

QUICK FOLLOWUP TO THAT ONE.

SO YOU WERE STILL GONNA MOVE FORWARD WITH THIS POINT OF CARE MACHINE AND YOU'RE NOT TOO CONCERNED ABOUT ANY INACCURACY COMING OUT OF IT.

UH, SO AGAIN, WE ONLY HAVE 24 TEST KITS.

UH, SO GENERALLY WHAT WE DO WHEN WE, WHEN WE FIRST VALIDATE ARE, YOU KNOW, A MACHINE THAT WE RECEIVE SUCH AS THIS IS WE COLLECT BOTH THE RAPID TEST AND THE SEND OFF TESTS.

AND SO WE, WE DON'T RELY ON, ON THE, THE, UH, RAPID TEST, UH, ON ITS OWN.

SO INITIALLY WE WOULD SEND OFF BOTH TESTS, ENSURE THAT WE CAN VALIDATE THAT, UH, THAT MACHINE INTERNALLY FIRST BEFORE WE DECIDE ON, UH, WHETHER OR NOT WE'RE GOING TO PURSUE THAT AS A SOLE SOURCE OF TESTING IN THE FUTURE.

I SEE.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM AUSTIN.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER REPORTING THE DAILY PERCENTAGE OF POSITIVE TESTS AGAINST THE TOTAL TEST? SINCE THAT SEEMS TO BE VERY IMPORTANT FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO DECIDE HOW AND WHEN TO REOPEN THE ECONOMY AND IF WE ARE DOING BETTER OR WORSE, YOU WANT ME TO ANSWER THAT? SURE.

SO WE ARE ACTUALLY, UH, POSTING UP THE NUMBER OF POSITIVE CASES THAT WE HOLD EVERY DAY.

AND AS YOU CAN SEE, IF YOU GO TO OUR DASHBOARD, IT HAS BEEN REVISED AND INCLUDES A LOT MORE INFORMATION.

UH, YOU KNOW, AS WE GET MORE DATA, WE'RE TRYING TO, UH, SHARE THAT WITH THE PUBLIC.

ONE OF THE CHALLENGES WITH, UH, PROVIDING INFORMATION ON PERCENT POSITIVE TESTS IS THAT WE DON'T GET THE INFORMATION ON ALL THE NEGATIVE TESTS THAT HAVE BEEN COMPLETED IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

UH, THOSE TESTS ARE NOT REPORTED TO US.

WE ONLY HAVE, WE ONLY KNOW THE, UH, NUMBER OF TESTS THAT WE'VE ACTUALLY COMPLETED OURSELF BECAUSE THERE ARE A LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE ACTUALLY CONDUCTING TESTING IN OUR COMMUNITY.

SO IT MAKES IT A LITTLE CHALLENGING TO GET THAT INFORMATION.

UH, AND, AND LET ME FOLLOW UP ON THAT.

WE ARE WORKING ON A COLLABORATIVE

[00:15:01]

WITH, WITH THE TESTING SITES AROUND THE CITY OF AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY.

UH, THOSE INCLUDE, UH, COMMUNITY CARE, WHICH WE HAVE A PARTNERSHIP WITH A UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, DELL MEDICAL SCHOOL, AS WELL AS OUR MAJOR HOSPITAL SYSTEMS ENTITIES LIKE AUSTIN REGIONAL CLINIC.

UH, YOU KNOW, THE, THE DATA EXISTS IN DIFFERENT DATA SETS AND WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO IS GET ALL THAT DATA IN ONE PLACE SO THAT WE CAN PROVIDE MORE ACCURATE INFORMATION ON THE POSITIVITY RATE AS WELL AS THE TOTAL NUMBER OF TESTS BEING PERFORMED.

UH, WE INTRODUCED A NEW PLATFORM CALLED SALESFORCE, WHICH IS DESIGNED TO HELP BRING THIS INFORMATION TOGETHER, WHAT WE CALL CROWD SOURCE TESTING.

UH, AND IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO BRING THAT DATA TOGETHER, NOT ONLY TO GET THE TEST RESULTS IN A TIMELY FASHION SO WE CAN RECORD, UH, POSITIVITY RATES, BUT ALSO TO INITIATE THAT CONTACT TRACING AND CASE INVESTIGATION PROCESS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

NEXT QUESTION FROM CVS AUSTIN.

HOW CAN APH DEAL WITH CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AS WELL AS OTHERS REFUSING TO TAKE BECAUSE OF THE 19 TEST WITH SUCH LARGE NUMBERS, SAY NO TO THE TEST.

CAN APH OR THE CITY DO MORE TO MAKE PEOPLE MORE COMFORTABLE WITH THE TEST? HOW DETRIMENTAL IS THAT TO AUSTIN GETTING THE VIRUS UNDER BETTER CONTROL? WELL, YOU KNOW, I, I, I THINK THERE'S, YOU KNOW, THERE'S A LOT OF BARRIERS, REAL BARRIERS AND PERCEIVED BARRIERS TO TESTING.

UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK THERE'S A PERCEPTION THAT, THAT PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY FOR THE TESTING.

AGAIN, DEPENDING ON WHERE THEY CHOOSE TESTING, THAT MAY BE THE CASE.

BUT FOR THE AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH SIDE, THERE IS NO CHARGE AT ALL.

UH, THERE'S ALSO A CONCERN ABOUT, UH, YOU KNOW, PARTICULARLY IN OUR, UH, OUR IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY, THERE'S SOME CONCERN ABOUT THEM BEING DETECTED AND THAT THAT INFORMATION SOMEHOW IS GOING TO BE SHARED WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT.

NOW THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE.

UH, THE INFORMATION WE COLLECT FOR TESTING COMES TO AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH.

THAT INFORMATION IS PROTECTED.

IT CANNOT BE USED FOR PROSECUTION.

IT CANNOT BE SHARED, UH, WITH IDENTIFIERS, UH, YOU KNOW, WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENFORCEMENT.

AND IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE BREAK DOWN SOME OF THOSE BARRIERS.

I'LL TELL YOU THE OTHER CONCERN THOUGH THAT WE'RE ENCOUNTERING THAT IT'S MORE DIFFICULT IS PEOPLE'S CONCERN THAT IF THEY TEST POSITIVE THAT THEY WILL BE OUT OF WORK, RIGHT? EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME.

AND IN CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE PEOPLE DON'T HAVE SICK TIME, THEY DON'T HAVE JOB PROTECTION.

THAT IS A HUGE DISINCENTIVE FOR PEOPLE GETTING TESTED, UH, IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES THAT WOULD RATHER NOT KNOW THAN BE OUT OF WORK.

AND YOU KNOW, OUR, OUR CITY COUNCIL LAST YEAR, UH, PASSED THE RESOLUTION REGARDING SICK TIME.

UH, THIS IS, THIS IS A, A KEY CHALLENGE FOR, FOR US ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND I THINK WE REALLY DO NEED SOME FEDERAL LEGISLATION IN PLACE TO HELP PROTECT WORKERS, PARTICULARLY DURING THIS PERIOD OF TIME SO THAT WE CAN ASSURE A PAYCHECK, WE CAN ASSURE THEIR JOB AND WE CAN GET PEOPLE, UH, ISOLATING IN A, IN A WAY THAT IS GOING TO PREVENT, UH, COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION AS WELL AS HOUSEHOLD TRANSMISSION.

OKAY.

NEXT QUESTION.

DR ASCOT IS ADDRESSING YOU FROM KVU.

DR AS SCOTT SAID A FEW WEEKS AGO THAT HE CAN'T ENVISION US HAVING ANY MASS EVENTS ANYTIME SOON.

WHAT IS HIS POSITION ON THAT TODAY? WHAT WOULD BE HIS RECOMMENDATION AT THIS POINT ABOUT ACL OR LONGHORN FOOTBALL? YOU KNOW, I THINK MASS EVENTS ARE A CHALLENGE AND AS I SAID, UH, LAST WEEK I BELIEVE, YOU KNOW, THE LARGE EVENTS WERE THE FIRST THING THAT WE TURNED OFF AND ARE GOING TO BE THE LAST THING WE TURNED BACK ON BECAUSE OF THAT RISK OF EXPOSING A LOTS OF PEOPLE TO ONE ANOTHER, PARTICULARLY INDIVIDUALS OUTSIDE OF A HOUSEHOLD.

UH, YOU KNOW, WE ARE WORKING ON A PLAN TO UH, HELP FORECAST, YOU KNOW, WHAT WE THINK IS GOING TO BE REASONABLE.

BUT LOOKING THROUGH THE END OF DECEMBER, WE DON'T HAVE ANY INDICATIONS AT THIS STAGE THAT WE WOULD BE ABLE TO MITIGATE RISK ENOUGH TO, TO HAVE LARGE EVENTS, YOU KNOW, PARTICULARLY ONES OVER 2,500.

UM, YOU KNOW, HAVING SAID THAT A LOT IS CHANGING VERY QUICKLY.

UH, IF WE IDENTIFY EFFECTIVE TREATMENT THAT MAY BE ADMINISTERED EARLY IN THE CASE OF TRANSMISSION, THAT'S GOING TO BE A FACTOR.

IF WE IDENTIFY WAYS TO RAPID TEST SUCH AS THROUGH SALIVA THAT COULD BE DONE AT THE GATES BEFORE PEOPLE GO IN.

THAT'S A POTENTIAL FACTOR.

THERE ARE A LOT OF FACTORS THAT WE ARE JUST UNKNOWN, WHICH MAKES FORECASTING BEYOND THE NEXT MONTH OR TWO MONTHS.

VERY CHALLENGING.

NOW WE WILL CONTINUE TO, TO PROVIDE ADVICE TO THE COMMUNITY REGARDING MASS EVENTS.

AT THIS STAGE IN STAGE THREE, UH, THE ANSWER IS NO AND A LOT OF, UH, OF OUR ABILITY TO OPEN OTHER THINGS UP, PARTICULARLY EVENTS ARE GOING TO DEPEND ON HOW OUR COMMUNITY RESPONDS

[00:20:01]

TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT THEY CONTINUE THE SOCIAL DISTANCING, THEY CONTINUE THE PUBLIC MASKING AND THEY CONTINUE THAT PERSONAL HYGIENE.

IF WE CAN KEEP THINGS FLAT, IF WE CAN DROP THE RATE OF TRANSMISSION, UH, NOR THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.

IF WE'RE CONTINUING TO FIGHT THIS BATTLE, WE SEE UPS UPTAKES IN, IN CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS, IT'S GOING TO BE MUCH HARDER FOR US, DR ESCALADE IF WE FLATTEN THE CURVE.

BUT THERE IS NO VACCINE IN TIME FOR ACL OR LONGHORN FOOTBALL.

DOES THAT MATTER MOVING FORWARD? UH, IT REALLY DEPENDS ON HOW FLAT IT IS.

UM, SO, YOU KNOW, I, I THINK THAT IF WE MAINTAIN THINGS FLAT THEN YOU KNOW, AND, AND CERTAINLY IF WE DECREASE, THEN WE'LL THINK ABOUT MOVING FROM STAGE THREE TO STAGE TWO, WHICH OPENED THINGS UP A LITTLE BIT MORE AS FAR AS GATHERINGS ARE CONCERNED, A SMALL INCREASE, NOT A BIG INCREASE.

WE REALLY HAVE TO GET TO THAT GREEN LEVEL, THAT STAGE ONE, UH, BEFORE WE'RE GOING TO BE WILLING TO, YOU KNOW, HAVE ANY SIZABLE EVENTS.

AND I THINK THAT'S INCENTIVE FOR US TO WORK HARD AT THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING AND WORK HARD AT ENSURING THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE SICK STAY HOME AND IF THEY'RE STAYING HOME, THEY'RE, THEY'RE DIRECTED TO TESTING SO THAT WE CAN GET A HANDLE ON THIS, UH, YOU KNOW, THROUGH THAT TESTING EFFORT, THROUGH THAT CONTACT, TRACING THROUGH THAT ISOLATION.

AND YOU KNOW, THAT BOXING AND STRATEGY THAT WE'VE TALKED ABOUT BEFORE, A LOT OF THINGS ARE POSSIBLE AND WE REALLY ALL AS A COMMUNITY HAVE TO BE FOCUSED ON THE GOAL OF ENSURING, NUMBER ONE, THE THINGS STAY OPEN.

AND NUMBER TWO THAT WE GET OURSELVES IN A SITUATION WHICH WILL ALLOW US TO OPEN THE WINDOW EVEN MORE IN THE FUTURE, PARTICULARLY IN THE FALL.

OKAY.

NEXT QUESTION, AND THIS IS THE LAST QUESTION THAT I HAVE HERE IS FROM FOX SEVEN AUSTIN FOR DR. SCOTT YESTERDAY AND IT WORKED, SESSION COMMUNITY CARE POINTED OUT THAT THE EASTERN CRESCENT OF TOWN HAD CLUSTERS OF POSITIVE TEST.

IS THIS SIMPLY BECAUSE MORE PEOPLE ARE GETTING TESTED IN THOSE AREAS? ARE THERE AGGRESSIVE TESTING EFFORTS IN WEST AUSTIN? UH, SO AGAIN, UH, IT'S A BIT CHALLENGING TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION COMPLETELY NOW BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE ALL THE DATA IN ONE PLACE.

WE'VE GOT COMMUNITY CARE, WHICH HAS DONE AROUND 4,000 TESTS.

AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH HAS DONE AROUND 4,000 TESTS.

AUSTIN REGIONAL CLINIC HAS DONE MORE THAN 10,000 TESTS AND WE'VE GOT TESTS BEING DONE IN THE HOSPITALS AROUND THE REGION.

UH, SO IT'S REALLY HARD TO ANSWER QUESTIONS LIKE THAT, WHICH IS WHY WE'RE REALLY TRYING TO GET THAT INFORMATION TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE SO THAT WE CAN IDENTIFY WHERE PEOPLE ARE BEING TESTED AND WHERE THEY'RE NOT.

I WILL SAY THAT, THAT, UH, YOU KNOW, COMMUNITY CARE HAS DONE AN EXCELLENT JOB AT REACHING OUT TO THEIR COMMUNITY.

UH, THEY'VE DONE AN EXCELLENT JOB AT, AT, UH, DECREASING SOME OF THOSE BARRIERS TO PEOPLE GETTING TESTED.

THEY'RE A TRUSTED RESOURCE AND WE'LL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THEIR EFFORTS.

UH, BUT WE DO NEED TO MAKE SOME POPULATION-BASED DECISIONS AND THE BEST DECISIONS ARE MADE WHEN WE HAVE ALL THE DATA IN ONE PLACE.

ALL RIGHT.

AND THEN WE CAN START WITH THE DOCTOR, ASK SCOTT IF THERE'S ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD AND THEN WE'LL GO WITH JANET AND THEN STEPHANIE AND THEN, UH, YEAH.

AND WE WILL, UH, WE'LL, WE'LL FOLLOW UP WITH OUR LOCAL STATIONS FOR FEEDBACK AFTER THIS.

YEAH.

SO IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT WE ARE STILL IN A, IN A TIME OF, OF CONCERN THE DISEASE COVERT 19 IS STILL BEING TRANSMITTED AND AS MUCH AS WE WANT THINGS TO BE BACK TO NORMAL, THEY'RE NOT BACK TO NORMAL YET.

AND THE BEST ADVICE THAT I CAN PROVIDE IS TO CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THOSE PRECAUTIONS, THE PUBLIC MASKING, THE PERSONAL HYGIENE IN THAT SOCIAL DISTANCE.

IF WE CAN CONTINUE TO DO THOSE THINGS AS A COMMUNITY, WE CAN CONTINUE TO FLATTEN THE CURVE.

WE CAN KEEP BUSINESSES OPEN AND WE CAN PUT OURSELVES IN A BETTER POSITION TO START OPENING THINGS UP EVEN MORE.

SO AGAIN, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE CONTINUE TO DO THOSE THINGS.

IF YOU HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS AT ALL RELATED TO COBIT, 19 COUGH, SORE THROAT, FEVER, SHORTNESS OF BREATH, DIARRHEA, VOMITING, A CHANGE IN YOUR TASTE OR SMELL, CHILLS OR SHAKES.

SIGN UP ON OUR WEBSITE, AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV FORWARD SLASH KOBA 19 AND GET A FREE TEST.

THE BETTER WE CAN BE ABOUT DETECTING DISEASE AND ISOLATING FOLKS, THE BETTER CHANCE WE HAVE OF KEEPING THINGS OPEN AND OPENING THINGS FURTHER.

CLOSING REMARKS ARE AS ULTIMATELY THE HEALTH OF OUR RESIDENTS IN AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY IS OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO REFINE OUR EFFORTS.

UM, AND WE WANT TO WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH THE COMMUNITY.

WE KNOW THAT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH CANNOT DO THIS WORK ALONE.

WE ARE GOING TO MAKE SOME CHANGES

[00:25:01]

WITH, UM, WITH OUR MODEL.

AND UM, WE, WE ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, UM, DO OUR WORK THROUGH AN EQUITY LANDS.

WE ARE GOING TO DO SOME TARGETED TESTING AS WELL AS OUTREACH BECAUSE WE KNOW IF WE HAVE AREAS OR POPULATIONS THAT ARE, ARE REALLY, REALLY DISPROPORTIONATELY REPRESENTED, WE HAVE GOT TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN DO TO PROVIDE SUPPORT AND ADDITIONAL SUPPORT IN THOSE COMMUNITIES.

AND SO AS WE LOOK AT, UM, MOVING FURTHER ALONG IN OUR RESPONSE EFFORTS, UM, WE ARE GOING TO BE WORKING VERY CLOSELY WITH THE COMMUNITY AND ENSURING THAT OUR WORK IS CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE.

WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE REACHING THE FOLKS THAT NEED THE HELP THE MOST AND THAT IS ULTIMATELY GONNA MAKE OUR ENTIRE CITY AND COUNTY STRONGER.

THANK YOU.

AND THIS IS JANET.

I JUST WOULD LIKE, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE TO BE AWARE THAT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH HAS A VERY DEDICATED AND PASSIONATE STAFF WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES, UH, DOING CASE INVESTIGATION, CONTACT TRACING AND, UM, FOLLOW UP ON CLUSTERS AND OUTBREAKS, UH, THROUGHOUT THE CITY AND COUNTY.

AND WE'LL CONTINUE TO DO THAT.

WE'VE BEEN WORKING TIRELESSLY SINCE, UH, EARLY JANUARY TO, TO ADDRESS THIS, UH, COBIT 19 RESPONSE.

AND YOU KNOW, OUR GOAL ULTIMATELY IS TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR COMMUNITIES SAFE AND, UH, THAT WE ARE PROTECTING THOSE MOST VULNERABLE.

SO WE WILL CONTINUE WITH THAT CHARGE.

HE HAD JANET PICHET CHIEF AT THE DOWN, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, DR. MARK S. SCOTT, INTERIM AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY HEALTH AUTHORITY, AND STEPHANIE HAYDEN, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH.

THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME FOR DOING THIS.

WE KNOW THAT WE'RE ALL HANDS ON DECK, UH, HERE AT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH.

IT'S VERY HARD TO GET THESE THREE TOGETHER, SO I HOPE HAVING THESE WEEKLY AVAILABILITY, UH, FOR THE MEDIA WILL BE ABLE TO HELP AND WE'LL BE FOLLOWING UP WITH OUR LOCAL STATIONS FOR FEEDBACK ON THIS.

MUCH APPRECIATED.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

THANK YOU.

THANKS, SALLY.

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