Link

Social

Embed

Download

Download
Download Transcript

[00:00:04]

GOOD MORNING.

I'M

[COVID-19: Press Q & A]

KALILLE BN AND I WILL BE THE MODERATOR FOR TODAY'S MEDIA AVAILABILITY TO START AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR.

STEPHANIE HAYDEN WILL FIRST SAY A FEW WORDS FOLLOWED BY DR.

CAISSON PICKETT, AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, ALTERNATE HEALTH AUTHORITY, WHO IS FILLING IN FOR DR.

MARK S. SCOTT TODAY AND AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JANET PICHET.

AND THEN WE'LL OPEN IT UP TO THE POORER PORTER WHO WILL ASK QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA, STEPHANIE, OVER TO YOU.

GOOD MORNING.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

I WANTED TO START TODAY TO TALK ABOUT COVID-19 DEATHS IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

WE HAVE 179 DEATHS.

WHAT IS VERY CONCERNING TO ME AS THE HEALTH DIRECTOR IS THAT THESE ARE INDIVIDUALS.

THESE ARE INDIVIDUALS THAT HAVE EXPERIENCED, WHETHER IT WAS BEING AT HOME OR BEING HOSPITALIZED.

THEY HAVE GONE THROUGH THIS AS WELL AS THEIR FAMILIES.

WE WANT TO ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND THAT DURING THIS PROCESS, THERE IS A NOTIFICATION PROCESS THAT HAPPENS TO THE FAMILY, BUT OUR STAFF HAVE TO FOLLOW UP WITH THEM TO TALK WITH THEM ABOUT CONTACT TRACY.

I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE A FEW MOMENTS, A FEW MINUTES TO JUST REALLY PAUSE AND PAY RESPECTS TO THE INDIVIDUALS OF AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, THAT HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES.

LET'S TAKE A FEW MOMENTS OF SILENCE.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR THAT OPPORTUNITY.

WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY TODAY, AS YOU ARE MAKING PLANS TO COVER THE ESSENTIAL NEEDS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD, WHETHER YOU'RE AN INDIVIDUAL OR A FAMILY, NO MATTER HOW LARGE OR SMALL WORKING AND MAKING SURE THAT YOU ARE TAKING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS, BUT ALSO IF YOU ARE A PARENT OR CAREGIVER, MAKING SURE THAT YOU ARE ALSO BEING AN INFLUENCE, A POSITIVE INFLUENCE.

AS WE LOOK AT THIS RESPONSE OF COVID-19 AUSTIN, PUBLIC HEALTH AND ALL OF THE CITY AND COUNTY AND ALL OF THE HOSPITAL STAFF AND EVERYONE THAT IS WORKING IN THIS SPACE, WE NEED YOU TO HELP US AND TAKE THAT PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD FOR YOU TO BE AN AMBASSADOR, AND WE MAY NOT EVER HEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU'VE DONE IN THE COMMUNITY OR YOUR FAMILY, BUT JUST KNOW IT IS GOING TO HELP US TO FLATTEN THE CURVE.

WE HAVE STOOD UP SOME COMMUNITY TESTING SITES BECAUSE IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO HAVE FACILITIES WHERE WE ARE ABLE TO TEST IN THE COMMUNITY THREE DAYS PER WEEK.

AT THIS TIME, I WILL TURN IT OVER TO DR.

JASON PICKETT DIRECTOR, HAYDEN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

AND TO ECHO WHAT YOU'VE SAID HERE, IT IS THE INDIVIDUAL ACTION BY EACH PERSON THAT HELPS TO SAVE LIVES AND PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THIS VIRUS.

IT IS NOT THE TESTING OR THE CONTACT TRACING OR THE CASE INVESTIGATION, BUT IT IS WHAT WE AS INDIVIDUALS DO TO PREVENT THE SPREAD BY WEARING MASKS IN PUBLIC, BY STAYING AWAY FROM LARGE GROUPS OF PEOPLE BY WASHING OUR HANDS BY SOCIAL DISTANCING, IS THOSE THINGS THAT EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US DOES EVERY DAY THAT HELPS TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF THIS VIRUS.

WE HAVE A LITTLE BIT, A LITTLE GLIMMER OF HOPE IN THIS WEEK'S NUMBERS, WHERE WE'VE SEEN A SLIGHT LEVELING OFF OF THE HOSPITALIZATION NUMBERS, WHERE WE WERE ON A RAPID INCREASE.

WE'VE SEEN THAT PLATEAUS SLIGHTLY, JUST OVER THE LAST FEW DAYS.

IT IS DIFFICULT TO SAY IF THAT IS GOING TO REMAIN, OR IF WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE ON THIS UPWARD TREND, THE HOSPITALS RIGHT NOW ARE STRETCHED AND THEY ARE PULLING STAFF IN FROM HOSPITALS IN OTHER AREAS AND CONTRACT STAFFING TO INCREASE THEIR CAPABILITIES.

BUT RIGHT NOW THE, THE HOSPITALS ARE STRETCHED WITH PATIENTS, UH, AND LOOKING FOR HELP FROM THE STATE AND FROM THEIR OTHER HOSPITALS AS WELL.

WE TOO ARE REQUESTING THOSE RESOURCES FROM THE STATE ON BEHALF OF THE HOSPITALS.

AND WE ARE ALSO STANDING UP OUR ALTERNATE CARE SITE, OUR FIELD HOSPITAL, IF YOU WILL, TO

[00:05:01]

HELP TAKE SOME OF THAT BURDEN FROM THE HOSPITALS TO HELP THEM TO CARE FOR MORE PATIENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE CRITICALLY ILL.

BUT I WANT TO SAY THAT THIS LEVELING OFF IS VERY EARLY RIGHT NOW FOR US TO TELL IF THIS IS GOING TO BE A TREND OR IF WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE ON THE UPWARD TREND THAT WE HAVE BEEN SEEING OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, WE HAVE LOOKED AT AND NOW ENACTED, UH, AN ADDITIONAL ORDER AS IT RELATES TO SCHOOLS.

AND WE HAVE ORDERED THAT WE NOT HAVE IN-PERSON CLASSES UNTIL AT LEAST SEPTEMBER THE AGE, AND THAT INCLUDES ATHLETICS.

AND THIS IS TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN AND ALSO TO PROTECT OUR TEACHERS, AS WE'VE SEEN FROM OTHER AREAS THAT HAVE OPENED SCHOOLS EARLY, WHILE THERE'S STILL TRANSMISSION ACTIVE TRANSMISSION WITHIN THEIR COMMUNITIES.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT SOUTH, WHEN YOU LOOK AT ISRAEL, UH, THEN OPENING TO EARLY LED TO SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE IN CASES, AND THEY HAD TO DIAL THINGS BACK AGAIN.

WE DON'T WANT TO MAKE THAT SAME MISTAKE HERE IN AUSTIN.

WE WANT TO LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCES OF OTHERS, UH, SO THAT WHEN WE DO OPEN UP THAT WE DO NOT END UP WITH ANOTHER SURGE OF CASES.

SO WE DO NOT HAVE TO CLOSE BACK DOWN AGAIN.

UM, WITH THAT, I'D LIKE TO TURN IT OVER TO CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JEN HACHETTE, JANET WERE UNFORTUNATELY UNABLE TO HEAR YOU, IF YOU DON'T MIND.

CAN WE, UH, CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? SORRY, IT LOOKS LIKE IT'S OFF, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHY IT DOES THAT.

UM, SO I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ADD THAT, UH, WE ARE AT A POINT RIGHT NOW WHERE WE ARE GOING TO SURPASS 16,000 NEW CASES TODAY.

UH, AND, UH, WE ARE AT A POINT IN THIS RESPONSE WHERE WE CONTINUE TO RECEIVE AN OVERWHELMING NUMBER OF CASES ON IT, NEW CASES ON A DAILY BASIS.

UM, AND WE HAVE WIDESPREAD COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION.

WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT OUR ACTIVITIES RELATED TO CONTACT TRACING ARE GOING TO BE, UH, VERY LIMITED IN WHAT THEY CAN DO.

UM, AND IT, AGAIN, JUST REEMPHASIZES THE POINT THAT WE ARE AT A POINT IN ORDER TO FLATTEN THE CURVE, WE WILL REQUIRE EVERYONE TO FOLLOW THE ORDERS THAT OUR GOVERNOR AND OUR LOCAL OFFICIALS HAVE PUT INTO PLACE.

AS FAR AS WEARING MASKS AND PROTECTING YOUR FAMILY.

IF YOU DID GET A TEST, UH, YOU NEED TO STAY AT HOME UNTIL YOU GET YOUR TEST RESULTS BACK, UH, BECAUSE IF THERE'S A POSSIBILITY THAT WE ARE SEEING LONGER TIMES, AS FAR AS THE POINT TIME FROM WHEN YOU RECEIVED THE TEST, UNTIL THE TIME YOU GET YOUR RESULT BACK THAT, UH, THERE MAY BE AN ISSUE.

YOU MAY HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE OUT IN THE COMMUNITY, AND IF THAT'S THE CASE, YOU NEED TO PROBABLY STAY HOME.

SO, UM, AGAIN, WE ARE IN WHAT I WOULD CALL A PANDEMIC, UH, RESPONSE, AND IT'S GONNA REQUIRE, UM, UH, IT'S GOING TO IMPACT NOT JUST AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, AS YOU SEE, IT'S IMPACTING ALL THE METROPOLITAN AREAS IN, IN TEXAS, AS WELL AS A LOT OF THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES, UH, HAVING, UH, INCREASES IN OVERWHELMING INCREASES IN THE NUMBER OF CASES AND IN ORDER TO GET A HANDLE ON THIS IS GOING TO REQUIRE EVERYONE'S COOPERATION, UH, AND INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY TO PREVENT TRANSMISSION.

GREAT.

THANK YOU FOR THOSE OPENING REMARKS NOW TO OUR POOL REPORTER, MOLLY OAK FROM BAYVIEW.

HEY, GOOD MORNING GUYS.

THANKS FOR ALWAYS DOING THAT.

I KNOW WE ALL APPRECIATE THE UPDATES.

UH, FIRST ONE IS FROM KVU APH HAS PREVIOUSLY SAID HOSPITAL CAPACITY.

ISN'T A CONCERN YET, BUT YOU WERE WORRIED ABOUT THE RATE AT WHICH PATIENTS WERE BEING ADMITTED AND THAT WE COULD GET INTO A MORE DIRE SITUATION.

WHAT'S YOUR ASSESSMENT NOW OF HOW WE'RE DOING ON HOSPITAL CAPACITY AND ESPECIALLY ICU.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THAT QUESTION.

AND, UH, I'LL TAKE THAT.

WE ARE A RIGHT NOW, THE HOSPITALS ARE STRETCHED.

THEY'RE NEEDING TO FIND ADDITIONAL STAFFING AND, UH, THEY ARE FINDING WAYS TO DO CARE FOR MORE PATIENTS WITHIN THE HOSPITAL.

WE'RE BASED ON THE LIMITED OR WITH THE LIMITED NUMBER OF STAFF THAT THEY HAVE.

UH, THE, RIGHT NOW WE ARE COMPETING FOR RESOURCES, UH, FOR THOSE HOSPITALS STAFF FROM MANY OTHER AREAS.

AND, UH, SO THIS IS A TRUE DEFINITION OF A NATIONAL

[00:10:01]

OR GLOBAL PANDEMIC, AND THAT THE RESOURCES ARE STRETCHED IN EVERYWHERE.

UH, WE CONTINUE TO MAKE THOSE REQUESTS, BUT, UH, RIGHT NOW THOSE, UH, THOSE HOSPITAL BEDS ARE EDGING TOWARDS THE MAXIMUM NUMBER THAT CAN BE STAFFED AND PATIENTS THAT CAN BE TAKEN CARE OF.

THIS IS WHY WE A FEW WEEKS AGO, UH, DECIDED TO PUSH FORWARD WITH OPENING OUR ALTERNATE CARE SITE, UH, TO HELP TO TAKE THE BURDEN OFF OF THE HOSPITALS.

OKAY, GREAT.

THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KSAN.

HOW HAS THE NEWEST CONSTRUCTION ORDER DIFFERENT THAN THE ONE BEFORE? ARE YOU STILL DOING TARGETED TESTING FOR THOSE WORKERS AND ARE THOSE CLUSTERS GETTING BIGGER OR SMALLER? UM, CURRENTLY WITH THE NEW ORDER, UM, WE ARE, UM, REALLY GIVING SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT, UM, THE SCREENING OF EMPLOYEES, AS WELL AS ENSURING, UM, THE, THE SOCIAL DOES SUCCEED, CLEANING THE TOOLS.

UM, BUT ALSO MAKING SURE THAT IF INDIVIDUALS ARE, UM, ARE TESTING POSITIVE OR HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS, MAKING SURE THAT THEY ARE NOT WORKING, WE ARE CONTINUING TO, UM, TO TEST AND DO THAT TARGETED TESTING, UM, IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY AS WELL.

UM, WE ARE CONTINUING TO MONITOR THOSE NUMBERS AS WELL.

AND SO WE'RE, WE'RE SEEING A REDUCTION IN OUR, UM, NUMBERS, BUT WHAT WE WANT TO MAKE SURE IS IS THAT THE MESSAGE IS GETTING OUT TO INDIVIDUALS THAT, THAT IF THEY GO TO WORK AND THEY ARE, IT IS FINE FOR THEM TO BE TESTED.

WE DON'T WANT THEM TO JUST FEEL OBLIGATED TO GO INTO WORK.

AND THEY KNOW THAT THEY'RE NOT FEELING WELL, OR THEY MAY HAVE A FAMILY MEMBER THAT'S HOME THAT IS COLVIN POSITIVE.

SO WE WANT THEM TO BE ABLE TO ISOLATE AS WELL WITH THEIR FAMILIES.

SO WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT TARGETED TESTING, UM, WITH OUR, UM, COMMUNITY PARTNERS, AND THEN, UM, ALSO ENCOURAGE, UM, ESSENTIAL WORKERS TO GO TO OUR COMMUNITY TESTING SITES AS WELL.

AND NEXT QUESTION IS FROM COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWS, HOW INVOLVED WERE LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS TO REQUIRE VIRTUAL LEARNING ONLY UNTIL SEPTEMBER 8TH.

CAN YOU GIVE US A SENSE OF HOW OFTEN APH MET WITH SUPERINTENDENTS LEADING UP TO THE DECISION AND HOW THOSE DISCUSSIONS WENT? WE HAVE MET WITH THE SUPERINTENDENTS, UM, THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS, UM, ARE, UM, WE HAVE A FEW SUPERINTENDENTS THAT SIT ON OUR CALL, OUR POLICY GROUP.

AND SO WE HAVE BEEN MEETING WITH THEM SINCE THE INCEPTION OF THIS COVID-19 RESPONSE.

UM, DR.

S SCOTT HELD A MEETING JUST RECENTLY.

UM, HE DOES MEET WITH THEM MONTHLY, BUT HE ALSO HELD A MEETING WITH THEM ON MONDAY TO TALK ABOUT AND GET THEIR PERSPECTIVE THINGS THAT THEY WERE WORKING ON.

SO IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO, TO KNOW THAT THIS IS A COLLABORATIVE PROCESS.

UM, WE WILL PROVIDE TO THEM OUR PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTISE, BUT BECAUSE THEY'RE IN SCHOOL OFFICIALS, WE ARE DEPENDING ON THEM, UM, AND WORK WITH THE INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE HAS BEEN PROVIDED FROM TEA, BUT WE ARE ULTIMATELY DEPENDING ON THEM TO IMPLEMENT THOSE PRACTICES, AS WE'VE HAD REPRESENTATION FROM THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS ON OUR POLICY CALLS, AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN SAID, UH, THAT POLICY BOARD MEETS SEVERAL TIMES A WEEK.

SO, UH, FROM THE VERY BEGINNING OF THIS RESPONSE, THEY HAVE BEEN, UH, THERE AT THE TABLE WITH US, WITH THE CITY LEADERS, WITH HOSPITAL LEADERSHIP, UH, AND HELPING US TO CRAFT THE, THIS RESPONSE.

ALRIGHT, NEXT QUESTION IS FROM CVS AUSTIN.

IF WE'RE RUNNING SHORT ON STAFF AT HOSPITALS, HOW WILL STAFFING NOT ALSO BE LIMITED AT THE AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER AS AN ALTERNATE SITE, WILL THE ALTERNATE SITE ALSO DRAIN RESOURCES WHERE YOU'RE COMPETING FOR RESOURCES LIKE, UH, UH, NOT ONLY OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS LOCALLY, BUT ALSO HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS IN OTHER AREAS.

UH, WE ARE ASKING FOR RESOURCES FROM THE STATE AS WELL AS FROM OTHER STATES.

UH, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE GOOD NEIGHBORS, THAT THE HOSPITALS HAVE ADEQUATE STAFF THAT, UH, WE ARE NOT TAKING RESOURCES FROM THEM TO STAFF THE ALTERNATE CARE SITES.

UH, BUT IT IS A CHALLENGE.

AND I THINK THAT WE ARE SEEING CHALLENGES IN THE TYPES OF STAFF THAT WE CAN SOURCE

[00:15:01]

FOR THOSE DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS, BUT WE ARE IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH THE HOSPITAL SYSTEMS, UH, UNDERSTANDING THEIR NEEDS.

AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE NOT STEPPING ON THOSE REQUESTS, BUT IN FACT, ADVOCATING FOR THOSE REQUESTS FROM THE HOSPITALS TO AUGMENT THEIR STAFF.

AND NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KUT.

AUSTIN HAD THE HIGHEST COBIT POSITIVITY RATE IN THE COUNTRY TWO WEEKS AGO.

CAN YOU UPDATE US ON THE POSITIVITY RIGHT NOW? THE BEST SOURCE OF INFORMATION REGARDING OUR LOCAL POSITIVITY RATES WILL BE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES.

AND THE REASON FOR THAT IS BECAUSE WE HAVE SO MANY ENTITIES OUT IN THE COMMUNITY THAT ARE DOING A TESTING AT THE CURRENT TIME, IT'S HARD FOR US TO DETERMINE, UH, HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN TESTED IN OUR COMMUNITY.

UH, WE ARE, WE CAN CALCULATE OUR POSITIVE ACTIVITY RATE BASED ON OUR SPECIFIC TESTING, BUT, UH, UH, WE CAN'T FOR OTHER ENTITIES.

CAUSE WE DON'T KNOW THE NUMBER OF NEGATIVES THAT THEY'VE HAD REPORTED BACK TO THEM.

SO I WOULD GO TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE'S HEALTH SERVICES FOR THAT INFORMATION NEXT ONE'S FROM THE STATESMAN, HAVE ANY FINES OR PENALTIES BEEN LOVING FOR PEOPLE OR BUSINESSES THAT HAVE VIOLATED LOCAL ORDERS YET OTHER THAN THOSE GIVEN BY TABC, WHY SHOULD PEOPLE THINK NEW PENALTIES WILL BE ENFORCED WHEN THEY HAVEN'T BEEN BEFORE? THE, THE ORDERS, UM, WERE RECENTLY PASSED, UM, LAST WEEK AT OUR COUNCIL, UM, MORE ACCESSIONS TO PUT THOSE IN PLACE.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, UM, YESTERDAY THE ORDERS WERE POSTED YESTERDAY PRIOR TO THE ORDERS BEING POSTED YESTERDAY.

UH, INTERNALLY OUR STAFF MET WITH, UM, THE STAFF FROM ACROSS THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND THEN WORK IN ENFORCEMENT AREAS AS WELL AS, UM, OUR STAFF HAVE MET WITH THE COUNTY STAFF.

WE ARE GOING TO, UM, AS YOU KNOW, THE, A LOT OF THE COMPLAINTS ARE DRIVEN BY THE PUBLIC.

SO WHEN INDIVIDUALS WHO WILL CALL THREE, ONE, ONE TO REPORT THAT IN FOR COMPLIANCE, WE WILL HAVE THE ABILITY TO GO TO LOCATIONS WHERE WE RECEIVE THOSE REPORTS AND WE WILL BE ABLE TO INITIALLY, UM, OUR GOAL IS, IS TO VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE.

THAT IS OUR HOPE WITH EVERYONE.

AND SO WE STARTED THAT PLACE OF VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE AND WORK WITH THEM ABOUT HOW TO IMPLEMENT THOSE CHANGES.

UM, IN THE EVENT, THINGS ARE NOT IMPLEMENTED.

WE WILL MOVE FORWARD AND PROVIDE A CITATION TO THEM AND TAKE THOSE INDIVIDUALS TO COURT.

SO THE PROCESS HAS BEEN IN PLACE AND WE HAVE THE, UM, THE, THE, UM, APPROVAL FROM OUR CITY COUNCIL TO MOVE FORWARD IN THAT SPACE.

AND NEXT QUESTION IS FROM COOPERATING FOR MORE THAN A WEEK, WE WATCHED THE DASHBOARD DATA INDICATE THAT WE WERE IN STAGE FIVE.

YET THERE WAS NO ANNOUNCEMENT YESTERDAY EVENING, DR.

ASCOT DECLARED SCHOOLS CAN NOT OPEN AS USUAL BASED ON DATA.

WHAT DATA IS THIS? THE SAME DATA SUPPORTING THE DASHBOARD? THE DATA THAT DR S SCOTT IS REFERRING TO IS, IS THAT, YOU KNOW, THAT WE MONITOR DATA ON A DAILY BASIS.

WE LOOK AT THE DATA FROM THE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS POSITIVE, OUR POSITIVITY RATE.

WE LOOK AT THE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE, UM, THAT ARE IN THE HOSPITAL THAT ARE IN ICU BEDS.

AND SO THIS IS A COLLABORATIVE PROCESS.

WHEN WE LOOK AT THIS PARTICULAR ZONE, IT'S FROM CASES FROM SEVEN TO ONE 23.

AND SO, UM, AS WE MEET WITH OUR HEALTH AUTHORITY, AS WELL AS OUR, UM, INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE PROVIDING HEALTHCARE IN OUR COMMUNITY AND OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS COLLABORATIVELY, WE MAKE A DECISION ABOUT WHEN TO TRANSITION TO THE NEXT LEVEL BASED UPON EVERY INDIVIDUAL'S DATA, AS WELL AS THE MODELING THAT HAS BEEN PROVIDED TO ADD TO WHAT DR.

DIRECTOR HAYDEN SAID.

THERE ARE SEVERAL FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO WHERE WE ASSESS OUR STAGE TO BE CURRENTLY THE RUNNING NEW HOSPITALIZATIONS.

THAT 70 NUMBER IS ONE OF THOSE FACTORS, BUT THERE ARE OTHER THINGS SUCH AS THE RATE OF CHANGE, AS WELL AS HOSPITAL

[00:20:01]

BED STATUS THAT HELPED TO CONTRIBUTE TO WHEN WE BELIEVE THAT WE'RE MOVING FROM ONE STAGE TO ANOTHER.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM OSTEOPENIA.

ARE YOU EXPECTING DEATHS TO INCREASE BECAUSE OF THE RECENT SURGE OR ARE THEY LEVELING OUT? DEFINITELY WE HAVE CURRENTLY WITH THE REGARDS TO DEATHS SHOWS A RECENT SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN EXCESS DEATHS AT 23% ABOVE WHAT IS THE EXPECTED NUMBER OF DEATHS FOR THIS, UH, THIS TIME OF YEAR? SO WITH THE RECENT SURGE IN CASES, WE DO EXPECT TO SEE A, UH, SURGEON DEATHS AT THE SAME TIME.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM WITH THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR AROUND THE CORNER, MANY SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE ALREADY DECIDING TO GO 100% WITH VIRTUAL CLASSES FOR THE FIRST THREE WEEKS OF THE SCHOOL YEAR.

HOW BAD IS THE SITUATION HAVE TO BE IN ORDER FOR YOU GUYS TO RECOMMEND DOING VIRTUAL CLASSES FOR THE REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR? IT'S DIFFICULT FOR US TO MODEL BEYOND JUST A COUPLE OF WEEKS FROM NOW BECAUSE INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOR INFLUENCES THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS WITHIN THE COMMUNITY, UH, HOW PEOPLE ARE ADHERING TO THE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND THE MASKING.

AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE MODEL WEEK AFTER WEEK TO SEE WHERE WE MIGHT BE A LITTLE BIT OF TIME FROM NOW A FEW WEEKS FROM NOW, BUT UNFORTUNATELY OUR ABILITY TO SEE INTO THAT FUTURE IS VERY LIMITED.

IT'S REALLY ONLY ACCURATE WITHIN A, A, A COUPLE OF WEEKS, A FEW WEEKS FROM RIGHT NOW.

SO WE EVALUATE THIS ON AN ONGOING BASIS TO SEE WHAT THE DISEASE IS DOING IN THE COMMUNITY, HOW OUR CASES ARE RISING OR PLATEAUING OR FALLING OFF TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POLICY.

SO, UNFORTUNATELY WE JUST CAN'T SAY WHAT THINGS WILL BE LIKE IN OCTOBER, BECAUSE WE JUST DON'T KNOW.

NEXT QUESTION FROM AUSTIN BUSINESS JOURNAL, HAVE THERE BEEN ANY NEW INDICATIONS ON THE RATE OF TRANSMISSION OVER THE PAST WEEK? OKAY.

I AM.

I AM.

OKAY.

I GUESS I'LL ANSWER THAT.

I MEAN, THE RATE OF TRANSMISSION, OBVIOUSLY OUR CASE COUNTS CONTINUE TO INCREASE.

SO, UM, UH, I WOULDN'T VENTURE TO GUESS OUR RATE OF TRANSMISSION IS ALSO INCREASING.

UM, AGAIN, I THINK WE'RE WHEN WE START SEEING THAT THE EPIDEMIOLOGIC CURVE STARTING TO FLATTEN AGAIN, UH, WE'LL SHOW THAT TRANSMISSION IS REDUCING.

UH, THAT'S WHY WE ARE, YOU KNOW, ASKING EVERY COMMUNITY COMMUNITY MEMBER TO BE SURE, TO MAKE SURE THERE'S, THEY'RE FOLLOWING ORDERS AS FAR AS WEARING THEIR MASS SOCIAL DISTANCING AND PRACTICING THOSE, UH, PREVENTION AND HYGIENE MYTHS ACTIVITIES TO REDUCE, REDUCE TRANSMISSION.

UM, IDEALLY WE WOULD LIKE TO, TO SQUASH AND FLATTEN THE CURVE WHERE WE CAN, UH, AND THOSE ARE WHAT THOSE ARE THE ACTIVITIES THAT ARE GONNA MAKE THAT HAPPEN TO ADD TO, UH, WHAT JANET IS SAYING.

WE ARE, UH, WE ARE HAMSTRUNG SOMEWHAT BY THE INCREASE IN TURNAROUND TIME OF THE TEST RESULTS THAT WE ARE GETTING.

ALL OF THE LABS IN, UH, IN TEXAS ARE ALSO STRETCHED AND OVERWHELMED.

SO OUR TEST TURNAROUND TIME, THE AMOUNT OF TIME IT TAKES FROM THE OBTAINING THE TEST TO GETTING A RESULT HAS INCREASED DRASTICALLY BECAUSE OF THAT DELAY.

UH, THEN IT, IT'S DIFFICULT FOR US TO SAY WHERE WE ARE YESTERDAY WITH REGARD TO THE TEST RESULTS IN THE COMMUNITY AND THE, AND THE NEW CASES WERE IN THE COMMUNITY.

YEAH.

AND I, AGAIN, THAT'S WHY IT'S SO IMPORTANT FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE TESTED, BECAUSE THERE COULD BE A LAG OF FIVE TO SEVEN TO 10 DAYS TO GET YOUR TEST RESULTS BACK.

IF YOU ARE A TESTED, UH, YOU KNOW, WE'RE ASKING PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN TESTED, UH, TO REMAIN HOME UNTIL THEY GET THEIR TEST RESULTS BACK.

SO THEY'RE NOT ACTIVELY TRANSMITTING DISEASE, UH, SHOULD THEY HAVE IT AND NOT BE AWARE OF IT? BOX SEVEN IS ASKING, WHAT WILL A THREE WEEK DELAY IN OPENING SCHOOLS ACTUALLY GET US? IT GIVES THEM MORE TIME THAT GIVES THEM MORE TIME TO PREPARE AND TO DEVELOP THEIR PLANS AND PUT IN PLACE THEIR METHODS FOR MITIGATING THE SPREAD OF THE DISEASE, UH, TEA.

AND THE CDC HAVE COME UP WITH SOME GREAT

[00:25:01]

RECOMMENDATIONS WITH REGARD TO HOW TO DISTANCE WITHIN SCHOOLS AND SPREADING OUT THE DESKS, WEARING THE MASKS, UM, ON CROWDING THE HALLWAYS SO THAT KIDS CAN BE FARTHER APART.

UM, THESE ARE ALL GREAT SUGGESTIONS, BUT WE DO NOT HAVE THEM IN PLACE RIGHT NOW.

AND WE CANNOT INCREASE THE PHYSICAL FOOTPRINT OF A SCHOOLS, UH, OVERNIGHT.

SO IT GIVES THE SCHOOLS THE TIME TO WORK ON THOSE PLANS, TO CONTINUE TO DEVELOP THEM, UH, AND, UH, AND TO WORK WITH AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF HOW WE CAN BETTER KEEP OUR KIDS AS WELL AS OUR TEACHERS AND STAFF SAFE.

THIS ONE'S FROM AUSTIN POLITICS NEWSLETTER YESTERDAY.

DR.

S SCOTT SAID THAT BETWEEN 40 TO 1300 AISD STUDENTS COULD DIE FROM COVID IF SCHOOLS REOPENED, BUT WHAT NUMBERS SUGGEST THAT IS REALISTIC.

THE CDC REPORTED ON JULY 4TH, THAT OF THE FIRST 100,000 COVID-19 DEATHS, ONLY 179 WERE BELOW THE AGE OF 25, THE ENTIRE STATE OF CALIFORNIA STILL HASN'T HAD A COVID 19 DEATH BELOW AGE 18.

SO WE ARE IN, YOU KNOW, LOCALLY, WE'VE NOT HAD ANY DEATHS IN CHILDREN FROM THIS DISEASE.

SO WE HAVE TO GO WITH DATA THAT WE GET FROM OTHER AREAS THAT HAVE BEEN HARDER, HIT PLACES LIKE CHINA.

UH, AND, UH, SO WHAT WE SEE IS THAT THE, THE DEATH RATE BEFORE CHILDREN, OR FOR THOSE UNDER THE AGE OF 19 IS VERY LOW, BUT ONCE YOU MULTIPLY THOSE LOW NUMBERS BY THE NEARLY 200,000 STUDENTS THAT WE HAVE IN AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, UH, THEN NOW YOU START TO SEE A MUCH LARGER INCREASE.

SO FROM DATA FROM CHINA, WE ESTIMATE THAT THE, UH, THAT THE DEATH RATE IN THAT, UH, IN THAT AGE GROUP IS SOMEWHERE AROUND 0.18%.

THAT DEATH RATE MAY RANGE FROM 0.03% TO 1.02%.

BUT AGAIN, ONCE YOU MULTIPLY THAT BY THE NUMBERS OF STUDENTS THAT WE HAVE, AND IF WE ASSUME AS WE SHOULD THAT NOT HAVING ANY NATURAL IMMUNITY TO THIS VIRUS, UH, THAT 70% OF OUR POPULATION IS GOING TO GET THIS VIRUS.

UH, THEN NOW WE START TO SEE THOSE, UH, THOSE DEATHS STACK UP AND THAT'S WHERE THOSE NUMBERS COME FROM.

OKAY.

AND THEN THIS LAST QUESTION IS STATUS OF THE FIELD HOSPITAL.

WILL THAT STILL BE USED? AND IF SO, AT WHAT POINT WOULD IT START ACCEPTING, ACCEPTING PATIENTS, OUR PLAN GO LIVE DATE FOR THAT HOSPITAL? IT'S JULY THE 21ST.

SO NEXT, NEXT TUESDAY, I THINK.

UM, SO, UH, AND WHEN THEY START TAKING PATIENTS, THAT'S LARGELY UP TO THE HOSPITALS WHERE THEY FEEL THEY CAN START, THEY NEED TO START OFFLOADING PATIENTS.

THE EMPHASIS WITH THE ALTERNATE CARE SITE IS THAT WE ARE TAKING CARE OF PATIENTS WITH LOWER ACUITY DISEASE, WHAT WOULD BE REFERRED TO AS A MED SURGE LEVEL ACUITIES.

SO THAT'S A, UM, LIKE YOUR GARDEN VARIETY HOSPITAL BED LEVEL ACUITY.

WE'RE NOT PLANNING TO RUN AN ICU IN THE CONVENTION CENTER.

UH, WE DON'T THINK THAT THAT'S PRACTICAL AND FOLKS WHO ARE CRITICALLY ILL THAT NEED THAT LEVEL OF CARE ARE BEST SERVED IN THE HOSPITALS WHERE THEY, THE QUALITY OF THAT CARE WILL BE THE BEST.

UH, SO IT'S, UH, AS I MENTIONED BEFORE, THE, THE HOSPITALIZATIONS, UH, THE HOSPITALIZATION NUMBERS HAVE LEVELED OFF FOR THE PAST FEW DAYS.

SO I DON'T KNOW IF WE'RE GOING TO TAKE PATIENTS FROM THE HOSPITALS ON DAY, ONE OF THE ALTERNATE CARE SITE BEING OPEN.

UM, BUT I KNOW THAT WE WILL BE READY TO DO SO GREAT.

THAT WRAPS UP THE MEDIA AVAILABILITY BEFORE WE WRAP UP, WOULD YOU ALL HAVE ANY CLOSING REMARKS? I WOULD LIKE TO START WITH JUST A REMINDER ABOUT PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

MY CALL TODAY IS A CALL FOR ACTION AS AN INDIVIDUAL.

I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO THINK ABOUT WHAT THREE THINGS THAT I COULD DO TO MAKE THINGS BETTER FOR MY COMMUNITY.

WHEN I'M THINKING ABOUT COVID-19, AS YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT THAT PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, THOSE INDIVIDUAL THINGS YOU CAN DO, ONE IS PLEASE TRY TO LIMIT, UM, GOING FROM YOUR HOME.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT, UM, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE INDIVIDUALS, INDIVIDUALS THAT MUST LEAVE THEIR HOMES TO GO TO WORK.

WE HAVE INDIVIDUALS THAT, UM, MAYBE TO GO OUT TO GROCERY SHOP, UM, BUT IF YOU ARE IN A POSITION WHERE YOU DON'T HAVE TO LEAVE YOUR HOME, THEN WE WILL REQUEST THAT YOU LIMIT GOING TO PLACES.

WE ALSO

[00:30:01]

REQUEST THAT YOU ALSO BE THAT PERSON BE SOMEONE'S NORTH STAR, WHERE SOMEONE CAN SAY, YOU KNOW, MY FRIEND HAS REALLY TAKEN UPON THEMSELVES TO BE THIS UNSUNG HERO IN OUR COMMUNITY.

AND THESE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT THEY'RE DOING.

AND MAYBE THOSE THINGS WILL, WILL CONTINUE TO BE, UM, TO RUB OFF ON OTHER INDIVIDUALS.

WE WANT TO ENCOURAGE INDIVIDUALS TO COME TO OUR COMMUNITY TESTING SITES.

WE HAVE A SITE AT DOVE SPRINGS, AS WELL AS BRUMBERG COMMUNITY AT WALNUT CREEK.

AND AT GIVENS PARK, WE ARE THERE THREE DAYS PER WEEK, AND YOU CAN GO THROUGH OUR TESTING SITE AND SIGN UP FOR THAT TESTING.

IF YOU DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET, WE STILL ENCOURAGE YOU TO CALL ON NURSING LINE AND TALK WITH THEM.

AND WE WILL DEFINITELY GET YOU SCHEDULED.

WE THANK YOU FOR THE THINGS THAT YOU HAVE DONE, BECAUSE WE DO HAVE PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT ARE REALLY DOING SOME AWESOME THINGS.

THEY ARE CHECKING ON OTHER PEOPLE.

UM, THEY ARE MAKING SURE THAT OTHER PEOPLE'S BASIC NEEDS ARE MET BY PROVIDING FOOD, ET CETERA.

AND SO WE APPLAUD YOU ARE HEROES IN OUR COMMUNITY.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

I'LL TURN OVER TO DR.

JASON PICKETT.

THANK YOU, DIRECTOR HAYDEN, VERY WISE WORDS.

THERE IT IS ON ALL OF US TO, TO STOP THIS VIRUS TO SLOW IT SPREAD AND PROTECT OUR MOST VULNERABLE PEOPLE.

UH, NOW WE DO NOT YET HAVE A VACCINE FOR THIS.

AND, UH, I DO NOT KNOW WHEN THAT MIGHT OCCUR.

THERE ARE A LOT OF FOLKS WHO ARE WORKING VERY HARD TO DEVELOP ONE, UH, THAT WILL BE SAFE AND WILL BE EFFECTIVE.

BUT UNTIL THAT HAPPENS, UH, THIS VIRUS CAN RUN THROUGH OUR COMMUNITY AND WE WILL NOT SEE HERD IMMUNITY UNTIL ABOUT 70% OF OUR COMMUNITY HAS DEVELOPED IMMUNITY EITHER THROUGH GETTING THE VIRUS OR THROUGH A SAFE VACCINE.

AND THIS IS WHY ALL OF THESE ACTIONS THAT WE ARE TAKING ARE SO IMPORTANT, UH, TO, UH, TO PREVENT THAT SPREAD BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE ANOTHER WAY TO PREVENT THAT SPREAD RIGHT NOW.

UM, WE HAVE THIS ALTERNATE CARE SITE THAT'S BEING STOOD UP.

I HOPE THAT WE DON'T HAVE TO TAKE A SINGLE PATIENT DNA.

UH, I HOPE THAT THE DISEASE LEVELS OFF THAT THE HOSPITALS ARE ABLE TO CARE FOR EVERYONE THAT NEEDS BE CARED FOR IN THAT HOSPITAL SETTING.

UM, BUT WE GOTTA BE READY FOR IT.

AND, UH, WE WILL BE READY.

UH, SO I'M, I'M OPTIMISTIC IF YOU NEVER WANTED TO WORK VERY HARD ON A LARGE PROJECT AND THEN NEVER USED IT, BUT I HOPE WE NEVER HAVE TO USE THIS ONE, BUT TO ECHO WHAT DIRECTOR HAYDEN SAID, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO HELP SLOW THIS DOWN.

WE SAW EARLY ON WHEN WE HAD THE, THE SHELTER, THE STAY AT HOME ORDERS TO STAY HOME, STAY SAFE, AND STAY HOME, WORK, SAFE ORDERS.

UH, WE SAW US FLATTEN THAT CURVE.

WE SAW THAT WHAT WE DO WORKS, MY STAYING AT HOME.

I STAYED AWAY FROM OTHER PEOPLE, AND THAT WAS BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO HELP IN THIS EFFORT.

SO IT'S, IT'S A LONG EFFORT.

PLEASE KEEP AT IT AND, UH, PLEASE HELP YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR NEIGHBORS, YOUR FAMILY, AND BY SELLING THIS SPREAD.

THANK YOU.

UM, I JUST LIKE TO SAY REMIND EVERY BIT THE PUBLIC HEALTH WORKFORCE HAS BEEN AT THIS FIGHT SINCE JANUARY, UH, EARLY ON, WE WERE MONITORING PEOPLE WHO WERE RETURNING FROM, UH, COUNTRIES THAT HAD COVID AND HAD THEM QUARANTINE, AND WE'RE MONITORING THEM TWICE A DAY.

IT THEN BECAME OUR FIGHT TO, UH, BEGIN, UH, TRYING TO CONTROL THE SPREAD OF DISEASE IN THOSE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY DEVELOPED ILLNESS.

UM, I JUST WANT TO REMIND EVERYBODY, THIS IS NOT JUST OUR FIGHT.

THIS IS A COMMUNITY'S FIGHT, AND WE ARE AT A POINT NOW WHERE WE NEED TO, UH, COME TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY AND FIGHT AND FLATTEN THE CURVE.

ONCE AGAIN, UH, AS DR.

PICKETT SAID, YOU KNOW, WE WERE DOING, UH, WELL, UH, DURING THE SHELTER IN PLACE ORDER.

UH, AND I THINK WE CAN GET BACK THERE IF EVERYBODY, UH, FIGHTS TOGETHER.

SO, UM, I APPRECIATE, UM, EVERYBODY'S EFFORTS AND, UM, WEARING THEIR MASKS, STAYING HOME IF THEY'RE SICK, UH, AND, UH, YOU KNOW, UM, TRYING TO MINIMIZE THE SPREAD OF, OF THE TRANSMISSION RELATED TO THIS ILLNESS.

THANK YOU.

[00:35:02]

THAT'S OUR MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR TODAY.

THANK YOU, DR.

JASON.

THANKS DR. JASON PICKETT FOR FILLING IN EPIDEMIOLOGISTS AND THE POOL REPORTER FOR JOINING US TODAY.

.

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