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[00:00:10]

GOOD MORNING.

I'M

[COVID-19: Press Q & A]

KALILLE BN AND I WILL BE THE MODERATOR FOR TODAY'S MEDIA AVAILABILITY.

SPANISH INTERPRETATION OF THIS MEDIA AVAILABILITY IS ON ATX N THREE TO START US IN PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR.

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

MARK SCOTT AND THROW HIM AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY HEALTH AUTHORITY, AND AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JENNA PICHET.

AND THEN WE'LL OPEN IT UP TO THE POOL REPORTER WHO ASKED QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA, STEPHANIE, OVER TO YOU.

GOOD MORNING.

GOOD MORNING TO EVERYONE TODAY.

FIRST OF ALL, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERY ONE OF YOU WHO LISTENED TO US LAST WEEK.

AS WE REALLY URGE YOU TO LOOK AT YOUR ESSENTIAL TRIPS, ENSURE THAT YOU ARE WEARING YOUR FACE COVERINGS, STAYING HOME.

WHEN YOU ARE YOU, WE ARE REALLY, REALLY NOTICING WITH OUR BEHAVIOR THAT IS AT THE CENTER OF THIS.

WE KNOW THAT THINGS WILL BE BETTER.

KOBE IS STILL WITH US.

WE HAVE NOT SEEN A REDUCTION WITH KOBE AND STOKE COVEN STEEL IS HERE WITH US.

AND SO WE JUST WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT YOUR BEHAVIOR HAS REALLY, REALLY HELPED SO MUCH.

WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO CONTINUE TO BE IN THAT SPACE, CONTINUE TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO THEIR PART, BECAUSE IT IS GOING TO TAKE US ALL.

I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO TALK ABOUT HOW WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE OUR COMMUNITY TESTING EFFORTS IN TARGETED LOCATIONS.

AND WE ARE GOING TO INCREASE THAT SERVICE DELIVERY.

WE ARE GOING TO ALSO, UM, LOOK AT SCHOOL.

SAFETY IS IMPORTANT FOR US AS WE LOOK AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR, WHEN TYPICALLY INDIVIDUALS THAT TEACH AT SCHOOLS, TEACHERS, AND PRINCIPALS, AND ALL OF THE SUPPORT STAFF COME TOGETHER TO PREPARE TO RECEIVE OUR YOUNG ONES AND PROVIDE THEIR EDUCATION.

SO IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US AS AUSTIN, PUBLIC HEALTH, TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN ACROSS TRAVIS COUNTY, BUT ALSO WORK WITHIN THE MSA TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THAT SUPPORT FOR THOSE PLANS, TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE HAVE HEALTH AND SAFETY IS OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY.

SO THOSE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO WORK ON IN THIS SPACE.

I THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TODAY, AND I WILL TRANSITION TO DR.

S SCOTT.

GOOD MORNING, AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN SAID, UH, WE'VE SEEN SOME POSITIVE FRIENDS ASSOCIATED WITH COVID-19.

UH, WE'RE SEEING A PLATEAU AND, UH, A TREND TOWARDS A DECREASE IN THE NUMBER OF NEW CASES.

WE'VE SEEN A PLATEAU AND A TREND AND THE DECREASE IN TERMS OF THE NEW ADMISSIONS TO THE HOSPITAL.

AND THESE ARE, THESE ARE REFRESHING THINGS.

I THINK AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN SAID, THESE ARE, THIS IS EVIDENCE OF, OF THE COMMUNITY WORKING TOGETHER, UH, AGAINST COVID-19.

UH, BUT NOW'S NOT THE TIME TO LET UP.

NOW'S THE TIME TO DIG DEEP TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE CONTINUING THOSE PROTECTIVE BEHAVIORS.

WE ARE CONTINUING TO DECREASE OUR TRIPS OUTSIDE OF HOME.

WE'RE IMPROVING OUR, OUR PROTECTIVE EFFORTS AT MASKING SOCIAL DISTANCING AT THE, UH, THE PERSONAL HYGIENE, THE HAND WASHING AND AVOIDING TOUCHING YOUR FACE.

WE REALLY NEED TO FOCUS ON THAT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE WE WANT TO GET KIDS BACK TO SCHOOL.

UH, BUT WE HAVE TO DO THAT SAFELY.

WE HAVE TO DO IT SAFELY FOR OUR CHILDREN, UH, AND WE HAVE TO DO IT FOR SAFELY FOR THOSE WHO ARE SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER RISK.

THAT'S OUR TEACHERS, OUR ADMINISTRATORS, AND OUR SUPPORT STAFF IN SCHOOLS.

UM, I THINK YOU WON'T FIND A PUBLIC HEALTH PERSON WHO DISAGREES WITH THE FACT THAT THE CHILDREN BELONG IN SCHOOL, THAT THEY ARE BETTER SERVED LEARNING IN PERSON, BUT WE HAVE TO FIND THAT BALANCE.

AND RIGHT NOW WE'RE STILL DEEP IN STAGE FOUR.

AND IN ORDER TO TURN A RETURN, A SIGNIFICANT PERCENTAGE OF OUR STUDENTS BACK TO SCHOOL, WE NEED TO BE BETTER THAN THAT.

WE NEED TO BE IN STAGE THREE OR STAGE TWO OR PREFERABLY BE STAGE ONE.

SO NOW'S THE TIME AS SUMMER, UH, YOU KNOW, NEARS A, AN END TOWARDS THE END OF AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER.

WE'VE GOT TO DO ALL THAT.

WE CAN TO ENSURE THAT WHEN IT COMES TIME TO OPEN SCHOOLS, THAT WE CAN DO THAT SAFELY AND THAT WE CAN AVOID HAVING TO CLOSE DOWN THE SCHOOLS AGAIN IN THE FUTURE.

UH, AND THIS IS GOING TO REQUIRE LONGTERM COMMITMENT FROM US.

UH, THIS IS NOT GOING TO, EVEN IF WE GET TO STAGE

[00:05:01]

THREE OR STAGE TWO OR STAGE ONE, IT'S NOT OVER, UH, IT'S THE EFFECT OF, OF THE TREATMENT WE'VE APPLIED TO THAT PROTECTIVE MEASURES THAT WE'VE UTILIZED IN ORDER TO GET THERE.

AND WE HAVE TO CONTINUE THOSE EFFORTS UNTIL WE HAVE A VACCINE, WHICH IS WIDELY AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC, UH, WHERE WE CAN START TO REALLY RELAX THINGS IN TERMS OF PROTECTIONS, UH, WITH THAT, I'LL TURN IT OVER TO YOU FOR QUESTIONS.

OH, MISS SHIT.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

I DO.

I'M THANKFUL FOR THE COMMUNITY FOR CONTINUING TO BE VIGILANT ABOUT PROTECTING THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES, UH, FROM THE SPREAD OF THE ILLNESS.

UM, WHILE WE ARE, UM, OPTIMISTICALLY CAUTIOUS ABOUT THE NUMBERS, UH, WE DID SEE HIGH NUMBER YESTERDAY.

AND SO FROM THE EPIDEMIOLOGIC PERSPECTIVE, WE WANT TO BE SURE THAT THE NUMBERS THAT WE'RE SEEING, UH, STAY THERE, STAY WHERE THEY'RE AT AND, AND CONTINUE TO TAKE A DOWNWARD TREND.

UM, HOWEVER, WE WANTED TO ALSO EXPLORE THE FACTORS AS TO WHAT MAY BE CAUSING THAT DOWNWARD TREND TO OCCUR.

AND SO WE WILL BE CLOSELY MONITORING THIS OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS AND, AND HOPE THAT WE CAN REACH LEVELS THAT WE HAD BEFORE.

UH, WE, UH, HAD THE REOPENING OCCUR.

SO, UM, AGAIN, YOU KNOW, I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED VIGILANCE, UH, AS FAR AS, UH, REDUCING YOUR EXPOSURES AND PROTECTING YOUR HOUSEHOLDS.

UH, AND WITH THAT, I'LL JUST MOVE ON TO WHAT OUR QUESTIONS MIGHT BE.

UM, BUT THE AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN, GO AHEAD, MARK.

RIGHT? GOOD.

EVERYBODY.

THIS IS MARK WILSON WITH THE STATEMENT AND BEGIN WITH A QUESTION FROM US AT THE AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN LAST WEEK, DR.

JASON PICKETS SAID THE ALTERNATE CARE SIDE OF DETENTION CENTER WOULD BE READY TO OPEN THIS WEEK.

HAVE HOSPITALS SEEN ENOUGH TO SPRING ON THEIR CAPACITY TO REACH OUT TO AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH ABOUT TRANSFERRING PATIENTS THERE YET? AND HOW MANY PATIENTS DO YOU EXPECT TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE SITE OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS BASED ON CURRENT MODELING? SO I'LL START OFF, UH, ANSWERING THAT QUESTION.

UH, OUR HOPE IS THAT WE WILL NEVER TAKE ANY PATIENTS IN THE ALTERNATE CARE SIDE, UH, THAT ACS SERVES AS A BUFFER IN CASE WE OVERSHOOT IN CASE WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH CAPACITY.

UH, SO THERE'S NO INDICATION RIGHT AT THE MOMENT THAT THE HOSPITALS WILL NEED TO, UH, TO TRANSFER PATIENTS TO THAT FACILITY.

AGAIN, THAT FACILITY IS DESIGNED TO HELP DECOMPRESS THE HOSPITALS AND, UH, AND LOOK AFTER LOW ACUITY PATIENTS, UH, INDIVIDUALS WHO, UH, MAY NEED A LITTLE BIT OF SUPPLEMENTAL OXYGEN OR IV FLUIDS, UH, BUT ARE THAT ARE NOT COMPLEX PATIENTS.

NOW, THOSE PATIENTS ARE BETTER SERVED IN THE HOSPITALS.

UH, RIGHT NOW OUR CONCERN IS STILL THE ICU CAPACITY, UH, IN TERMS OF PRIMARILY THE, THE, THE PERSONNEL TO STAFF, THOSE BEDS, OUR HOSPITALS ARE, ARE, ARE DOING WELL.

UH, THEY'VE GOT SPACE STILL, UH, AT ALL LEVELS OF, OF THE HOSPITAL, BUT THEY'RE STRAIN, UH, THE PERSONNEL ARE STRAINED.

UH, THEY'RE TIRED.

AND OUR HOPE IS THAT THROUGH THE CONTINUED EFFORTS OF THE COMMUNITY, WE CAN CONTINUE TO DECREASE THAT BURDEN.

BUT AGAIN, WE ALSO HAVE TO KEEP IN MIND THAT, THAT WE'RE NOT ALONE IN THIS, UH, THAT WE ARE PART OF A LARGER TECH COMMUNITY.

AND WHEN OUR NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS ARE FACING SURGE THAT MIGHT CREATE SEARCH FOR US, UH, FROM OUTSIDE OF TRAVIS COUNTY, WE KNOW THAT SAN ANTONIO HAS SEEN AN INCREASE IN CASES, UH, FOLLOWING THE, UH, INDEPENDENCE DAY.

WE KNOW THAT SOUTH TEXAS IS BEEN HIT VERY, VERY HARD RIGHT NOW, UH, ON COVID PATIENTS WITH HOSPITALS BEING OVERWHELMED AND THE NEED TO TRANSFER PATIENTS OUTSIDE OF THEIR JURISDICTION.

SO WE WANT TO BE GOOD PARTNERS.

WE WANT TO BE GOOD NEIGHBORS, AND WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE SERVICES FOR OTHER RESIDENTS OF THE STATE OF TEXAS, UH, SHOULD THE NEED ARISE.

UH, SO THAT, THAT ACS DOES PROVIDE THAT BUFFER TO US IF WE NEED IT.

BUT AGAIN, OUR HOPE IS THAT WE NEVER HAVE TO SEE ONE PATIENT THERE.

THIS NEXT QUESTION IS FROM REPORT.

THEY, AUSTIN IS LIMITING TESTING TO ONLY PEOPLE WITH SYMPTOMS AFFECTING THE OVERALL RESULTS WE HAVE IN OUR TESTING STRATEGY.

WE HAVE TESTED SYMPTOMATIC PATIENTS AS WELL AS PATIENTS THAT HAVE INCREDIBLE EXPOSURE.

AND SO WITHIN THAT EXPOSURE, WE ARE TESTING EACH OF THOSE GROUPS.

AND SO SOMETIMES THAT DOES INCLUDE TESTING INDIVIDUALS THAT,

[00:10:01]

THAT ARE ASYMPTOMATIC BECAUSE OF THEIR EXPOSURE TO A COED POSITIVE INDIVIDUAL FOR THAT REASON.

YEAH.

AND I CAN JUST ADD TO THAT, UH, YOU KNOW, WHEN WE ARE DOING OUR CASE INVESTIGATION AND CONTACT TRACING, IF WE DO HAVE CREDIBLE EXPOSURES THAT RESULT, UM, THAT ARE IDENTIFIED THROUGH THOSE INVESTIGATIVE, UH, MEASURES, WE DO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO BE FOR PEOPLE TO BE TESTED AS WELL.

AND I'LL, I'LL JUMP IN ON THAT TOO.

AGAIN, THERE'S, THERE'S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASYMPTOMATIC AND ASYMPTOMATIC INDIVIDUAL WITH A KNOWN CLOSE EXPOSURE.

UH, THE RISK IS CERTAINLY HIGHER.

IF WE KNOW SOMEBODY WHO'S BEEN WITHIN SIX FEET OF AN INDIVIDUAL FOR LONGER THAN 10 OR 15 MINUTES, UH, AND WE WANT TO TEST THOSE ARE WHO ARE AT HIGHER RISK.

UH, BUT AGAIN, WHEN WE LOOK AT, AT THE STAGES OF RISK FOR AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY, OUR PRIMARY INDICATOR IS, IS BASED ON THE DUAL ADMISSIONS TO THE HOSPITAL, BECAUSE THERE IS LESS VARIABILITY BASED UPON, UH, TESTING PENETRATION.

UH, WE KNOW FROM OUR DATA, WE KNOW FROM NATIONAL WORLDWIDE DATA, THAT THE NUMBER OF CASES IS MUCH HIGHER THAN THE, THE NUMBERS THAT WE DISPLAY.

THAT'S A GIVEN ACROSS THE GLOBE RIGHT NOW.

UM, BUT YOU KNOW, WE ARE PAYING ATTENTION TO THOSE NUMBERS.

WE ARE, WE ARE WORKING TO, UH, INCREASE OUR TESTING.

UH, BUT AGAIN, THE, THE, THE PURPOSE OF TESTING AT THIS STAGE IS, IS TO CONTACT TRACE, TO ISOLATE, TO, TO BOX IT IN, UH, RIGHT NOW, STILL ACROSS THE STATE OF TEXAS.

AND IN MANY PARTS OF THE COUNTRY, THOSE CASES ARE HAPPENING SO QUICKLY THAT, THAT WE CAN'T EFFECTIVELY BOX IT IN.

UH, SO THEN GETTING TO THE, THE, THE NUMBER OF TOTAL CASES IS, IS LESS NECESSARY BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE THE ABILITY TO BOX IT IN AS IT IS.

UH, CERTAINLY AS WE START TO SEE A DECLINE IN CASES, WE DO WANT TO CAPTURE MORE OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CASES.

UH, SO AS THE ACTIVE CASES DECREASE, OUR, OUR EFFORTS WILL CONTINUE, UH, SO THAT, THAT WE CAN ACHIEVE THAT BOX IN STRATEGY THROUGH THE IDENTIFICATION OF CASES, THE CASE INVESTIGATION, CONTACT TRACING, UH, AND, AND ISOLATION.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM PEI.

UT IS THE CITY'S TESTING CAPACITY.

THE REASON WE CALL IT FOUR DAYS THIS WEEK, OR DO YOU GENUINELY, I BELIEVE TRANSMISSION IS GOING DOWN THE MATH MANDATE.

AND, OKAY, SO I'LL START WITH THAT ONE NIGHT.

I THINK THE CASE NUMBERS ARE REALLY GOING DOWN.

UH, I THINK THAT'S REFLECTED IN THE, IN THE PLATEAU AND DECREASES THAT WE'RE SEEING IN THE HOSPITALS.

UH, LAST WEEK WE HAD A RECORD NUMBER OF, OF TESTS DONE BY AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, 6,000 CASES, OR 6,000 TESTS.

UH, SO I DON'T THINK THAT, UH, THE TESTING PENETRATION IS, IS AN ISSUE HERE.

UH, I THINK THAT, THAT WHEN WE LOOK AT OUR PARTNERS OUTSIDE OF AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, UH, WE CONTINUE TO SEE INCREASES IN THE TESTING THAT, UH, THE OTHER INDIVIDUALS ARE OFFERING.

AND THAT INCLUDES OUR HOSPITAL SYSTEMS, OUR PRIVATE CLINICS, COMMUNITY CARE, AND OTHERS.

UH, SO I THINK WE'RE DOING A GOOD JOB AT TESTING, AND I DON'T THINK THAT'S, UH, THAT'S CONTRIBUTING TO THE DECREASE IN CASES, UM, PASS IT OVER TO, TO, UH, DIRECTOR HAYDEN OR, OR JANET, IF THEY HAVE ANY COMMENTS.

I AGREE WITH DR.

ASCOT, YOU KNOW, WE, WE REALLY HAVE TO, UM, THINK ABOUT THE BEHAVIORS, BEHAVIORS THAT INDIVIDUALS HAVE REALLY, UM, TOOK OWNERSHIP ON AND, UM, HAVE REALLY BEEN IMPROVING WHAT THE SOCIAL DISTRICT'S SAYING.

UM, AND THE, THE FACE COVERING STAYING HOME, IF THEY'RE ILL AND, AND WASHING THEIR HANDS.

I THINK THE OTHER PART OF THE BEHAVIOR THAT I LIKE TO APPLAUD IS, IS THAT INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE ENCOURAGING OTHERS TO REALLY, REALLY LOOK AT HOW THEY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

WE KNOW THAT WITH SEVERAL PEOPLE MAKING A DIFFERENCE, IT WOULD REALLY CARRY OUR COMMUNITY SO MUCH FURTHER.

AND SO WE HAVE TO ENCOURAGE INDIVIDUALS TO CONTINUE IN THIS SPACE, UM, SO WE CAN SEE LESS POSITIVITY IN OUR COMMUNITY.

YEAH.

AND I WOULD JUST ADD THAT, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, WE ARE GOING TO BE LOOKING AND MONITORING THIS VERY CLOSELY OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS, UH, AND, AND, YOU KNOW, BE CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC THAT THIS TREND CONTINUES.

UH, BUT WE DO WANT TO EXPLORE AND LOOK AT ALL THE FACTORS THAT MIGHT BE CONTRIBUTING TO

[00:15:01]

THIS, UH, DOWNWARD TREND ON THAT NOTE, A COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWS ASKED LAST WEDNESDAY, OFFICIALS SAID THE PLATEAU AND HOSPITALIZATION RATE AND DECLINING CASE COUNTS WERE A GLIMMER OF HOPE, BUT SAID IT WAS TOO EARLY TO CALL IT A TREND AND WE CALL IT A TREND.

NOW, ARE WE REALLY GETTING A BETTER HOLD ON THE BUYER FOR ME, I'D LIKE TO LOOK AT, YOU KNOW, OVER AN INCUBATION PERIOD OR TWO.

I MEAN, I LIKE TO LOOK AT OVER A COUPLE OF WEEKS TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

I MEAN, I WOULD IDEALLY THINK THAT, UH, WE'RE AT THE POINT NOW WHERE WE'RE A COUPLE OF WEEKS BEHIND, UH, 4TH OF JULY AND WE CAN, WE SEE A TREND, UH, FOLLOWING MEMORIAL DAY AND OTHER, UH, LARGE EVENTS LIKE THAT.

WE SAW THE OPPOSITE TREND OCCUR.

SO I'M HOPING THAT, UH, YOU KNOW, THE GOVERNOR'S ORDERS AND OUR ORDERS WITHIN THE CITY OF AUSTIN FOR, UH, MASS SKIS, CLOSING OUR PARKS MAY HAVE HAD A POSITIVE IMPACT ON OUR COMMUNITY.

AND I'M HOPING THAT'S THE CASE.

NONE OF THAT, NOW'S NOT THE TIME TO DANCE.

UH, NOW'S THE TIME TO REMAIN CAUTIOUS.

UH, AGAIN, WE'RE, WE'RE CERTAINLY PLEASED THAT THE NUMBERS AREN'T GOING UP, UM, BUT THEY, THEY HAVEN'T GONE DOWN VERY MUCH YET, AND WE DON'T WANT THE MESSAGE TO BE, UH, YOU KNOW, NOW IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE AND GO OUT AND, AND BE AMONGST FRIENDS.

IT'S NOT THE TIME YET.

UH, LET'S GET TO SEPTEMBER, LET'S GET KIDS IN SCHOOL.

UH, YOU KNOW, LET'S, LET'S CONTINUE TO WORK, TO IDENTIFY STRATEGIES ACROSS OUR COMMUNITY THAT WILL PUT US IN A, IN A MORE PROTECTIVE POSITION FOR THE NEXT SIX MONTHS OR NINE MONTHS.

UH, WE'VE GOT A LOT OF WORK TO DO STILL.

AND THAT INVOLVES ALL OF US THAT INVOLVES, UH, OUR BUSINESSES THAT INVOLVES OUR SCHOOLS, OUR PARENTS, OUR COMMUNITY, ALL WORKING TOGETHER TO IDENTIFY HOW WE CAN HAVE A SAFER PATH FORWARD SO THAT WE CAN GET THINGS BACK UP AND WE CAN GET THE ECONOMY GOING AGAIN.

WE CAN GET OUR, OUR CHILDREN OUT OF THE HOUSE AND, AND EDUCATED.

AND I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ADD THAT, YOU KNOW, A HISTORY SHOWS US, UH, FOLLOWING THE 2009 H ONE N ONE OUTBREAK, UH, YOU KNOW, WE HAD, UH, ONSET OCCUR.

THE FIRST WAVE OCCURRED IN THE SPRING AND SUMMER MONTHS.

UH, AND THEN WE WERE ON THIS DOWNWARD SLOPE, BUT WHEN SCHOOL STARTED BACK, WE HAD A SECOND WAVE THAT WAS MUCH LARGER THAN OUR FIRST.

AND SO WE DON'T WANT TO SEE HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE.

AND SO AGAIN, WE REMAIN OPTIMISELY OPTIMISTICALLY CAUTIOUS ABOUT WHAT THESE TRENDS ARE SHOWING US.

THAT'S WHY WE WANT TO BE SURE THAT WE'RE EXAMINING IT VERY CLOSELY.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM CBS AUSTIN, WHILE THE NUMBER OF NEW CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS IS LEVEL OF OFF VENTILATOR USE HAS GONE UP AND YOU EXPLAIN THIS UPWARD TREND AND WHAT IS CAUSING IT.

THAT WOULD BE A QUESTION THAT WE WOULD ASK THEM TO CONTACT THE HOSPITAL STAFF, TO RECEIVE THAT INFORMATION FROM THEM SINCE WE DON'T PROVIDE THAT DIRECT CARE, UM, AT A HOSPITAL, WE'RE NOT THE HOSPITAL STAFF, THEY'RE IN A BETTER POSITION AND CAN ANSWER THAT FOR US.

THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM OSTEOPENIA DOCTOR, AS SCOTT SAID YESTERDAY TO THE CONVENTION CENTER OPENINGS DELAYED BECAUSE OF STAFFING CONCERNS THAT AREA HOSPITALS OR LOCAL OFFICIALS COMPETENT IN THE FIELD HOSPITAL COULD BE STAFF.

WE'VE MADE A REQUEST, UM, THROUGH THE STATE, UM, DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT TO ASSIST US WITH, WITH STAFFING, THE ALTERNATIVE CARE SITE.

WE KNOW WHENEVER WE HAVE, UM, THOSE AREAS WHERE WE'VE, WE'VE LOOKED AT, YOU KNOW, LOCAL RESOURCES, WE DO RELY ON THE STATE TO ASSIST US.

AND SO THAT'S ONE EXAMPLE.

WE'VE ALSO USED THEM TO ASSIST US WITH OUR NURSING HOME, UM, STRIKE TEAMS THAT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO, UM, SEND, UM, NURSING STAFF OUT AS WELL.

SO IT IS A RESOURCE FOR US TO BE ABLE TO USE AS A COMMUNITY.

THE OTHER THING IS, IS WE, WE ALSO USE SOME OF OUR, UM, LOCAL, UM, AGENCIES THAT ARE ABLE TO REACH OUT TO THEIR CONTACTS AND SEE IF THERE ARE PHYSICIANS, UM, AS WELL AS NURSES THAT MAY HAVE THIS INTEREST AND THEN, UM, COORDINATE THE FACILITATION TO GET THEM CONNECTED TO THE HOSPITAL STAFF.

AND I'LL, I'LL ADD ONTO THAT.

UH, YOU KNOW, THE HOSPITALS, WE TALK ABOUT THREE THINGS NEEDED TO, TO CARE FOR PEOPLE,

[00:20:01]

UH, SPACE STAFF AND STAFF, THE HOSPITALS HAVE THE SPACE, THEY HAVE THE STUFF THEY NEED THE STAFF.

SO IT MAKES SENSE FOR US TO PRIORITIZE, UH, ENSURING THAT THEY HAVE THE STAFF, THEY NEED TO MAXIMIZE THE CAPABILITIES OF THE HOSPITAL BEFORE WE START MOVING PATIENTS TO THAT ALTERNATE CARE SITE.

UH, SO WE DO WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE HOSPITALS LOOK AT LOOKED AFTER, UH, THEY'VE SENT REQUEST TO THE STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, UH, FOR STAFFING AS WELL.

UH, AND AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN SAID, WE DO HAVE PLANS FOR SUPPLEMENTAL STAFFING OR THEY ALTERNATE CARE SITE, UH, THROUGH A NUMBER OF MECHANISMS, INCLUDING OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH THE TRAVIS COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY HAS DONE A GREAT JOB AT SIGNING UP TO HELP SUPPORT THAT FACILITY.

UH, BUT WE DO WANT TO MAKE SURE OUR HOSPITALS ARE LOOKED AFTER AND THAT WE CONTINUE TO ADVOCATE FOR, FOR STAFFING THERE SO THAT WE CAN MAXIMIZE THE CAPABILITIES OF, OF THE FACILITIES THAT ARE MEANT TO TAKE CARE OF PATIENTS.

AND THAT'S OUR HOSPITALS.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE AUSTIN BUSINESS JOURNAL WITH TARGETED TESTING OF CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AND UPDATED RULES SPECIFIC TO THAT INDUSTRY, YOU FEEL THE CITY IS MAKING PROGRESS OVERCOMING SOME OF THE BARRIERS TO TESTING AND COMPLIANCE THAT MADE THAT SPECTRAL HOTSPOT THIS SPRING, OR DO THOSE REMAIN OBSTACLES YOUR TEAM IS FACING? I WILL SAY THAT, UM, WHAT WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO DO IS, UM, TO DO SOME MORE TARGETED TESTING.

UM, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS REALLY ESSENTIAL FOR US IS IT'S IS TO WORK WITH, UM, OUR, OUR GROUPS IN THE COMMUNITY TO, TO SET UP WITHIN OUR TESTING, UM, STATIC SITES, TO BE ABLE TO GET THEM, TO SEND INFORMATION OUT TO THEIR CONTACTS AND GET THEM TO SHOW UP TO, TO OUR SITES.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT FOR US AS WELL IS TO ENSURE THAT THAT EDUCATION IS PROVIDED TO THEM TOO, ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF MASK WEARING YOUR MASK AND WASHING YOUR HANDS AND ESPECIALLY TO, TO STAY HOME.

IF YOU'RE EO, WE FEEL THAT IF, IF THOSE THINGS ALONG WITH, UM, INDIVIDUALS BEING ABLE TO COME TO OUR TESTING SITES ARE ADHERE TO THAT.

WE'LL CONTINUE TO, UM, WE'LL CONTINUE TO SEE A DOWNWARD TREND IN THE CONSTRUCTION SITE AREA, AS WELL AS OTHER ESSENTIAL AREAS.

UM, BECAUSE WE DO HAVE OTHER ESSENTIAL WORKERS THAT HAVE HAD, UM, SOME CHALLENGES IN THOSE INDUSTRIES.

LET ME JUST ADD ON TO THAT.

ONE OF THE CHALLENGES THAT WE HAVE, UH, IN OUR WORKFORCE THAT LIVES PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK IS THERE'S A HUGE DISINCENTIVE TO STAYING HOME WHEN THEY'RE SICK.

AND REMEMBER THAT THAT SICK WITH COVID-19 MAY LOOK, UH, DIFFERENT FOR DIFFERENT PEOPLE, MAYBE RUNNING NOSE, MAYBE A COUGH, MAYBE A SORE THROAT, UH, MAYBE SOME GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS. YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO TELL SOMEONE HAS COVID-19, UH, BUT WE'VE GOT TO CONTINUE TO WORK WITH OUR, OUR STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS TO ENSURE THAT WE HAVE PAYCHECK PROTECTION FOR THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO NEED TO STAY HOME, WHO DON'T HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE TO, UH, TO WORKING BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES.

UH, WE'VE GOT TO DO BETTER.

WE'VE GOT TO, UH, ENSURE THAT WE ARE CONTINUING TO WORK WITH THE EMPLOYERS, THE BUSINESSES, THE CONTRACTORS, UH, TO ENSURE THAT, THAT THEY ARE DOING ALL THEY CAN TO PROVIDE THE SUPPORT OF THEIR EMPLOYEES SO THAT THEY ARE SICK.

THEY CAN STAY HOME, THEY CAN GET BETTER, THEY CAN FOCUS ON THEIR RECOVERY AND, UH, AND, YOU KNOW, HELP US TO, TO BREAK THE CYCLE OF TRANSMISSION.

NEXT QUESTION IS FOR PAID YOU YESTERDAY, DOCTOR AUSTIN'S CASES HAVE PLATEAUED.

HOWEVER, SAN ANTONIO IS JUST NOW SEEING THE SPIKES OF THE 4TH OF JULY HOLIDAY.

IS THERE ANY CONCERNS, OBSTACLES, DESPITE ANY EXPLANATION AS TO WHY CASES FROM THE COURT WOULD POTENTIALLY JUST NOW COME INTO PLAY? SO WE'RE, WE'RE NOW A LITTLE OVER TWO WEEKS OUT FROM, UH, FROM THE INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAY.

UH, AND YOU KNOW, WE HAVEN'T SEEN A SPIKE YET HERE.

UH, YOU KNOW, THERE'S, THERE'S THE, THE INITIAL TRANSMISSION OF THE INDIVIDUALS WHO MAY HAVE BEEN TOGETHER ON INDEPENDENCE DAY, AND THEN THERE'S THE SECONDARY TRANSMISSION, UH, FROM, FROM THOSE INDIVIDUALS BEYOND THAT.

UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S, WE'RE REFRESHED TO SEE THAT WE HAVE NOT SEEN A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THAT WE'RE CONTINUING TO SEE A DECLINE IN CASES YESTERDAY, WE HAD, UH, 600 MORE THAN 600 CASES.

UH, SO I THINK THAT WAS PROBABLY LAG FROM,

[00:25:01]

FROM, UH, LABS, UH, PROCESSING OVER THE WEEKEND.

UH, BUT AGAIN, WE'LL NEED TO CONTINUE TO WATCH THIS WEEK.

I THINK IF WE DON'T SEE A, A BOUNCE THIS WEEK, UH, IN TERMS OF NEW CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS, THEN, UH, WE CAN SAY THAT, THAT WE, WE AVOIDED A SIGNIFICANT, UM, OUTBREAK DURING, DURING JULY 4TH.

I THINK OUR CITY, UH, TOOK SOME POSITIVE STEPS.

IN ADDITION TO THE, UH, REINFORCEMENT OF, OF THE MASKING, UH, THAT WAS PERFORMED.

WE ALSO CLOSED DOWN, UH, THE PARKS AND SOME, UH, FRESH WATER AREAS TO HELP AVOID THE, THE CROWDING CONGESTION THAT MAY LEAD TO, UH, TO NEW CASES.

SO, UH, UM, HELPFUL THAT THAT WAS EFFECTIVE IN HELPING TO MITIGATE THE RISK OF SPREAD DURING, DURING THAT HOLIDAY.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM UNITY AS THE AUSTIN, THE COUNTY LATIN X STRIKE TEAMS, HE RESPONSES FROM THE SURVEY THAT WAS SENT TO OBTAIN FEEDBACK FROM LATIN X COMMUNITY.

AND WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM IT? WE HAVE, UM, WE'VE REVIEWED THE RESULTS BACK FROM THE SURVEY AND, UM, AND REVEALED THAT WE ALSO HAVE NOTICED THAT SEVERAL OF THE, UH, STRATEGIES HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED, THOSE STRATEGIES ARE, UM, HAVE BEEN THUS FAR MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

THE PLAN IS, IS TO CONTINUE TO REVIEW THOSE STRATEGIES AS WE, UM, LOOK AT TARGETED AREAS WITHIN THE PLAN AND DETERMINE IF THERE ARE OTHER, UM, IMPROVEMENTS THAT WE NEED TO MAKE.

SO WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK OFF OF THE RESPONSES FROM THE PLAN, AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO IMPLEMENT OTHER PROGRAMS AND ENSURE IT IS A WORKING PLAN.

AND SO THE GOAL IS, IS TO BE ABLE TO BE FLEXIBLE AS WE ARE IMPLEMENTING STRATEGIES TO ADDRESS THE DISPARITY.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM BOX AUSTIN.

THERE'VE BEEN MORE THAN 480 CASES OF COVID-19 IN CHILDREN AGES ONE TO NINE YEAR IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

IT'S BEEN SAID IN THE PAST THAT CHILDREN ARE AT LESSER RISK FOR THE VIRUS OR SERIOUS COMPLICATIONS.

IS THIS NUMBER ALARMING? WHAT DOES THIS SHOW, IF ANYTHING, ABOUT CHILDREN IN THE SPREAD AMONG YOUNGER POPULATION, I'LL JUST SAY, UH, THIS HAS BEEN OVER THE COURSE OF THE OUTBREAK.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE KNOW THAT COVID-19 HIDES IN THE HEALTHY AND IN THOSE THAT ARE RESILIENT.

AND, UM, MY CONCERN IS BASED ON THE CURRENT INFORMATION IS THAT, UH, WE REALLY NEED TO PROTECT THOSE MULTIGENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLDS WHERE YOU HAVE A YOUNG CHILD, BUT THEN YOU HAVE YOUR ELDERLY GRANDMOTHER IN THERE OR GRANDFATHER.

UM, AND, YOU KNOW, UH, WHILE SOMEONE MAY BE OUT WORKING, THEY CAN COME HOME, THE CHILD MAY THEN GET ILL, BUT, BUT IT CAN BE TRANSMITTED ONTO THAT ELDERLY, UH, FAMILY MEMBER.

SO, UH, WHILE WE REALIZE IT CAN HIDE IN THE HEALTHY, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE PROTECTING THE ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD.

AND, UH, THAT'S THE REASON WHY WE HAVE MANY OF THESE, UH, PREVENTION MESSAGES OUT TO, UH, FOLKS TO PROTECT THEIR HOUSEHOLD.

I'LL ADD ON TO THAT.

THE DATA IS CHANGING EVERY WEEK.

UH, YOU KNOW, WE'VE GOT NEW INFORMATION, NEW PUBLICATIONS COMING OUT, UH, YOU KNOW, LAST WEEK I TALKED ABOUT SOME DATA AT A CHINA, UH, THAT HAD A HUGE VARIATION IN THE, IN THE POTENTIAL FOR RISK OF DEATH IN, IN YOUNG PEOPLE.

UH, SINCE THEN THERE'S BEEN SOME ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE COMING OUT OF SWITZERLAND, UH, WHICH SUGGESTED THAT THERE WERE, UH, SUBSTANTIALLY LESS RISK.

UM, AGAIN, YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE DATA IS, IS, IS BETTER THAN OTHERS IN TERMS OF THE WAY THAT THE, UH, THOSE CASE FATALITY OR INFECTION FATALITY RATES WERE REACHED.

UH, WE'VE GOT POSITIVE DATA OUT OF, OUT OF CALIFORNIA SHOWING A 27,000 SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN WITH ZERO DEATHS.

SO THESE ARE REASSURING, BUT WE'VE GOT TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A YOUNG VIRUS AND OUR DATA SETS ARE VERY YOUNG ALSO.

UH, SO WE ARE ENCOURAGED WITH THE DATA THAT, THAT SUGGESTS THAT DEATHS ARE, ARE VERY LOW AMONGST SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN.

UH, THERE IS CONCERN ABOUT THE VERY YOUNG, UH, WITH SOME REPORTS OF INCREASED RATES OF HOSPITALIZATION AND DEATH AMONGST CHILDREN, LESS THAN ONE.

UH, WE KNOW FROM OUR DATA SET IN MARCH AND APRIL, THAT THE HOSPITALIZATION RATE FOR THAT AGE GROUP WAS MUCH HIGHER, 4%

[00:30:01]

AS COMPARED TO 1.5% FOR OLDER CHILDREN.

BUT, YOU KNOW, THERE'S ALSO A NEW EVIDENCE ON, ON TRANSMISSION, WHICH SUGGESTS THAT THOSE CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN NINE MAY BE LESS EFFECTIVE TRANSMITTERS OF DISEASE THAN THOSE, UH, CHILDREN THAT ARE 10 AND OLDER, THE TEENAGE YEARS.

IT APPEARS AT THIS STAGE, THAT TRANSMISSION LOOKS MORE LIKE A DOES IN ADULTS.

UH, AGAIN, YOU KNOW, THIS IS, THIS IS REFRESHING NEWS.

I SPOKE YESTERDAY ABOUT, UH, AN EXCELLENT REPORT FROM THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES, WHICH RECOMMENDED THAT WE REALLY FOCUS OUR BACK TO SCHOOL EFFORT ON THOSE K THROUGH FIVE STUDENTS, PARTICULARLY K THROUGH THREE STUDENTS WERE IN PERSON AND LEARNING.

LEARNING IS, IS, UH, IS REALLY ESSENTIAL.

I THINK THIS DATA REGARDING TRANSMISSION IN THAT AGE GROUP, UH, HELPS US TO, TO REALLY ADVOCATE FOR, UH, FOR GETTING THOSE INDIVIDUALS BACK TO SCHOOL.

AS SOON AS THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE ABLE TO ENSURE THAT THAT APPROPRIATE PROTECTIONS ARE IN PLACE FOR THE STUDENTS, AS WELL AS THE FACULTY AND STAFF, UH, WHO ARE GOING TO BE AT HIGHER RISK.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KX A N HOW MANY PATIENTS ARE OFTEN AREA HOSPITALS TAKING CARE OF WHO HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED FROM OTHER PARTS OF THE STATE? HOW DID THOSE TRANSPORTS IMPACT OUR OVERALL ICU AND HOSPITAL? WELL, WE DON'T HAVE THE, THE NUMBERS OF, OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS THAT WERE TRANSFERRED IN.

AGAIN, THOSE ARE THAT'S INFORMATION THAT'S TO THE HOSPITAL SYSTEMS WOULD HAVE.

UH, I DO KNOW THAT THAT THEY'VE HAD MULTIPLE REQUESTS FROM, FROM OUTSIDE OF OUR JURISDICTION.

UH, AND I'M NOT SURE HOW MANY WERE ACCEPTED.

I KNOW THERE WAS MORE REQUESTS THAN THERE WAS ACCEPTANCE, UH, DUE TO OUR OWN SITUATION.

AND, UH, IN BEING IN A SITUATION IN SURGE HERE LOCALLY, UH, AGAIN, WE'VE SEEN RESOURCES FOCUSED INCLUDING, UH, THE UNITED STATES NAVY TEAMS BEING SENT DOWN TO SOUTH TEXAS, UH, PARTICULARLY HIDALGO COUNTY WHO'S, UH, BEING CRITICALLY HIT RIGHT NOW.

UH, AND WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO, TO BE GOOD NEIGHBORS.

AND, AND, YOU KNOW, I THINK IF WE GET IN A BETTER SITUATION OVER THE COMING WEEKS, UH, I'M QUITE SURE THAT OUR HOSPITAL SYSTEMS WOULD BE, UH, WILLING TO RECEIVE MORE PATIENTS FROM OUTSIDE OF OUR JURISDICTION, UH, IN ORDER TO CARE FOR ALL TEXAS.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM COOPERATIVE, AND THIS WILL BE THE LAST QUESTION TODAY.

LAST QUESTION TODAY, AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY IS IMPROVING IN HOSPITALIZATION FIGURE AS WELL.

THE REST OF THE STATE CONTINUES TO INCREASE HOW CAN CITY AND FOR HOW CAN THE CITY AND COUNTY CONSIDER REOPENING IT ALL AROUND US FRIEND IS WORST NAME LIKELY TO REENTER THE CITY, YOUR COUNTY VIA COMPUTER BUSINESSES.

WE'RE TRAVELING.

YEAH.

REALLY RECOMMENDING TO, FOR EVERYONE TO JUST HOLD THE LINE.

WE, WE ARE NOT ENCOURAGING, UM, ESSENTIAL TRIPS, UM, OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE.

WE ARE CONTINUING TO EMPHASIZE THE NEED OF SOCIAL DISTINCT THING AND FACE COVERING, BECAUSE WE WANT TO CONTINUE THIS TREND.

WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO ENCOURAGE OUR INDIVIDUALS AND THE COMMUNITY ABOUT THE BEHAVIOR THAT THEY'VE DISPLAYED THUS FAR AND HOW THEY'RE ENCOURAGING OTHERS.

AND SO WE, WE KNOW THAT, UM, WE LOOK AT THINGS THROUGH MSA LENS, BUT WE ALSO WORK WITH OUR OTHER PARTNERS THAT ACROSS TEXAS, THAT MAY HAVE CHALLENGES THAT MAY IMPACT AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

AND SO WE AS A COUNTY HAVE TO ALWAYS BE PREPARED, ALWAYS HAVING THOSE CONVERSATIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS OUTSIDE OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY WITH INDIVIDUALS, BECAUSE WE ARE ABLE TO LEARN FROM EACH OTHER AND BE THAT SUPPORT SYSTEM.

AND SO THAT PERSONAL INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOR SHELBY REALLY CREDITED TODAY AS WE CONTINUE TO FACE COVID-19 BECAUSE IT HAS NOT ENDED, IT IS NOT SLOWING AND IT'S STILL HERE AND IT'S GOING TO TAKE US ALL TO CONTINUE THE CURRENT EFFORT THAT WE HAVE THUS FAR.

LET ME JUST ADD, UH, BY SAYING THAT I'M GRATEFUL THAT, THAT WE'RE SEEING SOME OF THE POLITICAL MESSAGING, UH, DIE DOWN A BIT.

UH, WE'RE SEEING COOPERATION, WE'RE SEEING A MORE UNIFIED MESSAGE IN TEXAS AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY THAN WE'VE SEEN BEFORE IN THIS PANDEMIC.

AND THIS IS WHAT WE NEED.

AND I THINK PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CONFUSED ABOUT MASKING OR NOT MASKING

[00:35:01]

SOCIAL DISTANCING OR NOT.

UH, AND I'M GRATEFUL THAT THAT WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO COME TOGETHER TO THIS EXTENT, TO ENSURE THAT THAT MESSAGE IS CLEAR.

UH, SOCIAL DISTANCING IS HERE AND IT'S GOING TO BE HERE FOR A WHILE.

MASKING IS HERE.

IT'S GOING TO BE HERE FOR AWHILE, THE NEED FOR, UH, FOR WE'RE ADVOCATING FOR PERSONAL HYGIENE, HAND, WASHING, AWARDING, TOUCHING THE FACE, STAYING HOME WHEN YOU'RE SICK, UH, IS, IS HERE.

AND IT'S GOING TO BE HERE FOR A WHILE AS WELL.

UH, IT'S REALLY ESSENTIAL THAT ALL OF US COME TOGETHER, UH, AND, AND HAVE THESE DISCUSSIONS AND UNDERSTAND THAT, THAT THE PUBLIC HEALTH MESSAGES IS BASED ON DATA.

IT'S NOT BASED ON POLITICS OR, OR, UH, YOU KNOW, OTHER, OTHER NEFARIOUS REASONS, IT'S FACTS.

AND I THINK THE MORE THAT, THAT WE CAN, WE CAN BE UNIFIED IN THIS EFFORT, UH, THE BETTER WE'RE GOING TO DO.

AND I THINK WE'VE SEEN THIS IN OTHER COUNTRIES.

WE'VE SEEN OTHER COUNTRIES COME TOGETHER AND, UH, AND BE VERY, VERY SUCCESSFUL AT MANAGING THIS.

AND I THINK THAT NOW'S THE TIME FOR TEXAS, AND NOW'S THE TIME FOR AMERICA TO SHOW THAT WE CAN BE UNIFIED AND WE CAN, UH, FIGHT THIS AND, AND BE SUCCESSFUL.

WHAT'D YOU GUYS LIKE YOU HAVE ANY CLOSING REMARKS? I WOULD LIKE TO, AGAIN, THANK THE COMMUNITY FOR THEIR EFFORTS.

UM, WE KNOW THAT, YOU KNOW, WE COME AND WE PROVIDE INFORMATION, WE HAVE INFORMATION ON OUR WEBSITES AND, UM, BUT AT THE HEART OF THE MATTER, IT TAKES EVERY INDIVIDUAL TO TAKE A STAND, TO SAY, THIS IS WHAT I'M GOING TO DO FOR MY FAMILY AND FOR MY COMMUNITY.

AND I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO APPLAUD OUR COMMUNITY FOR REALLY JUST HOLDING THE LINE.

UM, AND YOU KNOW, WE'RE A TEAM AND WE KNOW THAT, YOU KNOW, THERE'S, THERE'S BEEN SO MANY EFFORTS IN THE COMMUNITY AND THERE'VE BEEN SO MANY GROUPS THAT HAVE REALLY STEPPED UP.

AND, UH, AND SO MANY OF YOU ARE OUR UNSUNG HEROES, BUT I WANTED TO THANK YOU TODAY FOR JUST TAKING THAT INITIATIVE TO JUST GO THE EXTRA MILE.

I WOULD ASK YOU TO CONTINUE TO GO THE EXTRA MILE.

WE HAVE NOT.

UM, WE'RE NOT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS.

WE NEED YOU TO CONTINUE THOSE EFFORTS.

I NEED YOU TO ENCOURAGE OTHER PEOPLE THAT YOU HAVE INFLUENCE OVER, UM, PEOPLE THAT LOOK UP TO YOU.

SO IF YOU'RE AN OLDER SISTER ENCOURAGED THAT, YOU KNOW, YOUNGER SIBLING, UM, YOU KNOW, IF YOU ARE A CLERGY PERSON, YOU KNOW, ENCOURAGE PEOPLE FROM YOUR PULPIT, AS YOU'RE DOING YOUR VIRTUAL, UM, UM, UM, WORSHIP SERVICES, ENCOURAGE OR PULPIT, AND TELL THEM, PLEASE DO ALL OF THE THINGS THAT WE ARE ENCOURAGING YOU TO DO BY, UM, BY WEARING YOUR FACE, COVERING, STAYING HOME WHEN YOU'RE SICK, UM, AND, AND TAKING THE ADDITIONAL STEPS TO WASH YOUR HANDS AND NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE AND EYES, ET CETERA.

BUT WE REALLY WANT TO REALLY EMPHASIZE THAT EXPRESSIVELY FOR OUR LEADERS THAT HAVE A PLATFORM THAT HAVE A VOICE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

SO I DO THINK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE THUS FAR, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ADD I'LL, I'LL ADD, UM, YOU KNOW, UH, AGAIN, WE, WE WANT TO THANK YOU FOR, UH, DOING THOSE STEPS AND WEARING YOUR MASKS AND THOSE TYPES OF THINGS.

I'M.

I WANT TO COME BACK NEXT WEEK AND SAY, OUR NUMBERS CONTINUE TO GO DOWN.

I WANT, I WANT TO SEE THAT OUR NUMBERS DO PLATEAU AND THAT THERE ARE NO OTHER EXPLANATIONS FOR THIS DOWNWARD TREND, EXCEPT FOR, UH, GOOD PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICE, UH, IN THE COMMUNITY, UH, AND MASK WEARING AND SOCIAL DISTANCING.

SO, UM, I WOULD JUST SAY THANK YOU, UH, FOR FOLLOWING THOSE ORDERS AND, AND PREVENTION MEASURES.

AND I HOPE THAT WE CONTINUE TO HAVE GOOD NEWS FOR YOU NEXT WEEK.

AND I'LL CLOSE BY SAYING THAT, THAT AS A PARENT OF TWO TEENAGE CHILDREN, AND AS THE HUSBAND OF AN EDUCATOR, UH, WE HEAR THE CONCERNS FROM, FROM ALL THE SIDES REGARDING SCHOOLING.

UH, WE, WE KNOW THAT THAT FOLKS WANT TO GET CHILDREN BACK TO SCHOOL, BUT WE HAVE TO DO THAT SAFELY.

UH, WE DO HAVE A TEAM WHO IS WORKING WITH SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO, UM, TO DEVELOP GUIDANCE BASED UPON OUR STAGES OF RISKS.

THEY'RE WORKING WITH THE SCHOOLS TO ENSURE THAT

[00:40:01]

THE, EACH SCHOOL HAS A PLAN.

IF THEY HAVE A CASE OF COVID-19 OR IF THEY HAVE AN OUTBREAK.

AND, YOU KNOW, WE'RE, WE'RE ALSO ENSURING THAT, THAT, THAT IS THOSE PLANS ARE COMMUNICATED EFFECTIVELY WITH, UH, WAS THE STAKEHOLDERS IN THE COMMUNITY, THE PARENTS, THE STUDENTS, THE FACULTY AND STAFF.

WE CAN'T ALLOW, UH, SCHOOLS TO UNDERGO THE SAME PROCESS THAT, THAT HAPPENED WITH BUSINESSES, WHERE WE OPENED THEM UP WITHOUT PLANS.

AND WE SORT OF DEVELOPED THE PLANS ALONG THE WAY.

UH, I THINK IF WE DO THAT, IF WE MOVE TOO QUICKLY, WE'RE GOING TO BE IN A SITUATION WHERE WE'RE GOING TO HAVE MULTIPLE SCHOOL OUTBREAKS AND THE SCHOOLS WILL BE CLOSED AGAIN.

SO I THINK IT'S WORTH THE TIME TO ENSURE THAT WE HAVE THE PROCESSES IN PLACE.

WE HAVE THE PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR FACULTY AND STAFF.

WE HAVE WELL-REHEARSED PLANS FOR WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CHILD SHOWS UP SICK SO THAT WE CAN OPEN SCHOOLS AND WE CAN KEEP THEM OPEN.

SO WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH, WITH A NUMBER OF STAKEHOLDERS TO ENSURE THAT THAT THAT PROCESS IS, IS SAFE.

AND, UH, AND IT WOULDN'T GET OUR KIDS BACK IN SCHOOL.

THANK YOU, EVERYONE THAT CONCLUDES OUR MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR TODAY.

THANK YOU TO APH DIRECTOR.

STEPHANIE HAYDEN, DR.

MARK S. SCOTT EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JANET PICHET AND THE POLL REPORTER FOR JOINING US TODAY.

THANK YOU.

.

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