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[COVID-19: Press Q & A]

[00:00:08]

GOOD MORNING.

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

SPANISH INTERPRETATION OF THIS MEDIA AVAILABILITY IS ON ATX M THREE, THE START.

AWESOME PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR.

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

MARK S. SCOTT, INTERIM AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY HEALTH AUTHORITY, AND AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, CHIEF EPIDEMIC EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JENNA PICHET.

AND THEN WE'LL OPEN UP TO THE POOL REPORTER WHO WILL ASK QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA.

STEPHANIE.

GOOD MORNING.

IT'S OVER TO YOU.

GOOD MORNING.

I FIRST WOULD LIKE TO, UM, TALK ABOUT REOPENING PLANS.

WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE SEEN SOME SUCCESSES, BUT IT'S STILL NOT TIME FOR US TO LET OUR GUARDS DOWN.

I WAS TOLD BY A PHYSICIAN THAT WE SHOULD MOVE SLOW IN ORDER TO MOVE FAST.

AND SO WE WANT TO SAY THE PATH THAT WE ARE OWNED, WE DON'T WANT TO MAKE ANY CHANGES BECAUSE IF WE MAKE HASTY CHANGES, THEN IT COULD SEND US BACK TO WHERE WE ARE OVERLOADED WITH POSITIVITY OF COVID CASES, NOT COMMUNITY.

SO PLEASE JUST STAY THE COURSE AND CONTINUE TO DO THE THINGS THAT YOU HAVE DONE.

I APPLAUD YOU FOR YOUR EFFORTS.

I WANT TO TALK ABOUT REOPENING PLANS BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO BE ESSENTIAL THAT ALL BUSINESSES, SCHOOL DISTRICTS, COLLEGES, UNIVERSITY, ANY BUSINESS THAT HAS NOT BEEN OPEN, TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR BUSINESS PLAN AND PUT A STRONG PLAN IN PLACE.

YOU ARE ABLE TO REACH OUT TO US AS WELL WHEN YOU HAVE THAT PLAN ESTABLISH, AND WE WOULD LOVE TO PROVIDE SOME TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE.

WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE TO PUT THESE PLANS IN PLACE FOR US TO SAFELY OPEN AND TO CONTINUE TO MOVE TOWARD A PLACE OF REOPENING.

I'D LIKE TO ALSO ENCOURAGE THOSE THAT MAY HAVE A MENTAL ILLNESS THAT MAY HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS THAT HAVE MENTAL ILLNESSES OR CLOSE FRIENDS, PLEASE BE ENCOURAGED TODAY.

PLEASE DO EVERYTHING THAT YOU CAN DO TO MAINTAIN YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR US THAT OUR COMMUNITY STAYS STRONG PHYSICALLY, BUT MENTALLY AS WELL.

DO THE BEST THAT YOU CAN DO CHECK ON THOSE THAT, YOU KNOW, UM, MAKE THOSE PHONE CALLS, SEND THOSE TEXT MESSAGES, USE THAT TECHNOLOGY AND DO THE BEST YOU CAN DO.

A NICE LETTER, CAME THROUGH MY MAIL THE OTHER DAY.

MOST PEOPLE DON'T USE THE MAIL.

YOU KNOW, MOST PEOPLE SEND AN EMAIL, ET CETERA, BUT I RECEIVED A VERY NICE CARD IN THE MAIL AND IT REALLY BRIGHTENED MY DAY.

SO THOSE SMALL GESTURES LIKE THAT, WHERE WE COULD CHECK ON OTHERS AND JUST MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE OKAY.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME TODAY.

YOUR TIME TODAY, I WILL PASS OVER TO DR.

ASCOT.

GOOD MORNING.

UH, I WOULD JUST WANT TO ADDRESS BRIEFLY WHERE WE ARE IN TERMS OF STAGING.

UH, MANY OF YOU SAW YESTERDAY THAT WE DROPPED BELOW 40, WHICH PLACES US IN THE YELLOW ZONE OR THE STAGE THREE ZONE.

UH, BUT WE'VE MADE THE DECISION TO STAY IN STAGE FOUR.

AND LET ME EXPLAIN A LITTLE BIT WHY, SO THE STAGING, UH, THAT WE'VE CREATED IS DESIGNED TO ENSURE THAT WE DO NOT EXCEED HOSPITAL CAPACITY.

AND RIGHT NOW OUR ICU IS, ARE STILL FULL.

UH, THERE'S NOT EXTRA ROOM IN THE ICU.

THE ICU IS, ARE STILL UNDER THEIR SURGE PLAN.

WE'RE STILL HAVING TO LIMIT ELECTIVE SURGERIES.

SO, SO PEOPLE WITH SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITIONS THAT NEED SURGERIES, UH, THAT ARE NOT IMMEDIATELY LIFE THREATENING, CAN'T GET THOSE RIGHT NOW.

SO UNTIL WE'RE IN A BETTER PLACE IN TERMS OF ICU CAPACITY AND, AND IN TERMS OF OUR PERSONNEL AND THE HOSPITALS, WE'RE GOING TO NEED TO STAY AT STAGE FOUR.

THIS ALSO HELPS TO PUT US IN A BETTER PLACE AS WE APPROACH THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER AND SCHOOL REOPENING.

UH, WE NEED TO BE IN AS SAFE, A PLACE AS POSSIBLE.

WE NEED TO DECREASE TRANSMISSION OF DISEASE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

SO THAT REOPENING SCHOOLS COME SEPTEMBER 8TH IS, IS, UH, YOU KNOW, HAS A DECREASED RISK, UH, SO THAT WE CAN GET OUR SCHOOLS OPEN AND KEEP THEM OPEN.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE'VE GOT A LOT OF WORK TO DO, AND I'M PROUD OF, OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY AND CENTRAL TEXAS.

UH, WHO'VE BEEN VERY EFFECTIVE AT GETTING A LID BACK ON THIS AND FLATTENING THE CURVE THAT WE ARE IN A, IN A DOWNWARD DIRECTION.

WE CONTINUE IN A DOWNWARD DIRECTION AND WE NEED THAT TO CONTINUE, UH, INTO THE STAGE TWO OF RISK.

AND WITH THAT, I WILL TURN IT OVER TO, UH, JANET PICHET FOR SOME COMMENTS,

[00:05:10]

JANET, MAKE SURE YOU UNMUTE YOURSELF GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

UM, I JUST WANTED TO SAY, UH, YOU KNOW, WHILE WE'RE HERE TO TALK ABOUT CORONAVIRUS, I WANTED TO REMIND THE COMMUNITY THAT, UH, WE'VE HAD OUR FIRST HUMAN PROBABLE CASE OF WEST NILE VIRUS.

SO, UM, WHILE WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE'RE STAYING THE COURSE FOR CORONAVIRUS, WE ALSO NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE DILIGENT IN DOING THOSE THINGS TO PROTECT OUR FAMILY AND OUR LOVED ONES AROUND OUR HOMES, UH, RELATED TO WEST NILE VIRUS.

WE'VE HAD FIVE POSITIVE MOSQUITO POOLS IN THE AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY AREA, AND ONE HUMAN PROBABLE CASE, UH, WHICH CAUSES US CONCERN.

WE HAVEN'T HAD A CASE.

UH, WE DID NOT HAVE A CASE LAST YEAR.

UM, SO I JUST WANTED TO, UM, PROVIDE SOME SIMPLE REMINDERS, UH, THAT WE HAD AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH HAVE, AND THAT'S TO MAKE SURE YOU DRY DUMP STANDING WATER, UH, DUMPING DRAIN ANY KIND OF STANDING WATER AROUND YOUR HOME, UH, MAKE SURE THAT, UH, THE MOSQUITOES BITE AT DUSK TO DAWN MAKE SURE THAT YOU'RE USING, UH, DIET-RELATED, UM, PRODUCTS TO KEEP MOSQUITOES AT BAY AND TO ALSO WEAR, UH, CLOTHING THAT WILL PROTECT YOU FROM MOSQUITO BITES.

SO AGAIN, UM, YOU KNOW, WE ARE NOT ONLY INVESTIGATING CORONA VIRUS, BUT A LARGE NUMBER OF OTHER, UH, CONDITIONS THAT ARE BEING REPORTED.

WHAT'S NOT VIRUS, UH, PSYCHO SPORA AND SOME OTHER THINGS, UH, BECAUSE IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR FOR US TO, TO INVESTIGATE THOSE TYPES OF THINGS.

WE START SEEING MORE OF THOSE CASES, BUT, UM, UH, JUST STAY SAFE OUT THERE.

THANK YOU NOW TO OUR POLL REPORTER, TOM MILLER.

ALRIGHT.

THE FIRST QUESTION IS FROM US HERE AT KX SAN.

AND THE QUESTION IS WITH COVID-19 CASES CONTINUING TO FALL ACROSS CENTRAL TEXAS, WHEN COULD WE SEE THE CITY OF AUSTIN START TO REOPEN AMENITIES LIKE POOLS, GOLF COURSES, PLAYGROUNDS, AND THE GREENBELTS.

UH, SO WE ARE CONTINUING TO MEET REGULARLY WITH, WITH PARKS AND RECREATION REGARDING, UH, THESE, UH, VARIOUS ENTITIES WITHIN THE CITY OF BOSTON AND ACROSS TRAVIS COUNTY.

UH, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, WE'RE NOT QUITE AT A PLACE WHERE WE WANT TO TAKE RISK, UH, PARTICULARLY BECAUSE THE ICU IS, ARE STILL FULL AND WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO IN ORDER TO, UH, TO GET OUR SCHOOL CHILDREN BACK IN THE CLASSROOM, UH, CAUSE THE SITUATION IMPROVES, BUT WE'LL CONTINUE TO LOOK AT THOSE, UH, VARIOUS, UH, AMENITIES.

AND IT'S LIKELY THAT WE WILL START WITH THE LOWEST RISK AMENITIES, UH, LOOK AT REOPENING THOSE AND THEN CONTINUE ON FROM LATER.

OKAY.

THIS NEXT QUESTION IS FROM CVS, AUSTIN.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF UTS RECENT STATEMENT THAT THEY'RE GONNA LIMIT STADIUM CAPACITY OUT AT DKR MEMORIAL FROM 50% NOW DOWN TO 25%? UH, SO I I'M, I'M GLAD THAT THEY HAVE MOVED FROM THE 50,000, BUT AGAIN, WHEN WE LOOK AT, AT THE CURRENT RATE OF TRANSMISSION IN TRAVIS COUNTY, UH, YOU KNOW, IF THEY, IF THEY PLAN TO OPEN TO 25,000 ON SEPTEMBER 5TH AND THEY'VE GOT THAT SIMILAR RATE OF TRANSMISSION, WE CAN EXPECT MORE THAN A HUNDRED OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS TO BE COVID POSITIVE.

AND THEN OF COURSE, FROM THERE, IT MULTIPLIES TO OF PEOPLE AND THEN THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, WE'RE NOT IN A SITUATION WHERE WE SHOULD BE TAKING THAT KIND OF RISK.

AND I DON'T ANTICIPATE THAT ANYTIME THIS FALL WE'LL BE IN A, IN A POSITION TO TAKE THAT KIND OF RISK, UNLESS THERE'S DRAMATIC CHANGES IN THE, UH, THE TRANSMISSION OF DISEASE IN, IN VACCINE, IN THE ABILITY TO TEST PEOPLE ON A TIMELY FASHION PRIOR TO ENTRY, TO EVENTS LIKE THAT, QUITE FRANKLY, I'M CONCERNED THAT, UH, WE DON'T HAVE SOLID PLANS IN PLACE TO ENSURE THAT WE CAN FEEL TWO TEAMS EVERY SATURDAY.

UH, WHEN WE LOOK AT THE DISEASE TRANSMISSION, UH, AT UT FOOTBALL OVER THE SUMMER, UH, ABOUT A THIRD OF, OF THOSE ATHLETES HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19.

UH, AND THAT'S IN A, YOU KNOW, IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, THE SAME THING IS GOING TO BE TRUE FOR A TRANSMISSION GOING FORWARD INTO THE FALL.

IT'S GOING TO BE TRUE FOR OPPOSING TEAMS. IT'S GOING TO BE TRUE FOR MANAGERS AND TRAINERS AND COACHING STAFF.

UH,

[00:10:01]

AND IT'S GOING TO BE A BIG CHALLENGE FOR US.

AND IT'S NOT JUST THE, THE ACTIVITIES WHICH, UH, ARE, ARE, YOU KNOW, THE PRACTICES AND THE GAMES WHERE DISEASE TRANSMISSION IS, IS POSSIBLE.

IT'S THE ASSOCIATED ACTIVITIES, UH, BECAUSE WE KNOW ATHLETES, AREN'T JUST GOING TO SEE EACH OTHER ON THE FIELD.

THEY'RE GOING TO SEE EACH OTHER AT MEALS RECREATION AND, AND THE REST OF THEIR REST OF THEIR NORMAL DAILY ROUTINE.

UH, SO IT'S GONNA BE A CHALLENGE, I THINK RIGHT NOW, UH, FOOTBALL TEAMS AT COLLEGE LEVELS, EVEN AT, AT, UH, AT OTHER LEVELS NEED TO FOCUS ON, IS IT PRACTICAL TO EVEN HAVE GAMES WITHOUT CROWDS? AND IF WE CAN SORT THAT OUT, THEN MAYBE WE THEN COULD CONSIDER HAVING SOME PEOPLE IN THE STADIUM.

ALL RIGHT, THIS NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KVU.

AS FAR AS SCHOOL REOPENINGS GO, THE STATE SAYS SCHOOLS CAN'T STAY CLOSE PAST THE EIGHT WEEK TRANSITION WITHOUT JEOPARDIZING FUNDING WILL APH SLASH THE CITY, STILL BE GIVING SCHOOLS RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING WHEN TO OPEN THEIR BUILDINGS, WILL THE SCHOOL ORDER CHANGE.

UH, SO WE, WE ISSUED THE INITIAL ORDERS.

I ISSUED THE ORDERS BECAUSE WE GATHERED OUR STAKEHOLDERS.

WE'VE MET WITH OUR SUPERINTENDENTS AND THEY ASKED THAT I DO THAT BECAUSE THE SCHOOLS ARE NOT READY.

THEY HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO.

THEY'VE GOT TO GET TEACHERS BACK ON CAMPUS AND COMFORTABLE WITH THE RISK MITIGATION STRATEGIES THAT, THAT THEY'RE WORKING ON.

UH, WE'VE GOT TO SORT OUT IF A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF THOSE STUDENTS ARE GOING TO BE VIRTUAL, HOW THOSE TEACHERS ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE CLASSES VIRTUALLY THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THEY NORMALLY DO.

AND, UH, YOU KNOW, THERE, THERE'S QUITE A BIT OF HEAVY LIFTING THAT DISTRICTS HAVE TO DO, UH, TO MAKE THE FALL SEMESTER WORK.

YOU KNOW, QUITE FRANKLY, I DON'T BELIEVE THAT THE TA COMMISSIONER IS BEST SUITED TO DETERMINE WHAT'S IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH.

UH, I THINK THAT THAT NEEDS TO BE UP TO LOCAL OFFICIALS WORKING WITH, WITH OUR STAKEHOLDERS.

I THINK THE DECISION TO WITHHOLD FUNDING IS CONTRARY TO WHAT THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES HAVE RECOMMENDED AND MANY, MANY OTHERS, WHICH SAYS THAT STATES SHOULD NOT DO THAT BECAUSE IT, IT, UH, IT, YOU KNOW, PRESSURE SCHOOLS TO PUSH STUDENTS INTO THE CLASSROOM WHERE IT MAY NOT BE SAFE.

UH, SO I THINK THE COMMISSIONER NEEDS TO RETHINK THAT.

AND I THINK WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO WORK TOGETHER AS LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT TO FIND A SOLUTION FOR THIS VERY CHALLENGING PROBLEM OF, OF GETTING STUDENTS BACK IN THE CLASSROOM.

ALL RIGHT, NEXT QUESTION IS FROM UNIVISION ESPECIAL TASK FORCE WAS CREATED TO HELP LATINOS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 HISPANICS CONTINUE TO BE THE MOST EFFECTED, HAS ANY PROGRESS BEEN MADE BY THIS GROUP? THERE HAS BEEN SOME PROGRESS, UM, AND THAT AREA, WHEN THE, WHEN THE SURVEY WENT OUT AND, UM, STAFF REVIEW THAT SURVEY, UM, 23 OF THOSE ITEMS WERE COMPLETED OF THE STRATEGIES AND OUR ONGOING STRATEGIES.

WHAT WE, UM, REALLY THINK WILL BE HELPFUL IS AS, AS WE CONTINUE TO HAVE MEETINGS WITH, UM, VARIOUS STAKEHOLDERS AND, UM, AND WORK TO PULL MORE GROUPS TOGETHER AND HEAR MORE FROM OTHER INDIVIDUALS, IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT FOR US TO GET THE FEEDBACK ON THE WORK THAT HAS BEEN DONE AND HOW WE CAN MAKE SOME ADDITIONAL IMPROVEMENTS.

ALL RIGHT, THIS NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE, WHEN UT AUSTIN REOPENED FOR THE FALL SEMESTER, WILL UT STUDENTS BE ABLE TO ACCESS ISOLATION SPACES THROUGH AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, IF THEY CAN'T SELF ISOLATE OR QUARANTINE SAFELY AND THEIR RESIDENTS.

AND IF SO, WHERE ARE THE FACILITIES AND HOW MANY STUDENTS WILL THEY BE ABLE TO ACCOMMODATE THE ISOLATION FACILITY, UM, IS, IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

WE'VE MET WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AND THEY HAVE INCLUDED THE ISOLATION FACILITY, UM, IN THEIR PLANS FOR STUDENTS THAT CAN'T SAFELY, UM, ISOLATE THAT LIVE OFF CAMPUS.

UM, THEY HAVE, UM, PUT TOGETHER SOME ADDITIONAL PLANS FOR THE INDIVIDUALS THAT LIVE ON CAMPUS.

AND SO OUR PLAN IS, IS TO BE ABLE TO WORK WITH THEM, BUT NOT JUST UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS.

WE ARE WORKING WITH OTHER UNIVERSITIES, UM, HERE IN AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY TO ENSURE, UM, THAT WE HAVE THAT AVAILABLE FOR THEM AS WELL.

I'M JUST GOING TO ADD THAT.

UH, I HAD A GREAT MEETING WITH DIRECTOR HAYDEN AND SAINT EDWARDS UNIVERSITY YESTERDAY.

UH, WHO'S REALLY PUT TOGETHER A FANTASTIC REOPENING PLAN.

[00:15:01]

UH, THEY THEY'VE CONSIDERED ALL THE, THE CHALLENGES AND CONCERNS REGARDING REOPENING BOTH FOR THE, UH, THE FACULTY STAFF, AS WELL AS THE STUDENTS.

AND, UH, I'VE JUST BEEN VERY IMPRESSED WITH THE WORK THEIR TEAM HAS DONE.

I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF LESSONS THAT, THAT OTHER CAMPUSES CAN LEARN FROM, FROM PLACES LIKE ST EDWARDS.

UH, WHO'VE BEEN, UH, JUST VERY THOUGHTFUL ABOUT, ABOUT THEIR APPROACH TO ENSURE THAT THAT WHEN PEOPLE RETURN TO CAMPUS, THEY CAN DO SO SAFELY.

AND, UH, YOU KNOW, FOR THOSE THAT AREN'T ABLE TO DO THAT OR UNWILLING TO DO THAT, UH, THEY CAN LEARN VIRTUALLY RIGHT.

THIS NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE STATESMAN.

WHY DO YOU THINK AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY HAS SEEN MORE SUCCESS IN GETTING CORONAVIRUS CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS DOWN OVER THE LAST TWO WEEKS COMPARED TO OTHER TEXAS CITIES? HAVE WE IMPLEMENTED ANY UNIQUE STRATEGIES OR METHODS? I THINK THE PRIMARY REASON FOR SUCCESSES IS THE PEOPLE OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

I THINK THEY RESPOND TO, TO THE DATA AND THE SCIENCE, WHICH SAYS THAT WE WERE IN A BAD PLACE AND THAT WE NEEDED TO COMMUNITY ACTION TO MAKE A CHANGE.

UH, I THINK THEY PUT ON THEIR MASKS.

I THINK THEY SOCIAL DISTANCE.

I THINK THEY PAID CLOSE ATTENTION TO THEIR, UH, THEIR PERSONAL HYGIENE.

I THINK THEY STAYED HOME WHEN THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO GO OUT AGAIN.

THERE'S, THERE'S NOT A MAGIC TRICK THAT'S GOING TO WORK FOR COVID-19.

IT TAKES THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE TO CONTROL THE DISEASE.

AND, YOU KNOW, WE'RE, WE'RE GOING TO OSCILLATE THROUGHOUT THE NEXT YEAR UNTIL WE GET A VACCINE IN PLACE.

AND I'M JUST INCREDIBLY IMPRESSED WITH THE PEOPLE OF AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, AND THEIR WILLINGNESS TO ENGAGE IN THOSE PROTECTIVE ACTIONS.

UH, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO ASK YOU TO DO IT AGAIN.

UH, THIS IS GOING TO BE REOCCURRING THING BECAUSE THIS THREAT IS NOT GOING AWAY UNTIL WE HAVE A VACCINE, WHICH IS WIDELY AVAILABLE.

UH, SO, UH, I AM GRATEFUL FOR, FOR THE PUBLIC.

I'M GRATEFUL FOR THE MEDIA FOR SHARING THESE IMPORTANT MESSAGES.

UH, WE'RE DOING IT.

WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO DO IT WHEN WE'LL HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN.

I AGREE WITH DR.

F SCOTT, YOU KNOW, WE REALLY MUST APPLAUD THE CITIZENS OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY AND JUST THANK THEM FOR THEIR EFFORTS.

EVEN IF THE EFFORT THEY FELT LIKE WAS A SMALL EFFORT.

UM, SO WHERE THE GREATER SMALL, ALL OF THE THINGS THAT WE'VE DONE AND THE THINGS THAT WE CAN ALSO TEACH OTHERS TO DO IT, IT'S GOING TO BE SO IMPORTANT ABOUT THE BEHAVIOR THAT WE HAVE AND NOT TAKING THOSE RISKS AND ENSURE THAT WE AND OUR FAMILY MEMBERS AND OUR FRIENDS THAT WE HAVE INFLUENCE OVER THAT WE'RE ABLE TO TALK WITH THEM EVEN MORE AS WE MOVE FORWARD.

THE OTHER THING THAT, YOU KNOW, I APPLAUD OUR, OUR CITIZENS, BUT I ALSO, UM, LIKE TO REALLY, REALLY APPLAUD OUR, UM, OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS, UM, AND YOU KNOW, OUR STAFF WITHIN AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, UM, OUR, OUR STAFF HAVE JUST WORKED TIRELESSLY, UM, YOU KNOW, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, UM, AND HAVE REALLY, REALLY, UM, JUST REALLY TOWED THE LINE FOR SO LONG.

AND SO JUST APPLAUDING THE AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH STAFF.

AND LASTLY, WE HAVE COLLABORATIONS, UM, ACROSS THE CITY WHERE WE HAVE DEVELOPED NEW RELATIONSHIPS AND PARTNERSHIPS, WHETHER IT'S WITH INDIVIDUALS IN THE COMMUNITY NONPROFITS OR WHETHER IT IS AT OUR HOSPITAL SYSTEMS. AND SO THOSE, UM, COLLABORATION AND US WORKING TOGETHER AND HAVING THAT COMMUNICATION, UM, DAILY HAS BEEN VERY BENEFICIAL TO US.

THOSE ARE RELATIONSHIPS THAT, YOU KNOW, ACROSS THE STATE OF TEXAS, THEY DON'T HAVE THOSE SIMILAR TYPE RELATIONSHIPS.

AND SO I FEEL LIKE AS A AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY, WE HAVE ALL COME TOGETHER TO REALLY JUST TAKE THE ACTION THAT WE ALL NEEDED TO TAKE.

AND SO I JUST APPLAUD EVERYONE.

AND I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ADD THAT, UM, EVERYBODY'S DONE A REMARKABLE JOB.

UH, I THINK THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO CONTINUE TO STAY THE COURSE AND WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO HAVE OUR NUMBERS DROP LOWER, UH, AS WE PREPARE FOR ANY POTENTIAL, THE SECOND WAVE THAT MIGHT OCCUR WHEN SCHOOL STARTS.

ALL RIGHT, THIS NEXT QUESTION IS FROM FOX AUSTIN.

YOU SAID WE ARE NOT ROLLING BACK TO STAGE THREE BECAUSE THE ICU IS FULL.

WHAT INDICATORS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR TO BE ABLE TO SAFELY ROLL BACK? AND ARE WE CLOSE TO THAT? AH, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, WE HAVE REGULAR COMMUNICATIONS WITH OUR HEALTHCARE EXECUTIVES.

UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK CERTAINLY WE NEED TO BE OUT OF SURGE CONDITION IN THE ICE.

THEY USED AGAIN, WE NEED TO HAVE SOME BUFFER.

WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO,

[00:20:01]

UH, HAVE FOLKS BE ABLE TO HAVE ELECTIVE SURGERIES AGAIN.

AND, UH, AND WE NEED OUR RATE OF POSITIVITY TO DROP FURTHER.

AND I WOULD WANT TO CERTAINLY SEE IT BELOW 8%.

UH, WE'D LIKE TO SEE IT BELOW 5%.

UH, RIGHT NOW, WHEN WE LOOK AT OTHER STATES WHO HAVE A STATE MEASURES OR THRESHOLDS OR GOALS OR ACTIVE CASES, THOSE GOALS LIKE THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA ARE 25 ACTIVE CASES PER 100,000.

UH, YESTERDAY WE WERE AT 186 PER 100,000.

SO WE'VE GOT A LONG WAY TO GO BEFORE WE'RE GOING TO BE MORE COMFORTABLE.

UM, AND, UH, YOU KNOW, I'M HOPEFUL THAT THAT WILL CONTINUE THIS COURSE AND THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS, UH, WE'LL BE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION.

ALL RIGHT, THIS NEXT QUESTION IS FROM COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWS.

ALTHOUGH NEW HOSPITALIZATIONS AND CASES HAVE BEEN DOWN OVER THE PAST WEEK COMPARED TO EARLIER IN THE MONTH, THE PANDEMIC IS STILL PRESENT.

WHAT FUTURE ACTIONS, IF ANY, DO YOU SEE LOCAL HEALTH OFFICIALS TAKING TO ASSURE THE DOWNWARD TREND CONTINUES? I THINK, I THINK THE ACTIONS THAT YOU'VE SEEN ARE ACTIONS THAT WE WOULD REPEAT, UH, BECAUSE THEY'VE WORKED, UH, AGAIN, WE ARE EXTREMELY LIMITED, UH, BY PREEMPTIONS FROM THE STATE ON, ON WHAT WE CAN ORDER.

UH, BUT WE'RE NOT LIMITED ON WHAT WE CAN INFLUENCE.

UH, AND AGAIN, IT REALLY TAKES THOSE, THOSE COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS.

AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN MENTIONED, IT TAKES THE WILL OF THE COMMUNITY THAT WILL HAVE THE PEOPLE TO ACT IN A PROTECTIVE WAY.

UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK EARLY ON IN THIS PANDEMIC, UH, A LOT OF FAITH WAS PLACED IN CONTACT TRACING AS THE SOLUTION.

UH, AND, AND THIS TEAM HAS BEEN SAYING FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS NOW, AT LEAST THAT IT'S NOT THE SOLUTION FOR THIS.

WE CAN'T CONTACT TRACE THIS AWAY.

CERTAINLY NOT WHEN WE'RE GETTING 500 OR 700 CASES A DAY.

UM, BUT EVEN THEN EVEN WHEN CASES ARE LOWER, IT'S CHALLENGING BECAUSE WE HAVE A SUBSTANTIAL PERCENTAGE OF CASES WHICH ARE ASYMPTOMATIC.

WE HAVE A SUBSTANTIAL PERCENTAGE OF CASES, WHICH ARE MILDLY SYMPTOMATIC.

UH, THIS IS NOT LIKE EBOLA OR OTHER DISEASES, WHERE THERE IS A DISTINCT CLINICAL COURSE AND A SEVERE OUTCOME.

AND BECAUSE OF THAT, WE ALSO, UH, HAVE CHALLENGED WITH PEOPLE WANTING TO ENGAGE IN THAT, UH, THAT CONTACT TRACING, BECAUSE IT MEANS THEY CAN'T GO TO WORK.

IT MEANS THEY ARE RESTRICTED.

UH, I, I THINK SUCCESS IS GOING TO DEPEND ON THE PEOPLE DEPEND ON THAT COLLABORATION AND DEPEND ON THE COMMUNITY, A WILLINGNESS TO, TO GET ENGAGED IN THOSE PROTECTIVE ACTIONS.

THIS NEXT QUESTION IS FROM K O P RADIO IS PANDEMIC HAS PROVEN THAT PREEMPTING PROBLEMS ARISING IN RESPONSE TO COMMUNITY, TRANSMISSION SAVES LIVES.

WHAT IS APH HIS PLAN TO QUICKLY AND COMPLETELY DISTRIBUTE AN INEVITABLE VACCINE TO THE COMMUNITIES MOST EFFECTED BY COMMUNITY SPREAD? SO CURRENTLY WE DO HAVE A VACCINE DISTRIBUTION PLAN THAT WE DEVELOPED DURING, UH, THE 2009 H ONE N ONE, UH, C FLU SEASON.

AND THE RESPONSE TO THAT WHEN WE HAD A LARGE NUMBER OF VACCINE TO DISTRIBUTE.

UM, IF YOU REMEMBER BACK THEN, UH, THAT WAS A TIME WHEN COMMERCIAL PHARMACIES DID NOT ACTUALLY PROVIDE VACCINE, BUT NOW THEY DO PROVIDE VACCINE, UH, TO THE COMMUNITY.

SO WE HOPE THAT WE'LL BE MAKING SURE THAT WE ENGAGE IN A NUMBER OF, UH, PROVIDERS OF VACCINE TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE, UH, YOU KNOW, A SYSTEM IN PLACE SO THAT THEY CAN RECEIVE STORE AND DISTRIBUTE VACCINE TO THE COMMUNITY.

WE ALSO HAVE PLANS FOR DRIVE THROUGH, UH, IT'S KIND OF LIKE OUR POINT OF TESTING SITE.

HOWEVER, UH, IT WOULD BE A DRIVE THROUGH A VACCINATION CLINIC, WHICH WE'VE TESTED THROUGHOUT VARIOUS FOOD SEASONS.

AND THAT IS A APPROACH TO QUICKLY DELIVER VACCINE TO THE COMMUNITY.

UH, PEOPLE LITERALLY DRIVE THEIR CAR THROUGH, THEY STICK THEIR ARM OUT, THEY GET VACCINATED AND THEY DRIVE OFF, UM, AS WELL AS, YOU KNOW, MAKING SURE THAT, UH, OUR PROVIDERS AND, UH, OTHER, YOU KNOW, WE'LL BE HOLDING, UM, I'M SURE SOME CLINIC CLINICAL PRACTICES OR CLINICS AS WELL TO DISTRIBUTE THAT MEDICATION.

ALTHOUGH THE, THE CHALLENGE WITH MASS CLINICS IS BRINGING PEOPLE INTO A CENTRAL LOCATION AND HAVING THEM EXPOSE IN THE, IN THAT SETTING.

SO THAT'S WHAT MAKES THE DRIVE THROUGH MODEL, UH, YOU KNOW, A GOOD MODEL FOR VACCINE DELIVERY.

I THINK THE OTHER THING

[00:25:01]

THAT IS REALLY GOING TO BE IMPORTANT IS, IS THAT WE KNOW THAT EVERYONE DOESN'T HAVE ACCESS TO TRANSPORTATION.

SO WE HAVE TO BE VERY, UM, REALLY STRATEGIC AND PROVIDING SERVICES IN COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, BUT ALSO HAVE HEALTH DISPARITIES.

SO OUR PLAN WOULD BE VERY FLEXIBLE AS WE, AS WE WORK TO, UM, YOU KNOW, BE ABLE TO DO THINGS AS SAFELY AS WE CAN, BUT ENSURE THAT WE ARE MEETING PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE, THAT IS GOING TO BE VERY IMPORTANT, AND WE WILL COLLABORATE WITH OUR OTHER PARTNERS, UM, AS WELL, WE HAVE SEVERAL PARTNERS THAT WE WORK WITH, UM, THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY, JUST ONE WE'RE DOING JUST REGULAR VACCINES AND THE VACCINES FOR CHILDREN PROGRAM.

AND SO, UM, SO WE ARE, WE ARE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THAT OPPORTUNITY AND WE'LL ENSURE THAT WE GET IT TO THE INDIVIDUALS THAT NEED IT THE MOST.

OKAY.

THIS NEXT QUESTION IS FROM K U T.

ARE YOU SEEING DISPROPORTIONATE, UM, HOSPITALIZATION RATES AMONG LATINOS? YES, WE, WE HAVE NOTICED THOSE DISPROPORTIONATE RATES WITH, BETWEEN LATINOS EARLY ON, UM, EARLY ON, WE WORKED VERY CLOSELY WITH THE HOSPITAL SYSTEMS IN ORDER TO, TO RECEIVE THAT DATA AND MAKE SURE THAT THAT DATA WAS, WAS POSTED ON OUR WEBSITE.

UM, EARLY ON, WE ESTABLISHED A SOCIAL SERVICES BRANCH AND, UM, ESTABLISHED A PRIORITY POPULATION GROUP.

THAT PRIORITY POPULATION GROUP, UM, HAS WORKED ACROSS THE CITY AS WITH, WITH COMMUNITY PARTNERS TO ENSURE THAT MOST OF THOSE, UM, UH, RESPONSES AND STRATEGIES THAT ARE IN THAT LATIN X PLAN, UM, WERE DEVELOPED EARLY ON AND STAFF HAVE BEEN ABLE TO PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES EARLY ON.

WE CONTINUE TO WORK IN THAT SPACE BECAUSE ULTIMATELY OUR GOAL IS, IS TO GET THE EDUCATION OUT THERE, PROVIDE THE SUPPORTIVE SERVICES, UM, ENSURE THAT WE CAN BRING THOSE NUMBERS DOWN BY WORKING COLLABORATIVELY ACROSS OUR COMMUNITY.

I WANT TO ALSO ADD TO THAT.

IT'S NOT JUST OUR, OUR LATIN X COMMUNITY THAT'S OVERREPRESENTED IN TERMS OF HOSPITALIZATIONS.

IT'S OUR AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY AS WELL, UH, BETWEEN THE TWO IT'S MORE THAN 60% OF THE HOSPITALIZATIONS.

UH, AND, AND THEY ONLY REPRESENT ABOUT, UH, YOU KNOW, 40 TO 50% OF OUR POPULATION IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

UH, SO AGAIN, YOU KNOW, WE'VE GOT ONGOING EVIDENCE THAT THIS DISEASE IS DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTING OUR COMMUNITIES OF COLOR.

THIS IS WHY WE ALL MUST COME TOGETHER TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE PROVIDING PROTECTIONS FOR THESE COMMUNITIES.

AND AT THE SAME TIME, ADDRESSING THE UNDERLYING DISPARITIES THAT HAVE, HAVE PLAYED THESE TWO COMMUNITIES, UH, IN A SYSTEMATIC WAY FOR DECADES.

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

OKAY.

UM, CIRCLE BACK TO THE SECOND ROUND OF QUESTIONING.

UH, SO THIS QUESTION IS FROM KX AM, AND IT IS, UM, SORT OF FOLLOW UP ON WHAT YOU WERE JUST SAYING.

WHERE HAS THE MOST PROGRESS BEEN MADE, AND IN WHICH COMMUNITIES ARE YOU SEEING THAT PROGRESS? I WOULD SAY THAT, YOU KNOW, WE ARE REALLY SEEING PROGRESS REALLY ACROSS THE COMMUNITY.

UM, OUR, OUR EFFORTS HAVE BEEN, UM, YOU KNOW, MORE MASS MEDIA INITIALLY, BUT AS WE CONTINUE TO LOOK AT THE DATA, WE HAVE, UM, DEPLOYED MORE TARGETED INTERVENTIONS.

AND SO, UM, WE ARE REALLY GOING TO EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF, UH, OF GETTING YOUR TESTS, GETTING THOSE TESTS.

UM, WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO WORK WITH THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.

UH, WE'VE STOOD UP A TESTING SITE IN PFLUGERVILLE THAT'S OAKLAND FIVE DAYS A WEEK.

WE WILL HAVE A TESTING SITE AT DELL VALLEY, UM, WHICH WE'LL BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THOSE TESTS, UM, FIVE DAYS A WEEK.

AND WE'VE ALSO, UM, STARTING THIS SATURDAY.

WE HAVE THREE TESTING LOCATIONS THAT WILL BE OPEN ON SATURDAY.

UM, ONE IN ROMBERG AT WALNUT CREEK, ONE AT GIVENS PARK, AND THEN THE OTHER ONE AT DOVE SPRINGS LIBRARY.

AND IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT FOR OUR INDIVIDUALS THAT HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO AN INDIVIDUAL OR HAS SYMPTOMS TO GO AHEAD.

THOSE ARE OUR WALKIE CLINICS.

UM, THEY WILL, YOU KNOW, ASSIST YOU ONCE YOU GET THERE.

IF YOU WANT TO GO ONLINE AND SCHEDULE IT THAT WAY YOU CAN, OR YOU CAN

[00:30:01]

CALL OUR NURSING, UM, HOTLINE, BUT WE REALLY WANT TO STILL EMPHASIZE THAT WE DO WANT INDIVIDUALS TO GO INTO THESE TESTING SITES AND TO RECEIVE THEIR TESTING.

ALL RIGHT.

I BELIEVE YOU ALREADY ADDRESSED THIS NEXT QUESTION FROM A CBS AUSTIN.

SO I'M GOING TO ASK THE NEXT QUESTION FROM UNIVISION, WHICH IS WHEN DECIDING WHETHER OR NOT TO SEND CHILDREN BACK TO SCHOOL, MANY HISPANIC PARENTS WHO LACK THE ECONOMIC FUNDS TO KEEP THEIR KIDS AT HOME WILL HAVE TO MAKE THE TOUGH DECISION TO SEND THEM TO SCHOOL.

WHAT OPTIONS WILL CITY OFFICIALS BE OFFERING PARENTS WHO CAN AFFORD TO STAY HOME WITH THEIR KIDS? BECAUSE THEY ARE THE SOLE PROVIDERS.

WE HAVE OUR, UH, WE WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH NONPROFIT AGENCIES AT THE CITY AND THE COUNTY AND THE CITY AND THE COUNTY BOTH, UM, OFFER, UH, ASSISTANCE THROUGH OUR NEIGHBORHOOD CENTERS AND COMMUNITY CENTERS.

AND WE REALLY WANT INDIVIDUALS TO REACH OUT TO THOSE FACILITIES AND, AND SCHEDULE THE APPOINTMENT AND MEET WITH THE SOCIAL WORKER THAT SOCIAL WORKER CAN ASSIST THEM AND DEVELOP AN INDIVIDUAL PLAN TO DETERMINE WHERE THEY CAN PLUG THEM INTO, UM, ANY TYPE OF ASSISTANCE THAT THEY NEED, BUT IT WILL BE AN INDIVIDUAL DECISION AND WE CANNOT MAKE THAT DECISION, UM, FOR FAMILIES, BUT WE KNOW THAT WE WILL HAVE AND WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE THESE SOCIAL SERVICES AVAILABLE TO US, TO STEM.

OKAY.

UM, WE'RE GOING TO GO AHEAD AND ASK THAT QUESTION FROM CBS AUSTIN, WHICH IS NOW THAT HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS ARE UNDER 40, ON A SEVEN DAY ROLLING AVERAGE.

WHAT OTHER CRITERIA NEEDS TO BE MET TO DROP AUSTIN TO STAGE THREE OF THE RISK BASED GUIDELINES? AGAIN, UH, THE PART OF THE DECISION IS BASED UPON THE ICU ADMISSIONS AND ONCE THE HOSPITALS ARE OUT OF SERVE A CERTAIN SITUATION, UH, WE'RE ALSO LOOKING AT THE OTHER, UH, SUPPORTING INDICATORS, WHICH INCLUDE THE PERCENT POSITIVE, UH, AS WELL AS THE, UM, THE NUMBER PER 100,000 OF, UH, POSITIVE CASES OR ACTIVE CASES IN THE COMMUNITY.

AGAIN, WE EXPECT THAT, UH, IF WE CONTINUE TO SEE A DECLINE AS WE HAVE OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS, UH, THAT, UH, THAT WILL MAKE THE DECISION TO GO TO STAGE THREE, BUT ULTIMATELY WE STILL HAVE TO DECIDE WHAT OUR PRIORITIES ARE.

AND IF OUR PRIORITY IS AS A COMMUNITY, GET CHILDREN BACK TO SCHOOL IN A SAFE WAY TO GET TEACHERS BACK IN CLASSROOMS IN A SAFE WAY.

AND WE'VE GOT A LOT OF GROUND TO COVER.

AND THAT MEANS WE NEED TO BE MORE PROTECTIVE AND TAKE LESS RISKS SO THAT WE CAN GET TO THAT BETTER POSITION.

THIS NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KVU.

IS THERE ANY UPDATE ON THE DELAYS PEOPLE ARE SEEING IN TEST RESULTS AT THIS POINT? WHAT IS THE AVERAGE AMOUNT OF DAYS FOR TURNAROUND TIME? SO WE HAVE SEEN IMPROVEMENT IN THE, THE TURNAROUND TIMES FOR TESTS.

UH, THERE'S STILL VARIABILITY THOUGH, BASED UPON WHICH LAB THAT TEST IS SENT TO, UM, YOU KNOW, OURS ARE AROUND THREE DAYS, THE ONES THAT ARE SENT THROUGH AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, THERE ARE SOME THAT ARE GOING TO NATIONAL LAB CHAINS THAT, THAT ARE STILL TAKING, UH, SEVEN TO 10 DAYS FOR, UH, FOR A RETURN.

AGAIN, AS WE'VE SEEN CASES START TO DECLINE IN TEXAS AND LOCALLY, WE SEE THEM START TO INCREASE IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY.

UH, AND, AND THAT MEANS THAT MORE DEMAND IS COMING FROM OTHER LOCATIONS.

AND THIS IS WHY WE'VE, WE'VE PARTNERED WITH A NUMBER OF LABS TO ENSURE THAT WE HAVE, UH, LABS HERE IN TEXAS THAT ARE GOING TO BE LESS SUBJECT TO NATIONAL SEARCH TO PROVIDE THOSE RESULTS.

ULTIMATELY, WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO GET RESULTS WITHIN ABOUT 24 HOURS FROM THE TIME THE TEST IS DONE, IF WE WANT TO BE, UH, YOU KNOW, REALLY PROACTIVE IN, IN ANDREA MS. DISEASE, OBVIOUSLY WHEN WE HAVE TEST RESULTS THAT ARE COMING BACK EVEN THREE OR FOUR DAYS LATER, THE EFFICACY OF THE CASE INVESTIGATION AND CONTACT TRACING DECLINES.

AND THIS IS WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT.

OTHER TESTING STRATEGIES, INCLUDING ANTIGEN TESTING, WHICH MAY BE GOOD ENOUGH TO PROVIDE US RESULTS IN A MORE TIMELY FASHION, ABOUT 15 MINUTES.

SO WE MAY HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO TEST PEOPLE AND GIVE THEM THE RESULTS BEFORE THEY LEAVE, WHICH WOULD BE THE ULTIMATE SOLUTION TO HELP ADDRESS THE SITUATION AND DECREASE THE RISK OF TRANSMISSION IN THE SEX CULTURE.

I WAS JUST GOING TO ADD THAT, UM, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE, AS WE'VE SAID, WE'VE NOTICED A DECLINE IN THE NUMBER OF CASES

[00:35:01]

RELATED TO PCR TESTING.

AND SO LAST WEEK WHEN I SAID WE WERE TRYING TO BE CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC, UM, WE WERE ALSO LOOKING AT WHETHER OR NOT WE SEE AN INCREASE IN THE RAPID ANTIGEN TESTING THAT'S OCCURRING THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY.

UM, AND SO WE'LL BE CONTINUING TO MONITOR THAT, UH, TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE HAVING A DECREASE ON ALL FRONTS.

ALL RIGHT.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE, WHAT ARE AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH STRATEGIES FOR CONTACT TRACING, AS IT WORKS WITH UT AUSTIN TO CONDUCT TRACING FOR UT COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19.

SO CURRENTLY WE HAVE AN INNER LOCAL AGREEMENT WITH A UT AUSTIN, AND THEY HAVE AGREED, UH, AT THEIR UNIVERSITY THAT, UH, WE'LL FOLLOW UP ON ALL YOUTUBE RELATED CASES.

SO, UM, THEY, THEY, YOU KNOW, THEY NOT ONLY DO NOT ONLY DO THE CONTACT TRACING TO DO THE INITIAL CASE INVESTIGATION IDENTIFICATION OF THOSE CONTACTS, AND THEN THEY FOLLOW UP ON THOSE CONTACTS.

AND THEN THAT, THAT INFORMATION IS THEN REPORTED TO US.

UH, IF THERE ARE FACILITIES OR CONGREGATE SETTINGS THAT ARE IDENTIFIED, UH, THAT INFORMATION IS REPORTED TO THE, OUR EPI, UH, EPIDEMIOLOGY TEAM.

WE HAVE SEVERAL DIFFERENT CLUSTER TEAMS THAT ARE WORKING ON EITHER LONGTERM CARE FACILITIES, SCHOOL CLUSTERS, OR OTHER NON, YOU KNOW, OTHER TYPES OF CLUSTERS THAT ARE IN THE COMMUNITY RELATED TO CONGREGATE SETTINGS, UH, WORK WORKPLACES AND THINGS LIKE THAT.

SO WE WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH UT, UH, REGARDING CONTACT TRACING, ESPECIALLY WITHIN THEIR POPULATION AS WELL.

ONE EXAMPLE IS A UT, UH, CABO STUDY.

UH, WE WORKED WITH HIM ON THAT, YOU KNOW, PROVIDE WORKING WITH THE CASE INVESTIGATION, PROVIDING, PROVIDING THEM INFORMATION FOR 'EM AND THEY ACTUALLY DID THE CASE INVESTIGATION AND FOLLOW UP ON THOSE CASES.

THE OTHER THING I WILL ADD IS SINCE, UM, AS WE HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH UT DELL MEDICAL SCHOOL, UM, THEY HAVE PUT TOGETHER A PLAN, UM, WITH WHERE THEIR, UM, EPIDEMIOLOGISTS HAS BEEN ATTENDING ALL OF OUR MEETINGS WITH OUR EPIDEMIOLOGISTS.

AND SO, UM, WHEN WE HAVE OUR CONTACT TRACING MEETINGS, AS WELL AS OUR DAILY MEETINGS, SHE IS A PART OF THOSE MEETINGS.

AND SO SHE IS ABLE TO ENSURE THAT THE INFORMATION THAT THEY, UM, ARE, THAT THEY ARE PROVIDING AND RECEIVING THROUGH THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS IS, UM, IT'S SUBMITTED INTO OUR SALESFORCE SALESFORCE SYSTEM.

AND SO THAT CONTINUITY AND THAT, UM, WORKING RELATIONSHIP THAT WE ESTABLISHED, UM, MONTHS AGO HAS, HAS REALLY BEEN VERY BENEFICIAL.

SO AS THEY SHIFT AND THEY'RE GONNA FOCUS SOLELY ON THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, UM, ALL OF THOSE LESSONS LEARNED THAT ALL OF US HAVE GONE THROUGH THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS HAVE BEEN VERY HELPFUL, AND IT WILL BE BENEFICIAL AS THEY MOVE FORWARD TO PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS.

OKAY.

AUSTIN, DO YOU PLAN ON ADVISING REOPENING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CLOSED BARS? UH, NO.

DON'T WANT ME SAY THE BARS ARE PROBABLY THE, THE RISK IS PLACE IN TERMS OF RISK OF TRANSMISSION OF DISEASE.

I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY PRACTICAL WAY TO MITIGATE THE RISK OF A FACE TO FACE SPREAD IN A BAR.

YOU CAN'T WEAR MASKS IN A BAR AND, AND BE DRINKING.

UH, YOU CAN'T SOCIAL DISTANCE EFFECTIVELY IN A BAR BECAUSE THAT'S NOT THE NATURE OF A BAR.

UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT THE BAR INDUSTRY HAS A LOT OF WORK TO DO, UH, TO DEVISE A PLAN WHERE THEY COULD REOPEN SAFELY, WHICH MEANS RESTRUCTURING, HOW THEY DO BUSINESS.

I SIMPLY DO NOT BELIEVE THAT WE'RE AT A PLACE NOW OR ANYTIME IN THE NEAR FUTURE THAT WE WOULD WANT TO RECOMMEND BARS REOPENING.

ALRIGHT.

AND OUR LAST QUESTION IS FROM K O P RADIO, CONSIDERING THE COVID OUTBREAK AT USC.

WHAT IS THE CITY DOING TO PREPARE FOR RETURNING UT STUDENTS, FACULTY, STAFF, AND FOOTBALL FANS.

WE ARE WORKING CLOSELY WITH, AS I STATED EARLIER WITH UT DALE MAY HAVE, WHICH IS GOING TO BE, UM, PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO UT.

UM, BUT IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US AS THEY ARE LOOKING AT WHAT ARE THEIR REOPENING PLANS THAT THEY'RE ABLE TO TALK WITH US ABOUT THOSE REOPENING PLANS

[00:40:01]

AND SHARE ANY CONCERNS AND QUESTIONS THAT THEY MAY HAVE IN REGARDS TO THE ORDERS THAT WE HAVE AS WELL AS WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SAFELY TO MITIGATE, UM, THE SPREAD OF DISEASE.

UM, WE, IN OUR CONVERSATIONS WERE VERY CANDID.

UM, WE, WE, WE KNOW THAT, THAT WE ARE NOT GOING TO SAY THAT THEN WHEN PLACES START TO OPEN, WE'RE NOT GOING TO SEE, UM, CASES.

WE'RE GOING TO SEE POSITIVE CASES.

UM, THAT IS THE REALITY, BUT WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY CAN SAFELY MITIGATE THE DISEASE, THAT THEY CAN SAFELY LOOK AT WHAT IS CAUSING THE DISEASE AND BE ABLE TO GET THOSE INDIVIDUALS INTO TESTING, UM, GET THEM TO, UM, TO ISOLATE AND QUARANTINE.

SO THEY DON'T FURTHER IT.

UM, COVID-19 SO IT'S JUST IMPORTANT FOR, FOR THE, THE COLLEGES, THE UNIVERSITY, THE SCHOOLS, AS EVERYONE IS LOOKING AT THEIR REOPENING PLANS THAT THEY PUT THOSE PLANS TOGETHER FOR REACH OUT TO US BECAUSE WE ARE WILLING TO HELP THEM IN ANY WAY WE CAN.

LET ME JUST MENTION ABOUT THE, THE FOOTBALL FANS QUESTION.

UH, AGAIN, I, I LOVE COLLEGE FOOTBALL.

I WANT YOU TO EVERY WEEKEND AS PART OF WHAT I DO IN THE FALL, BUT WE'VE GOT TO REMEMBER THAT, THAT PEOPLE DON'T JUST TELEPORT INTO THEIR SEAT AT THE STADIUM, THEY TAILGATE BEFOREHAND.

THEY GATHER THANK YOU IN ORDER TO GET IN THE STADIUM, WHICH MEANS THEY GATHERED, UH, THEY GO TO THEIR CONCESSION STANDS, THEY BUY FOOD, THEY BUY DRINKS.

THEY'RE GOING TO BE CONSUMING THOSE FOOD AND DRINKS WHEN THEY'RE SITTING, WHICH MEANS THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE WEARING MASS.

THEY'RE GOING TO BE YELLING AT THE GAME, WHICH MEANS THEY'RE GOING TO BE PROJECTING THEIR BOYS AND INCREASING THE RISK OF SPREAD.

UH, YOU KNOW, YES, THERE ARE, UH, FOOTBALL STADIUMS, WHICH ARE OUTDOORS, UH, WHICH MAY HELP MITIGATE THAT RISK.

UH, BUT AGAIN, SOMEWHERE TO BARS THAT THERE WOULD BE, NEED TO BE A LOT OF, OF ENGINEERING CONTROLS BUILT TO ENSURE THAT WE CAN DO THAT SAFELY.

AND I THINK IF, IF WE WANT TO FOCUS ON HAVING A FOOTBALL SEASON AT ALL, THE UNIVERSITIES NEED TO FOCUS ON ENSURING THAT THEY CAN FEEL TWO TEAMS EACH WEEKEND.

AND IF WE CAN DO THAT SUCCESSFULLY, THEN CONSIDER HOW CAN WE GET FANS BACK IN THE STADIUM? THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THAT WRAPS UP OUR QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA.

BEFORE WE WRAP UP, THOUGH, WOULD YOU ALL LIKE TO GIVE ANY CLOSING REMARKS? I WOULD SAY WE NEED TO STAY THE COURSE.

WE NEED TO STAY ON THIS PATH THAT WE, UM, DON'T CELEBRATE.

AND IN FACT, TO, AS SCOTT SAID A FEW WEEKS AGO, YOU KNOW, DON'T GO OUT DANCING AND IF YOU DANCE, DANCE IN YOUR HOUSE, UM, THERE'S GREAT VIDEOS, GREAT MUSIC.

YOU CAN TURN ON, YOU CAN DANCE AT HOME.

BUT I WILL SAY THAT THE THINGS THAT HAVE GOT US HERE HAS BEEN THE CALL TO ACTION THAT YOU ALL STOOD UP AND YOU SAID, YES, SIGN ME UP.

I AM GOING TO BE THAT PERSON.

THAT'S GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH COVID-19 AND WE NEED YOU TO CONTINUE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, CONTINUE TO BE AN INFLUENCE TO OTHERS.

AS WE CONTINUE TO STAY ON THIS PATH, IT HAS BEEN REALLY GREAT FOR US.

UM, WE, WE, WE MADE THE DECISION TO CLOSE SOME PARK AMENITIES.

WE KNOW THAT THAT HAS HELPED US AS WELL.

UM, AND WE'VE GOTTA STAY THE COURSE WE WE'VE GOT TO THINK ABOUT THIS IS OUR PRIORITY AT PRIORITY IS, IS TO GET TO LEVEL THREE, LEVEL TWO.

WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO GET OUR, OUR LEVEL AS LOW AS WE CAN ON OUR RISK BASED SCALE.

THE OTHER THING I'D LIKE TO SAY IS JUST EMPHASIZING THOSE REOPENING PLANS ARE GOING TO BE ESSENTIAL.

THEY'RE GOING TO BE ESSENTIAL TO WHEN WE START SLOW IN ORDER TO MOVE FAST.

THE LAST THING I'D LIKE TO EMPHASIZE IS ABOUT THE TESTING.

WE DO HAVE OUR TESTING AVAILABLE.

SO IF YOU ARE HAVING SYMPTOMS, PLEASE GO ONLINE TO OUR PLATFORM, CALL OUR NURSE LINE AND SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT.

WE HAVE ALL OF OUR SITES THAT ARE GOING TO BE OPEN ON TOMORROW.

SO PLEASE MAKE YOUR WAY AND, AND GET YOUR TESTS DONE.

IF YOU ARE HAVING SYMPTOMS, PLEASE STAY HOME.

AND AS YOU'RE WAITING FOR YOUR TEST RESULTS, PLEASE STAY HOME.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THEN I'LL JUMP IN NEXT AND SAY, UH, AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN SAID, WE'VE HAD A GREAT JOB, BUT WE'VE GOT MORE WORK TO DO.

UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK WE HAVE TO, TO, TO TALK ABOUT OUR PRIORITIES.

IF OUR PRIORITIES ARE GETTING CHILDREN BACK INTO THE CLASSROOM, UH, MAKING IT A SAFE SITUATION FOR, UH, STUDENTS AND TEACHERS, WE'VE GOT TO GET

[00:45:01]

BETTER THAN WE ARE RIGHT NOW.

UH, IF WE VALUE AND WANT TO PRIORITIZE, HAVING BUSINESSES OPEN TO A FURTHER EXTENT, WE'VE GOT TO CONTINUE TO DO BETTER.

UH, AND THEN WE HAVE TO WEIGH AS A COMMUNITY.

WHEN ARE WE WILLING TO TAKE OTHER RISKS? UH, WE TALK ABOUT COLLEGE FOOTBALL, SIMILAR DISCUSSIONS NEED TO BE HAD REGARDING OTHER UIL ACTIVITIES, FOOTBALL BAND, UH, OTHER SPORTING EVENTS.

AND, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, IF WE WANT TO PRIORITIZE, MAKING SURE THAT KIDS GET EDUCATED, WE NEED TO FOCUS ON THOSE THINGS.

AND ONCE WE CAN DO THAT SAFELY, THEN WE CAN THINK ABOUT, UH, THE EXTRACURRICULAR ITEMS. UH, AGAIN, AUSTIN, YOU'VE DONE A GREAT JOB.

YOU'VE BEEN AN EXAMPLE FOR OTHER CITIES ACROSS THE STATE AND LET'S SHOW THEM HOW MUCH BETTER WE CAN DO.

AND I WOULD JUST SAY, WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO FIGHT THE FIGHT.

UH, YOU KNOW, WE'RE DOING A GREAT JOB, UH, IN FLATTENING THE CURVE.

I'D LIKE TO SEE IT GET EVEN LOWER THAN IT IS RIGHT NOW.

UM, I DO YOU WANT TO REMIND THE PUBLIC THAT THERE ARE OTHER CONDITIONS OUT THERE THAT, UH, POSE A THREAT TO THEIR FAMILIES, AND THAT INCLUDES WEST NILE VIRUS TO MAKE SURE YOU DO THOSE PREVENTION ACTIVITIES TO REDUCE MOSQUITO BITES AND A RESURGENCE OF THAT PARTICULAR DISEASE, BUT, UM, WITH RESPECT TO COVID, UM, MAKE SURE YOU'RE MASKING UP AND, UH, CONTINUING TO FIGHT THE FIGHT THAT CONCLUDES OUR MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR TODAY.

THANK YOU TO APH DIRECTOR, STEPHANIE HAYDEN, DR.

MARCUS, SCOTT EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JENNIFER SHIT, AND THE POLL REPORTER FOR JOINING US TODAY.

THANK YOU.

HAVE A GOOD MORNING.

.

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