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[00:00:01]

SURE.

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

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

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

MARK S. SCOTT IN TERM AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY HEALTH AUTHORITY, THEN AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JANET PICHET.

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

STEPHANIE, GOOD MORNING.

OVER TO YOU.

GOOD MORNING.

I WANT TO TALK ABOUT US.

NOT LETTING OUR GUARD DOWN AS A COMMUNITY.

WE HAVE COME SO FAR.

WE HAVE ALL COME TOGETHER TO FACE COVID-19.

WE HAVE DONE EVERYTHING THAT WE COULD DO TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY.

OUR SUCCESS IS BECAUSE ALL OF US HAVE COME TOGETHER AND DONE ALL OF THE THINGS THAT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH HAS ASKED FOR US TO DO.

AT THIS TIME, WE HAVE TO WATCH OUR BEHAVIOR.

WE CANNOT LET OUR GUARD DOWN.

WE CANNOT MAKE ANY CHANGES FROM THE BEHAVIOR THAT WE'VE HAD.

I WANT US TO CONTINUE TO ONLY MAKE ESSENTIAL TRIPS FROM YOUR HOME.

I KNOW THAT THINGS ARE CHANGING.

OUR COMMUNITY WILL LOOK A LITTLE DIFFERENT.

AS STUDENTS BEGAN TO MOVE IN, UM, TO ATTEND COLLEGE VIRTUALLY.

I WANT US TO STAY THE PACE, STAY THE COURSE, AND DON'T LET UP.

IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO CONTINUE TO THE CREW, THE CREASE, THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, STEPHANIE.

I JUST WANT TO HIT ON SOME OF THOSE POINTS AGAIN, WE'RE DOING A GOOD JOB, BUT WE'VE GOT TO DO A BETTER JOB.

UH, YOU KNOW, I TALKED YESTERDAY ABOUT THE FACT THAT WE'RE STILL IN THIS PLATEAU IN TERMS OF NEW CASES, WE'VE GOT TO WORK HARDER TO PUSH THROUGH IT BECAUSE WE WANT TO BE IN A BETTER SITUATION BEFORE SEPTEMBER 8TH COMES ALONG AND WE WANT TO SEND OUR KIDS BACK TO SCHOOL, TO SOME EXTENT, UH, WE CAN DO IT.

WE KNOW THAT OTHER PLACES HAVE DONE THIS.

THEY'VE PUSHED PAST PLATEAUS, UH, SO THAT THEY CAN HIT THE FLOOR.

WE WANT TO HIT THE FLOOR IN AUSTIN.

WE WANT TO GET DOWN TO SINGLE DIGIT CASES A DAY AGAIN.

UH, AND, AND WE'RE HAVING A HARD TIME GETTING THROUGH THIS PLATEAU.

LUCKILY, OUR HOSPITALS CONTINUE TO BE IN A BETTER SITUATION.

UH, THE HOSPITALIZATION NUMBERS CONTINUE TO DECLINE.

UH, ARE, ARE THERE, THERE A SEVEN DAY MOVING AVERAGE OF NEW HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS WAS BELOW 30 YESTERDAY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE JUNE THE 19TH.

SO WE'RE DOING WELL.

LUCKILY, THE CASES THAT WE'RE SEEING NOW ARE A CURE OCCURRING IN YOUNGER INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE A LESS RISK OF BEING HOSPITALIZED, BUT WE NEED TO PUSH THROUGH FURTHER.

WE NEED TO ENSURE THAT WE CAN GET ALL OF OUR GROUPS, OUR WHOLE COMMUNITY, OUR COMMUNITIES OF COLOR BELOW THAT 5% MARK, UH, BEFORE SEPTEMBER 8TH, SO THAT WE CAN BE IN A BETTER PLACE TO NOT ONLY OPEN SCHOOLS AT THAT 25% MARK, BUT KEEP THEM OPEN AND EXPAND BEYOND THAT 25% SO THAT WE CAN HAVE MORE CHILDREN IN CLASSROOMS IN FRONT OF TEACHERS.

I DO ALSO WANT TO MENTION THAT, THAT WE HIT ANOTHER MILESTONE YESTERDAY AND IT'S NOT A GOOD ONE.

AND I, YESTERDAY WE HIT 337 DEATHS IN A, IN TRAVIS COUNTY RELATED TO COVID-19.

WHEN WE COMPARE THIS TO OUR, OUR, UH, DEATH NUMBERS AND TOP CAUSES OF DEATH FROM 2018, IT IS NOW TIED WITH CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASE, UH, WHICH IS THINGS LIKE STROKES.

UH, SO RIGHT NOW IT'S TIED FOR FOURTH LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN TRAVIS COUNTY AS COMPARED TO THE 2018 NUMBERS.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE, WE LOOK AT THAT DATA AND SEE THAT THE NEXT MILESTONE, UH, 512 DEATHS ASSOCIATED WITH ACCIDENTS OF ALL KINDS IS NOT FAR AWAY.

WE KNOW THAT COVID-19 IS NOW THE THIRD LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN THE UNITED STATES.

AND I BRING THESE THINGS OUT BECAUSE THERE'S A GREAT DEAL OF MISINFORMATION IN SOCIAL MEDIA RIGHT NOW, TALKING ABOUT THE FACT THAT COVID-19 IS NOT THAT SERIOUS, THAT IT'S LIKE THE FLU.

IT'S NOT LIKE THE FLU IT'S SPREADS QUICKER THAN THE FLU,

[00:05:01]

AND IT IS DEADLIER THAN THE FLU.

AND WE ALMOST TAKE IT VERY SERIOUSLY BECAUSE IF WE DON'T, IT'S GOING TO AFFECT ALL OF US.

IT'S GOING TO AFFECT ALL OF OUR FAMILIES.

TO SOME EXTENT, WE'RE ALL GOING TO USE EXPERIENCED DEATHS.

IF WE LOOK AT THE NUMBERS AND I'VE SEEN PEOPLE QUOTING THE SURVIVAL RATES OF 98, 99%, THE SURVIVAL RATE IS VERY GOOD FOR COVID-19.

BUT WHEN YOU DO THE NUMBERS AND YOU LOOK AT THE POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE EXPECTATION OF INDIVIDUALS THAT MAY BE IN FACT, IF WE DON'T HAVE A VACCINE SOON ENOUGH, THAT EQUATION MEANS MORE THAN A MILLION DEATHS IN THE UNITED STATES.

IT MEANS THOUSANDS OF DEATHS IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

MY HOPE IS THAT WE NEVER GET THERE.

MY HOPE IS THAT WE CAN CONTINUE THE EFFORT TO SOCIAL DISTANCE, TO WHERE MASS TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE WASHING OUR HANDS FREQUENTLY, AVOIDING TOUCHING OUR FACE AND STAYING HOME.

AND WE'RE SICK.

MY HOPE IS THAT WE HAVE A VACCINE EARLY NEXT YEAR SO THAT WE CAN OFFER THAT TO THE PUBLIC AND WE CAN PREVENT A CATASTROPHE FROM HAPPENING IN THE UNITED STATES.

SO PLEASE STAY THE COURSE, PLEASE HELP YOUR CHILDREN STAY THE COURSE.

AS WE LEAD UP TO THE REOPENING OF SCHOOL, IT'S MORE IMPORTANT THAT PARENTS KEEP THOSE CHILDREN AT HOME, UH, SO THAT WHEN SCHOOL IS OPEN, IF THEY'RE GOING IN PERSON, THERE'S LESS RISK OF, OF SPREAD.

AND WITH THAT, I'LL PASS IT OVER TO JANET.

PICHET GOOD MORNING.

UM, SOME THINGS I'D LIKE TO BRING UP TODAY ARE JUST TO BE MINDFUL AS THE DIRECTOR HAYDEN AND DR.

S SCOTT HAVE MENTIONED IS STAYING THE COURSE AND MAKING SURE THAT, UH, WE CONTINUE TO USE THE PREVENTION MEASURES THAT WE ARE AWARE OF TO PROTECT OURSELVES AND OUR CON OUR COMMUNITY AND OUR FAMILIES.

UM, YOU KNOW, I, ONE POINT I'D LIKE TO BRING UP IS THE ISSUE RELATED TO QUARANTINE.

UM, AND I JUST WANT TO BE VERY CLEAR WHEN PEOPLE ARE PLACED IN QUARANTINE.

IT MEANS THAT THEY'VE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEBODY WHO IS A CASE.

UH, WE'VE HAD MANY SITUATIONS HERE WHERE WE'VE INVESTIGATED CASES AND PEOPLE, UM, DON'T STAY IN PORN SCENE FOR THE 14 DAY PERIOD FROM THE LAST EXPOSURE TO THAT CASE.

UH, IT IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT THAT IF YOU ARE PLACED IN QUARANTINE, THAT YOU STAY THE 14 DAYS, WHICH IS ONE INCUBATION PERIOD FOR THAT DISEASE.

UH, IF YOU TEST NEGATIVE DURING THAT 14 DAY PERIOD, THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU ARE FREE OF DISEASE, YOU COULD STILL DEVELOP DISEASE WITHIN THAT TIME PERIOD.

THEREFORE IT'S VERY, VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU STAY IN QUARANTINE FOR 14 DAYS.

AND WHEN I, I MEAN, STAY IN QUARANTINE, THAT MEANS IN YOUR HOME AND SEPARATED FROM OTHER INDIVIDUALS IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD SO THAT YOU PROTECT THEM AS WELL.

WE HAVE ISOLATION FACILITIES AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE TO, UH, GO TO IF THEY CAN'T QUARANTINE SAFELY AND PROTECT OTHER HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS.

UH, AND WE CAN MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THAT.

UH, PEOPLE ARE PROVIDED FOOD, UM, ACCESS TO, UM, INTERNET AND OTHER THINGS, UH, WHILE THEY ARE, UH, IN THAT QUARANTINE PERIOD.

BUT IT'S VERY IMPORTANT AS BOTH DR.

S SCOTT AND, UH, DIRECTOR HAYDEN HAVE ALSO MENTIONED, YOU KNOW, UM, WE'RE DOING GOOD.

WE'RE, WE'RE AT A PLATEAU RIGHT NOW, BUT WE ALSO NEED TO PREPARE OURSELVES FOR THE FLU SEASON THAT IS CLOSELY GOING TO BE UPON US.

AND, UM, YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE SYMPTOMOLOGY FOR COVID, OR IT'S VERY SIMILAR TO INFLUENZA, IT'S VERY SIMILAR TO OTHER DISEASES THAT WE CURRENTLY HAVE CIRCULATING IN OUR COMMUNITY LIKE WEST NILE VIRUS.

UH, YOU COULD GET HEADACHES AND FEVER AND CHILLS.

SO I WANT PEOPLE TO ALSO BE MINDFUL THAT THERE ARE OTHER DISEASES OUT THERE CURRENTLY CIRCULATING THAT YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY FROM.

UH, SO, YOU KNOW, WE'VE HAD A PRETTY HEAVY MOSQUITO SEASON AND WE HAVE HAD TWO POSITIVE OR TWO PROBABLE CASES OF, UH, NEURO INVASIVE WEST NILE VIRUS.

UM, AND WE HAVE, UH, 14 DIFFERENT POSITIVE MOSQUITO POOLS.

SO, UM, YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU'RE DUMPING AND DRAINING WATER.

THAT'S STANDING, IT'S HOT OUT.

PEOPLE ARE WATERING THEIR PLANTS.

YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU DON'T HAVE STANDING WATER.

IT ONLY TAKES ONE TEASPOON OF WATER FOR MOSQUITOES TO BREED.

SO THE, THE MORE YOU, UH, USE DUMPING DRAIN, HE'S DEEP, UH, MOSQUITOES BITE AT, AT DOS, DUSK AND DAWN.

SO, UH, UH,

[00:10:01]

MAKE SURE THAT YOU'RE DOING THOSE THINGS TO PREVENT YOURSELF FROM THE MOSQUITO EXPOSURE AS WELL.

THANK YOU NOW TO OUR POOR REPORTER, JERRY KIANO FROM KUT.

GOOD MORNING.

THE FIRST QUESTION IS FROM K UT AUSTIN, HAVE THE DEMOGRAPHIC BREAKDOWNS OF INFECTIONS, HOSPITALIZATIONS AND DEATHS CHANGED OR REMAINED THE SAME OVER THE LAST MONTH OR SO.

SO THE DEMOGRAPHICS, THEY CHANGE ON A DAILY BASIS TO SOME EXTENT, UH, THEY TEND TO MATCH THOUGH WHERE THE DISEASE BURDEN IS.

UH, WE KNOW THAT'S THAT OUR LATIN X POPULATION REPRESENTS ABOUT 52% OF CASES AND ABOUT 50 TO 50% OF THE DEATHS ASSOCIATED WITH COVID-19.

UH, WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF, UM, REVIEWING THE DATA IN A SCIENTIFIC FASHION TO DETERMINE IF THERE'S ANY, UH, THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RACE AND ETHNICITY AND OTHER FACTORS, UH, AND DEATHS, UH, AS WELL AS IN HOSPITALIZATIONS.

UH, BUT AGAIN, THIS, THIS DISEASE SPREADS INDISCRIMINATELY.

IT SPREADS TO AFRICAN AMERICANS AND HISPANICS AND WHITES AND ASIANS.

UH, AND THAT'S WHY IT'S IMPORTANT THAT ALL OF US UNDERTAKE THE PROTECTIVE ACTIONS TO PROTECT ONE ANOTHER.

OKAY, THIS NEXT QUESTION IS FROM OSTEOPENIA LATINO, AUSTINITES REMAIN OVERREPRESENTED AMONG LOCAL COVID CASES, HOSPITALIZATIONS AND DEATHS.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN AUSTINITES HAD BEEN OVERREPRESENTED TOO, BUT APH HAS RECENTLY REPORTED SOME IMPROVEMENTS TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THIS CHANGE AND WHAT IS NEEDED TO ADDRESS THE CONTINUING DISPARITIES AMONG LATINO RESIDENTS? I'LL START OFF BY SAYING THAT, UH, YOU KNOW, WE'VE, WE'VE REALLY TRIED TO FOCUS ON OUR COMMUNITIES OF COLOR, UH, WE'VE FOCUSED INTERVENTIONS AND OUTREACH.

UH, WE'VE, WE'VE MET, WE'VE PARTNERED WITH WE'VE ENGAGED IN DIALOGUE, UH, WITH MANY GROUPS WHO ARE DOING A GREAT JOB AT HELPING, UH, TO, TO EXTEND THIS MESSAGE, UH, THESE PROTECTIVE MESSAGES, WE'RE DOING WEEKLY, UH, EDUCATION SESSIONS, UH, AND YOU KNOW, THERE'S A NUMBER OF OTHER INTERVENTIONS THAT DIRECTOR HAYDEN, UH, I'M SURE WOULD WANT TO TALK ABOUT.

UM, BUT I, YOU KNOW, I THINK OVERALL IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO ENSURE THAT, THAT WE ARE CARING FOR ONE ANOTHER AND WE ARE ONE AUSTIN.

WE ARE ONE TRAVIS COUNTY IN CENTRAL TEXAS COMMUNITY.

AND THAT MEANS THAT IT'S UPON ALL OF US TO ENSURE THAT OUR COMMUNITIES OF COLOR, UH, ARE WELL LOOKED AFTER THAT, THAT THEY RECEIVED THE ATTENTION THAT THEY DESERVE, THAT THEY HAVE THE, THE OUTREACH THAT THEY NEED.

BUT I WANT TO MENTION ONE OTHER THING.

AND THAT IS THAT IT IS HARD FOR US TO CORRECT DECADES OF DISPARITIES THAT THESE COMMUNITIES HAVE FACED.

THEY HAVE BEEN WITHOUT HEALTH CARE.

THEY HAVE BEEN WITHOUT ACCESS TO FOOD AND SHELTER AND THE THINGS THAT THEY NEED TO BE HEALTHY.

THESE ARE THE SOCIAL DETERMINES OF HEALTH.

IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT HEALTHCARE, IT'S ABOUT MANY, MANY OTHER THINGS.

AND AS WE ENGAGE IN THIS DIALOGUE ABOUT FAIRNESS AND ABOUT EQUITY IN OUR CITY, WE CANNOT IGNORE THE HISTORIC DISPARITIES AND THOSE THINGS AS WELL, BECAUSE IF WE DON'T FIX THOSE UNDERLYING THINGS, IF WE DON'T IMPROVE THE RATES OF DIABETES AND HEART DISEASE AND OBESITY IN THESE COMMUNITIES, THEN THIS IS GOING TO REPEAT ITSELF OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN WITH OTHER DISEASES.

I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT FOR US AS A COMMUNITY TO ENSURE THAT WE HAVE HEALTH EQUITY STRATEGIES IN PLACE.

UM, WE HAVE COLLABORATED WITH SEVERAL PARTNERS THAT DURING THIS, DURING THIS RESPONSE HAVE, UM, WORKED VERY HARD TO DO OUTREACH, AS WELL AS USE THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS TO SHARE THE INFORMATION THAT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH HAS PUT TOGETHER.

ARE WE WHERE WE NEED TO BE? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO DEVELOP STRATEGIES THAT ARE MORE TARGETED LOOKING AT SPECIFIC ZIP CODES IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT THE ZIP CODES, WHERE WE HAVE MORE OF A SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH, UM, LOOKING THE POSITIVITY RATE, AS WELL AS PROVIDING THEM ADDITIONAL SUPPORT, SUCH AS, UM, PPE, UM, HAND SANITIZER

[00:15:01]

ALSO PROVIDING THEM INFORMATION ABOUT JUST GOOD HEALTH HYGIENE AS WELL.

SO THOSE ARE SEVERAL OF THE INITIATIVES THAT WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK ON AND NOT JUST AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, BUT IN COLLABORATION WITH MULTIPLE PARTNERS THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY.

OKAY.

THIS NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE STATESMAN, THE CITY REPORTED YESTERDAY, THAT THE NUMBER OF NEW CASES REPORTED IN THE LAST WEEK HAS BEEN ELEVATED DUE TO BACKLOGS AND REPORTING WITHOUT THE NUMBERS FROM THAT BACKLOG, HOW MANY NEW CASES ARE WE REALLY SEEING AND HOW MUCH CLOSER ARE WE TO STAGE TWO LEVELS? WELL, I'LL JUST SAY THAT, UH, WE'RE STILL TRYING TO DETERMINE THE ACTUAL NUMBER OF NEW CASES THAT WE'RE SEEING.

HOWEVER, UH, YOU KNOW, PART OF THE ISSUE IS THAT, UH, THE PROCESSING OF LAB REPORTS, UH, BY THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, INTO THEIR ELECTRONIC LAB REPORTING SYSTEM, THE STATE WAS ACTUALLY WORKING WITH, UH, LABORATORIES TO, TO ONBOARD AND GET THOSE REPORTS INTO THEIR SYSTEM.

UM, AND AS A RESULT, THERE WAS SOME SORT OF DATA GLITCH THAT, UM, UM, CAUSED THERE TO BE THIS BACKLOG.

UM, I CAN TELL YOU, UM, ON AUGUST 13TH WE RECEIVED 2200 NEW CASES, UH, OR NEW, UH, NEW LAB REPORTS, UH, THAT WE'RE STILL TRYING TO PROCESS THROUGH THOSE.

THE VAST MAJORITY OF THOSE REPORTS HAVE BEEN, UM, CASES THAT WERE RECEIVED, UM, PRIOR TO THEY'RE OLDER THAN THEIR OLDER THAN TWO WEEKS.

WE FOCUSED ON THOSE CASES THAT ARE THE MOST CURRENT TO PROCESS.

HOWEVER, WE HAD A LARGE NUMBER OF CASES THAT WERE REPORTED INTO US THAT WERE FROM JULY AND EARLY AS EARLY BACK AS, UH, APRIL.

UM, AGAIN, MANY OF THOSE CASES THAT WE'RE, UH, PROCESSING RIGHT NOW ARE CASES THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN RECEIVED BY THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

THE CASE INVESTIGATION HAS BEEN COMPLETED AND FOLLOWED.

SO THERE ARE A LOT OF DUPLICATE INFORMATION IN THERE, UH, BUT WE ARE TRYING TO PROCESS ANY OF THE NEW ONES THAT ARE COMING IN.

ALSO BURIED IN, THERE ARE A RAPID ANTIGEN AND ANTIBODY SCREENING TESTS THAT ARE COMING IN.

SO IT'S A WHOLE WIDE VARIETY OF THINGS COMING IN, BUT, UH, WE CONTINUE TO PROCESS, WE HAD BEEFED UP BACK IN JULY, OUR DATA ENTRY, UH, TEAMS, SO THAT WE CAN, UH, KIND OF KEEP UP WITH THE DATA ENTRY AND, AND OF OUR NEW CASES, BUT WE WILL CONTINUE TO LOOK AT WHAT THOSE CASES ARE TO MAKE SURE WE KNOW HOW MANY ARE NEW OR NOT.

WE'RE GOING TO BE DOING SOME DATA QUERIES PROBABLY OVER THIS WEEK TO TRY TO DETERMINE WHAT THAT IMPACT IS ON OUR, OUR, OUR TOTAL NUMBER.

AND LET ME ALSO MENTION THAT AS OUR DATA FEED IMPROVES IN TERMS OF TESTING, IT'S LIKELY THE OLD TRANSITION AS THE KEY INDICATOR FOR STAGING TO POSITIVITY RATES AND NEW CASES.

UH, REMEMBER BACK EARLIER THIS SUMMER, AND CERTAINLY IN THE SPRING TIME, WE DIDN'T HAVE RELIABLE AMOUNTS OF TESTING.

WE DIDN'T HAVE RELIABLE DATA FEEDS ASSOCIATED WITH, WITH TEST POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE TESTS.

UH, AND AS THOSE SYSTEMS HAVE IMPROVED, IT TURNS OUT THAT THAT INFORMATION PREDIX, UH, CONCERN OR IMPROVEMENTS EARLIER THAN THE HOSPITALIZATION ADMISSIONS, UH, THAT WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY USED.

SO IT'S LIKELY THAT WE WILL MAKE SOME TRANSITION OVER THE COMING WEEKS, UH, TO FOCUS MORE ON POSITIVITY AND NEW CASES AND AWAY FROM NEW HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS.

UH, AGAIN, THE HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS ARE, THEY'RE STILL GOING DOWN, BUT THEY'RE CERTAINLY GOING DOWN AT A MUCH SLOWER RATE THAN WE SAW IN JULY.

UH, WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO PUSH THROUGH THAT.

WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO ENSURE THAT THOSE PROTECTIVE ACTIONS ARE HAPPENING.

UH, YOU KNOW, RIGHT NOW WE'RE STILL REALLY AT THE TOP OF, OF THE YELLOW STAGE IN TERMS OF, OF THE HOSPITALIZATIONS.

AND WE'RE HAVING A HARD TIME PUSHING FURTHER TO, UH, THE, THE BLUE PHASE OF THE STAGE TWO PHASE, UH, IN TERMS OF HOSPITALIZATIONS.

BUT AGAIN, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF INDICATORS THAT WE UTILIZE FOR THE STAGING RIGHT NOW.

WE'RE STILL, UH, CONSIDERING OURSELVES IN STAGE FOUR.

UH, AND WE WANT TO, TO KEEP IT THAT WAY UNTIL WE CAN GET BELOW 5% IN TERMS OF POSITIVITY ACROSS THE BOARD.

UH, AND CERTAINLY WE WANT TO BE MORE PROTECTIVE IN OUR ADVICE AS WE APPROACH SEPTEMBER 8TH AND THE EXPECTED RETURN OF SOME STUDENTS TO SCHOOL.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM CBS

[00:20:01]

AUSTIN EFFORTS TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS AND THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY APPEAR TO HAVE STALLED, WHAT CAN BE DONE IN THESE HARDEST HIT ZIP CODES TO GET THE POSITIVITY RATE DOWN TO THE 5% GOAL YOU WANT TO SEE BEFORE SEPTEMBER 8TH.

AND IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE AT THIS POINT, WE MUST, UM, REALLY COLLABORATE IN THIS SPACE.

THE DEPARTMENT, UM, HAS MEETINGS WITH, UM, ALL OF OUR PARTNERS THAT ARE PROVIDING INFORMATION INTO US ABOUT THEIR TEST RESULTS IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT WE'RE LOOKING AT DATA ACROSS OUR COMMUNITY.

WE KNOW THAT THERE ARE EFFORTS.

UM, WHEN WE LOOK AT THE LATIN X POPULATION, IT IS GOING TO BE IMPORTANT FOR US TO IDENTIFY THOSE SPECIFIC ZIP CODES.

WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO IDENTIFY SEVERAL OF THOSE ZIP CODES, PARTICULARLY SEVEN EIGHT, SEVEN FOUR ONE SEVEN EIGHT SEVEN FOUR FOR OUR AREAS, AS WELL AS SEVEN EIGHT, SEVEN FIVE THREE.

IN EACH OF THOSE AREAS, WE DO HAVE, UM, TESTING THAT IS AVAILABLE IN THE SEVEN, EIGHT, SEVEN, FOUR ONE AREA.

HOWEVER, WE ARE WORKING ON SETTING UP TESTING IN THAT AREA.

IN ADDITION TO THE TESTING AT FIRST IN THOSE COMMUNITIES, WE ARE WORKING WITH OUR PARTNERS TO PROVIDE, UM, PPE AS WELL AS OTHER STRATEGIES AND EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL.

SO WHEN OUR PARTNERS ARE OUT DOING OUTREACH, AS WELL AS OUR AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH STAFF, THEY ARE ABLE TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO THOSE COMMUNITIES.

WE JUST WANT TO REMIND FOLKS ABOUT OUR ISOLATION FACILITY.

UM, AND WE ARE REALLY PUTTING INFORMATION ABOUT OUR FACILITY BECAUSE WE DO WANT MEMBERS OF THAT COMMUNITY TO COME INTO THE ISOLATION FACILITY, UM, AS THEY ARE AFTER THEY'VE FOUND A GOAL IN TESTING, UM, OR IF THEY HAVE TESTED POSITIVE, THIS IS A GREAT PLACE FOR THEM.

AND SO WE ARE EMPHASIZING THAT AS WELL.

SO THE FULL COLLABORATION, UM, ON MONDAY NIGHTS, UM, THE DEPARTMENT WILL BE HAVING, UM, COMMUNITY MEETINGS WITH THE LATIN X COMMUNITY, UM, STARTING THIS MONDAY TO REALLY LOOK AT SOME ADDITIONAL STRATEGIES THAT WE WILL WANT TO APPLY IN THOSE TARGETED AREAS, BUT ALSO THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY, ACROSS TRAVIS COUNTY.

OKAY.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWS, WE'VE SEEN THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AND THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME SUSPEND IN PERSON CLASSES AFTER AN OUTBREAK OF COVID-19 CLUSTERS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR.

DO YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT THE PLAN FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS? AND DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE A SPIKE IN INFECTIONS WHEN CLASSES START NEXT WEEK? UH, I THINK THERE'S NO DOUBT WE'RE GOING TO SEE CASES ASSOCIATED WITH SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES.

AND I DON'T THINK THE EXPECTATION IS THAT THAT WE'RE GOING TO SHUT DOWN EVERY SCHOOL OR RECOMMEND THE SHUTDOWN OF, OF COLLEGES OR UNIVERSITIES THAT HAVE A SINGLE CASE OR SMALL CLUSTER.

UH, IF, IF, IF THAT'S THE EXPECTATION, THEN ADVICE WOULD BE THAT WE NOT GO BACK TO SCHOOL IN PERSON.

THAT'S NOT, THAT'S NOT GOING TO BE SUSTAINABLE.

WHAT WE ARE DOING IS WE'RE FOCUSING ON INTRODUCING A SMALL NUMBER OF STUDENTS.

UH, OUR RECOMMENDATION, UH, THAT WAS ISSUED LAST WEEK IS THAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND PRIVATE ALIKE START WITH NO MORE THAN 5% OF THE OCCUPANCY OF THIS SCHOOL, UH, THERE IN PERSON.

I THINK IF WE WORK SLOWLY, BUT IF WE PROGRESS AS WE ACHIEVE A SUCCESS, THEN WE ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE CONTINUITY OF EDUCATION.

I THINK THAT ADVICE IS TRUE FOR, FOR COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AS WELL.

UM, YOU KNOW, ONE THING THAT'S CHALLENGING AT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IS THAT IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT THE CLASSROOM SPACE.

THE STUDENTS ARE TOGETHER IN DORMS AND FRATERNITY AND SORORITY HOUSES OR AN APARTMENT COMPLEXES THEY'RE GATHERING, UH, IN, IN SOCIAL GATHERINGS AS WELL, WHICH MAKES IT A MUCH MORE COMPLICATED SITUATION.

BUT WE KNOW FROM, FROM THE DATA THAT, THAT SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN AND COLLEGE AGE STUDENTS ARE LESS LIKELY TO HAVE A SEVERE OUTCOME.

CERTAINLY WE'VE SEEN IT AND, AND CAN SEE IT INCLUDING DEATHS IN THOSE AGE GROUPS, BUT THE REAL MORE SUBSTANTIAL RISK IS TO THE FACULTY AND STAFF.

UH, SO WE HAVE TO TAKE MEASURES.

THE UNIVERSITIES WILL HAVE TO TAKE MEASURES, UH, IF THERE IS AN OUTBREAK THAT THEY CONTAIN THAT OUTBREAK QUICKLY.

AND, UH, AND IN PARTICULAR MAY PREVENTS

[00:25:01]

THE SPREAD TO THE FACULTY AND THE STAFF, UH, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS HAS BEEN GREAT COLLABORATORS.

THE DELL MEDICAL SCHOOL HAS BEEN A GREAT COLLABORATOR WITH US ALL ALONG, AND WE HOPE TO CONTINUE TO HAVE, UH, THEN ENGAGED DISCUSSION AND COLLABORATION AS THEY EXPERIENCE CASES ON THE CAMPUS.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE EARLIER THIS WEEK, UT SAID IT'S FINALIZING PLANS TO HOLD FOOTBALL GAMES AT DKR STADIUM AT 25% CAPACITY WITH UP TO 25,000 FANS, POTENTIALLY BEING SEATED AT THE STADIUM.

A GAME COULD BE AUSTIN'S LARGEST GATHERING SINCE COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS WERE PUT IN PLACE.

HOW COULD THAT IMPACT COMMUNITY SPREAD? UH, SO LET ME, LET ME JUST SAY THAT, YOU KNOW, MY POSITION IN THE PAST ON THIS HAS BEEN, LET'S MAKE SURE THAT WE CAN HAVE TWO FOOTBALL TEAMS THAT CAN PLAY ONE ANOTHER, ALL THE WEEKENDS WITH NOBODY IN THE STANDS.

AND IF WE CAN DO THAT SUCCESSFULLY, THEN LET'S DISCUSS IF AND HOW MANY PEOPLE WE CAN PUT IN THIS STANCE.

AND I HEARD THE ECHO, UH, OF THAT COMMENT BY THE GOVERNOR LAST WEEK IN A, UH, INTERVIEW.

AND I THINK THAT'S THE POSITION THAT WE SHOULD HAVE.

UM, YOU KNOW, I THINK 25,000 IS TOO MANY.

I THINK WE SHOULD START SMALL, UH, IN DISCUSSIONS WITH, WITH THE HIGH SCHOOLS, UH, IN OUR SUPERINTENDENTS ABOUT FOOTBALL GAMES.

UH, THE SUGGESTION HAS BEEN SIMILARLY, LET'S SEE IF WE CAN PLAY, LET'S SEE IF WE CAN HAVE TWO HEALTHY TEAMS PLAY ONE ANOTHER, AND THEN LET'S TALK ABOUT INTRODUCING PARENTS OF THE ATHLETES INTO THE STANDS.

UM, AND, AND AGAIN, MOVE GRADUALLY TOWARDS MORE PEOPLE AS WE CAN PROVE SUCCESS, UH, PACKING 25,000 PEOPLE IN, EVEN IN A A HUNDRED THOUSAND SEAT STADIUM INTRODUCES A LOT OF RISKS, NOT ONLY TO THE PEOPLE WHO WERE THERE, BUT TO THE COMMUNITY AS WELL.

UM, AND AGAIN, YOU KNOW, IT'S THE ABSOLUTE RISK OF IT IS GOING TO PINUP ON THE DISEASE TRANSMISSION AT THE TIME.

UH, BUT IT CERTAINLY COULD HAVE RIPPLE EFFECTS ACROSS OUR COMMUNITY.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM ABC ON, IN THE PAST, WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT AMONG THE GUIDELINES OF GOING BACK TO SCHOOL IN A SAFE MANNER, WE NEED THE POSITIVITY RATE FOR ALL RACES AND ETHNICITIES TO BE AT, OR BELOW 5%.

THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY HAS NOT GOTTEN THERE YET.

SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED? AND WILL YOU ALSO BE MAKING SPECIAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PARENTS PRIOR TO SENDING THEIR KIDS TO SCHOOL LIKE QUARANTINING FOR 14 DAYS PRIOR AGAIN, WE, AND I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US TO, TO CONSIDER OURSELVES ONE COMMUNITY.

AND THAT MEANS IF, IF ONE GROUP OF US IS NOT ETHICAL, THAT WE WORK TOGETHER TO GET THEM TO THAT GOAL, THAT WE OFFER SUPPORT, THAT WE OFFER FINANCIAL RESOURCES, IF THAT'S MONEY FOR PPE OR SUPPORT FOR WORKING FROM HOME OR WHATEVER IT IS, IT'S IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US TO GATHER TOGETHER AND GET OUR COMMUNITY THERE.

UM, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THAT FAIR ASS PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO MOVEMENTS OF THEIR CHILDREN, PARTICULARLY THAT 14 DAYS PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER THE EIGHTH, WHEN WE EXPECT THAT UP TO 25% OF SCHOOL CHILDREN MAY ENTER THE CLASSROOM.

UH, I THINK THAT'S GOING TO HELP THE, THE RISK OF DISEASE TRANSMISSION.

IT'S GOING TO MEAN THAT WE CAN SUSTAIN OPERATIONS FOR LONGER.

UH, WE'VE SEEN CASES FROM CENTRAL TEXAS, WE'VE SEEN CASES FROM AROUND THE STATE AND CERTAINLY FROM OTHER STATES, UH, OF WHERE, YOU KNOW, WHEN, WHEN YOU TRY TO PUT TOO MANY KIDS AND FACULTY AND STAFF BACK IN THE SCHOOL, RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING, THE RESULT IS A WEEK OR TWO WEEKS LATER, THE SCHOOLS ARE SHUT DOWN.

WE DON'T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN HERE.

WE WANT TO MOVE SLOWLY AND PROGRESSIVELY AS IS ALLOWED BY THIS DISEASE.

I THINK IF WE CAN DO THAT, WE CAN ENSURE CONTINUITY OF EDUCATION FOR ALL THE STUDENTS.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM COOPERATIVE.

APH HAS LONG BEEN CONCERNED ABOUT OUTBREAKS RELATED TO SCHOOLS OPENING, INCLUDING THE CITY, SEVERAL LARGE UNIVERSITIES WITH EVIDENCE MOUNTING ELSEWHERE THAT THESE CONCERNS ARE WELL FOUNDED.

WHAT SPECIFIC PLANS OR STRIKE TEAMS ARE IN PLACE TO DEAL WITH LOCAL SCHOOL-RELATED FLARE UPS.

UM, SO I WILL JUST SAY THAT WE'VE BEEN, UH, THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF PLANNING DONE AND DONE AROUND SCHOOL REOPENING, UH,

[00:30:01]

YOU KNOW, THIS, THE CITY HAS, UH, ISSUED RECENT GUIDANCE FOR, UH, AND GUIDELINES FOR SCHOOLS, UH, ON THE EPI SIDE OF THE HOUSE OR EPIDEMIOLOGISTS ARE WE'RE, WE'RE BUILDING STRIKE TEAMS THAT WILL HANDLE THE RESPONSE TO, UH, THE POTENTIAL NUMBER OF CASES THAT WE MIGHT RECEIVE FROM THE OUTBREAK SETTING, SO THAT WE CAN HELP MANAGE THAT.

UH, SO THOSE, THOSE STRIKE TEAMS ARE BEING BUILT RIGHT NOW, UH, TO INCLUDE MORE EPIDEMIOLOGISTS AND, UH, DATA ANALYSTS AND CASE INVESTIGATORS TO ASSIST WITH THAT EFFORT.

THE OTHER THING THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAS DONE IS THAT WE'VE ADDED MORE RESOURCES TO OUR NURSE LINE.

AND WITH THAT NURSE LINE, UM, WE HAVE ADDITIONAL CAPACITY TO RECEIVE CALLS AS WELL AS SET UP A, UM, A EMAIL BOX.

IF INDIVIDUALS HAVE QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE'VE DONE IN SIMILAR AREAS OF THIS RESPONSE IS, UM, WE'VE SET THIS UP FOR PRE K THROUGH 12, BUT PRIOR TO THIS, WE SET IT UP FOR, UM, FOR EARLY CHILDCARE.

AND WE'RE ALSO, WE'VE SET IT UP IN THE PAST FOR OUR NURSING, HOW LONGTERM CARE.

SO WE ARE JUST, UM, REPLICATING WHERE WE'VE HAD SOME AREAS WHERE WE HAVE ADDITIONAL CONCERNS THAT NEEDED ADDITIONAL RESOURCES.

AND SO WE ARE PROVIDING THOSE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES.

SO WE WILL BE ABLE TO WORK WITH OUR COMMUNITY AND PROVIDE THE SUPPORT TO THEM THAT THEY NEED.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE AUSTIN BUSINESS JOURNAL, HAVE YOU ALL SEEN TESTING BOUNCE BACK TO WHERE YOU WANT IT TO BE WITH THE MODIFIED SCREENING CRITERIA, ALLOWING SOME ASYMPTOMATIC PEOPLE TO RECEIVE TESTS? WELL, I THINK THAT, UH, THE TESTING, UH, HAS INCREASED A LITTLE BIT, BUT, UH, AS OF YESTERDAY, UH, WE'RE ALLOWING ANYBODY WHO SIGNS UP FOR THEIR ASSESSMENT, THAT THEY ALSO TEXTED.GOV FORWARD SLASH COVID-19 WEBSITE, UH, TO BE OFFERED A TEST.

UH, AGAIN, THIS IS ONE STRATEGY TO, TO REALLY PUSH THROUGH THE PLATEAU, TO IDENTIFY MORE PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT HAVE OTHERWISE BEEN IDENTIFIED BECAUSE THEY'RE ASYMPTOMATIC OR MAY HAVE VERY MILD SYMPTOMS SO THAT WE CAN PUSH THROUGH AND GET TO THAT LESS THAN 5% BEFORE SEPTEMBER 8TH, WE'RE ALSO EMPHASIZING OUR WELCOME CLINICS.

UM, EACH OF OUR SITES ARE OPEN ON SATURDAY FOR INDIVIDUALS TO COME AND TO BE TESTED AT THOSE LOCATIONS AS WELL.

AND WE ARE ALSO PROVIDING ADDITIONAL EMPHASIS, ESPECIALLY TO, UM, PEOPLE THAT ARE ELDERLY THAT MAY NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE LEAVING THEIR HOMES.

WE WOULD LIKE TO TEST THEM AT HOME.

SO IF THEY ARE WILLING TO, UM, REACH OUT TO US AND, UM, DON'T HAVE THE ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY, JUST CALL THREE, ONE, ONE, OUR FOLKS WILL, UH, WE'LL GET THEM TAKEN CARE OF, AND WE WILL HAVE AN INDIVIDUAL THAT WILL COME TO THEIR HOME AND PROVIDE THAT TESTING AT THEIR AT HOME.

SO THE COMFORT OF NOT LEAVING YOUR HOME AND BEING ABLE TO GET YOUR COVID TEST IS AVAILABLE.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM PATCH.COM.

GIVEN THE METHODOLOGY CHANGES IN TERMS OF REPORTING DEATHS, BASED ON DEATH CERTIFICATES AND THE INCIDENCES OF BACKLOG DATA, HOW RELIABLE IS THE APH STATISTICAL DATA FOR NEWS REPORTING PURPOSES AS A SOURCE OF CURRENT INFORMATION? WHAT DEGREE OF ERROR WOULD YOU ASSIGN IN TERMS OF PRESENTING THE DATA AS APPROXIMATING REAL TIME? UM, I WILL JUST SPEAK TO THE DEATH REPORTING.

SO I'D SAY THAT THE DEATH REPORTING DATA THAT WE HAVE POSTED OUR WEBSITES PRETTY ACCURATE.

WE DO HAVE THE OFFICE OF VITAL RECORDS WITHIN THE CITY OF AUSTIN, UH, WITHIN AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH.

AND SO WE ARE PROCESSING THOSE VITAL RECORDS THAT THE STATE RELIES ON.

HOWEVER, WE DO SUPPLEMENT THAT INFORMATION, UH, BECAUSE WE ARE DOING CASE INVESTIGATION AND ARE ABLE TO GET DEATH COUNTS FROM HOSPITALS WHO ARE REQUIRED TO REPORT THAT INFORMATION INTO US.

SO OUR TOTAL INCLUDES, UH, MAINLY IN REAL TIME, THE NUMBER OF DEATHS WE HAVE, UH, THE DEATH, THE VITAL REGISTRATION, IT USUALLY LAGS ABOUT SEVEN TO 10 DAYS BEFORE WE RECEIVE THE ACTUAL COMPLETED JEST CERTIFICATE.

HOWEVER, WE ARE, UM, YOU KNOW, RECONCILING THOSE WITH THE CASES THAT WE'RE SEEING IN, UH, THAT DIE IN HOSPITALS AND OTHER AREAS THROUGHOUT THE CITY.

WE ARE VERY CONFIDENT IN THE DATA THAT WE HAVE,

[00:35:01]

THE INFORMATION THAT IS ON OUR COVID-19 WEBSITE, AS WELL AS ALL OF THE INFORMATION THAT WE PROVIDE.

SO WE STAND BESIDES THE INFORMATION.

UM, WE HAVE, UM, EPIDEMIOLOGISTS, OUR NURSE SURVEILLANCE, UM, AS WELL AS OUR DATA FOLKS.

UM, AND AS, UM, CHIEF, UM, CHAD HAS SAID, WE DO HAVE THE VITAL RECORDS OFFICE, UM, THAT IS A PART OF THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

AND SO WE ARE VERY CONFIDENT IN THE INFORMATION THAT WE ARE PROVIDING TO THE PUBLIC, UM, VIA THE WEBSITE, UM, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER PUBLICATIONS THAT WE PRODUCE.

OKAY.

THIS QUESTION IS FROM KX A N WITH 23,452 ESTIMATED COVID-19 RECOVERIES AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT IMMUNITY? THESE 23,000 PEOPLE MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE TO THE VIRUS GOING FORWARD? AND HOW DO YOU ADVISE THESE PEOPLE BEHAVE AND, OR TAKE PRECAUTIONS IN THE WEEKS AND MONTHS TO COME? SO I THINK THE, THE EVIDENCE IS, UH, IS FAIRLY CLEAR RIGHT NOW THAT THERE'S AT LEAST A FEW MONTHS OF, UH, UH, OF IMMUNITY, BUT WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THIS AS A YOUNG DISEASE, AND THERE'S STILL A LOT TO LEARN ABOUT IT.

UH, WE'RE HOPEFUL THAT IMMEDIATELY LAST LONGER THAN THAT, UH, BUT WE'VE GOTTA BE PATIENT FOR THAT DATA TO, UH, TO EMERGE.

UH, I THINK REGARDLESS IT'S IMPORTANT FOR FOLKS TO CONTINUE TO ACT IN A PROTECTIVE WAY, BUT I EVEN SAY I'VE HAD COVID-19 AND HAVE RECOVERED.

IT'S IMPORTANT TO WEAR THE MASK AND TO SOCIAL DISTANCE AND TO FOLLOW THE HYGIENE GUIDELINES.

AND I'LL SAY THIS BECAUSE DIFFERENT PEOPLE'S IMMUNE SYSTEM RESPONDS DIFFERENTLY.

THERE'S GOING TO BE VARIABILITY IN THE PROTECTION THAT PEOPLE HAVE AFTER COVID-19.

SOME PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE VERY WELL PROTECTED.

SOME PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE MODERATELY PROTECTED IN SOME PEOPLE MAY HAVE LITTLE TO NO PROTECTION FOLLOWING COVID-19.

THIS IS WHAT WE'VE SEEN WITH OTHER DISEASES AS WELL.

THIS IS WHAT WE SEE WITH IMMUNIZATIONS, UH, AS WELL BECAUSE OF THAT VARIABILITY OF THE IMMUNE RESPONSE, RIGHT? AND THAT'S WHY IT'S IMPORTANT THAT FOLKS CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THOSE GUIDELINES, UH, EVEN IF THEY'VE TESTED POSITIVE AND HAVE RECOVERED.

OKAY, THIS QUESTION IS FROM CAVE VIEW, THERE ARE CONCERNS FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES COULD BECOME HOTSPOTS.

WHEN SCHOOL STARTS UP AGAIN, WHEN STUDENTS RETURN TO CAMPUS AT UT, HOW WILL THEY ENFORCE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND LOCAL ORDINANCES, AND WILL THEY ACTUALLY FIND STUDENTS? UH, SO UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS IS, UH, IS A STATE ENTITY.

AND, UH, AND THEREFORE THAT'S SOME OF THE STATE'S GUIDANCE IN TERMS OF, UH, THEIR POLICIES AND PROCEDURES.

UM, WE, WE CERTAINLY CONSULT WITH THEM ON A NUMBER OF ISSUES, UH, BUT THAT ANSWERS, UH, BETTER LEFT TO UT.

THIS QUESTION IS FROM FOX AUSTIN.

ARE THERE ANY COVID-19 CLUSTERS BEING REPORTED WITHIN THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY? AND IS THERE CONTACT, TRACING BEING DONE WITHIN HOMELESS ENCAMPMENTS? UM, WE HAVE HAD SOME REPORTS OF HOMELESS POPULATIONS BEING AFFECTED, UH, YOU KNOW, WHETHER THERE'S CASE.

UM, WE DO HAVE OUR PROTECTIVE LODGES FOR THE HOMELESS POPULATION WHERE THEY CAN, UM, UH, STAY TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM COVID.

BUT I THINK WHAT'S IMPORTANT IS WE DO STILL HAVE COMMUNITY WIDE SPREAD OF COVID AND THERE ARE GOING TO BE PEOPLE WHO ARE OUT IN THE COMMUNITY THAT STILL HAVE DISEASE.

AND, AND AGAIN, AS WE'VE BEEN SAYING, UH, THROUGHOUT THIS, UH, MEDIA AVAILABILITY IS THAT PEOPLE NEED TO BE SURE THAT THEY ARE CONTINUING TO USE THEIR PR THOSE PREVENTION MEASURES WEARING THOSE MASKS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES.

THE DEPARTMENT HAS ALSO, UM, ASSEMBLED A TEAM EARLY ON IN THE RESPONSE WITH SEVERAL PARTNERS.

UM, THAT PART, THOSE PARTNERS HAVE BEEN, UM, TESTING THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY.

UM, THROUGHOUT THIS TIME, ONE OF THE, AS, UM, CHIEF PICHET STATED, UM, ONE OF THE THINGS EARLY ON THAT WE DECIDED WAS GOING TO BE ESSENTIAL IS, IS TO BE ABLE TO HAVE FEWER PEOPLE IN THE HOMELESS SHELTERS.

AND SO INITIALLY, UM, WE OPENED A PROTECTIVE LODGES, SO WE WOULD NOT HAVE AS MANY PEOPLE IN THE HOMELESS SHELTERS.

IN ADDITION TO THAT TEAM, THAT'S OUT TESTING AND PROVIDING OUTREACH AND EDUCATION TO

[00:40:01]

THE HOMELESS POPULATION.

EACH OF THE SHELTERS HAVE DEVELOPED, UM, A, A STRATEGY THAT THEY WILL HAVE IN PLACE IF AN INDIVIDUAL DOES APPEAR WITH SYMPTOMS. AND SO EACH OF THEM HAVE A PLAN THAT THEY WORK THROUGH.

THEY CONSULT WITH US OFTEN JUST TO MAKE SURE IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS, BUT WE ARE FEELING REALLY CONFIDENT ABOUT HOW AUSTIN HAS REALLY ASSISTED THE HOMELESS POPULATION THROUGHOUT THIS COVID.

UM, 19 RESPONSE.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM SPECTRUM NEWS, WHAT SORT OF IMPACT DOES THIS COVID-19 CASE BACKLOG HAVE ON THE GREATER COMMUNITY? IS THIS KEEPING US IN STAGE FOUR UNNECESSARILY? DO WE NEED TO BE TAKING MORE PRECAUTIONS? AND IS THERE A CAUSE FOR CONCERN? UM, I WOULD SAY THAT IT'S NOT REALLY HAVING THE CURRENT IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE, UH, BASED ON A LARGE NUMBER OF THESE CASES ARE VERY OLD.

THE CASES HAVE BEEN INVESTIGATED AND COMPLETED, UH, CONTACTS AND X, OTHER EXPOSURES HAVE BEEN INVESTIGATED AS WELL.

SO, UH, THEY SHOULD BE, SHOULD BE ADDRESSED FROM, UM, A HISTORICAL STANDPOINT.

UM, YOU KNOW, OUR GOAL CONTINUES TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE ABLE TO IDENTIFY OUT OF THAT BACKLOG, THE NEWEST CASES THAT ARE BEING REPORTED TO US SO WE CAN INTERVENE QUICKLY, UH, INVESTIGATE AND CONTACT WHERE NECESSARY.

SO, UM, THAT'S BEEN OUR GOAL, UH, SINCE WE'VE HAD THIS BACKLOG, UH, REPORTED TO US.

I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS I JUST WANT TO EMPHASIZE IS THAT, UM, THE DEPARTMENT, UM, HAS SEVERAL, UM, INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE WORKING IN, UM, DOING DATA ENTRY AND THOSE INDIVIDUALS, EVEN THOUGH WE DID RECEIVE THAT BACKLOG OF 2200 CASES, UM, WE WERE, WE REMAINED STAFFED UP FROM THE WAY WE WERE INITIALLY.

AND SO THAT TEAM HAS BEEN ABLE TO ADDRESS THAT BACKLOG, LOOK THROUGH THOSE, UM, DETERMINE, UM, THE OLD CASES, UM, LOOK FOR DUPLICATES AS WELL AS LOOK FOR ADDITIONAL CASES.

SO IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO KEEP IN MIND THAT, UM, THE DEPARTMENT HAD A STRATEGY IN PLACE TO ADDRESS THAT.

AND AS WE CONTINUE TO MOVE ALONG, BECAUSE WE DO WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES, WHENEVER THEY ARE WORKING ON THEIR SYSTEM, UM, IN ORDER TO IMPROVE, WE MAY POTENTIALLY SEE, YOU KNOW, ADDITIONAL CASES COME THROUGH LIKE THAT, BUT WE HAVE ESTABLISHED A PROCESS AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO IMPLEMENT THAT PROCESS TO ADDRESS ANY BACKLOGS THAT WE SEE.

SO THEREFORE WE ARE, WE ARE SURE THAT THIS HAS NOT AFFECTED, UM, ANY OF THE, UM, PROCESS THAT WE'VE PROVIDED IN THE PAST WITH CASE INVESTIGATION AND CONTACT TRACING.

UM, AS WELL AS THE DATA THAT YOU SEE ON THE WEBSITE TODAY.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM K U T I'M SORRY.

I WAS JUST GOING TO ADD ON TO THAT, THAT, UH, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE THE DATA ENTERTAINS THAT DIRECTOR HAYDEN HAS MENTIONED HAVE BEEN, UH, WORKING IN TWO SHIFTS.

UH, THERE'S A NIGHTTIME SHIFT AND A DAYTIME SHIFT THAT ARE, UH, PRESENT, UH, RESPONDING TO THOSE CASES.

SO, UH, BUT I DO WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT LABORATORY AND LABORATORY REPORTING IS JUST ONE WAY THE AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH RECEIVES CASES.

WE GET CASES FROM CLINICIANS, HOSPITALS, AND OTHER PROVIDERS, UH, WHEN THERE'S A CASE.

SO, UM, WE ARE ABLE TO INVESTIGATE THOSE CASES IN A TIMELY FASHION, UM, AND GET, GET THEM PROCESSED.

OKAY.

THIS NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KUT.

WHAT ARE THE CURRENT CLUSTERS? IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT ARE THE NEWEST CASES LINKED TO? ARE THEY NURSING HOMES OR MAYBE A CENTRAL WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES? UM, YOU KNOW, IT, IT REALLY VARIES.

SOME ARE RELATED TO GROCERY STORES, A LOT OF THE CENTRAL WORKERS WHO ARE CONTINUING TO WORK IN THE WORKPLACE.

UH, IT, UH, I'M TRYING TO THINK SOME ARE RELATED TO APARTMENT COMPLEXES THAT MIGHT HAVE A HIGH NUMBER OF POSITIVE CASES, UH, SITUATED IN THEM.

UM, I'M TRYING TO THINK OF, YEAH, I WOULD SAY A LOT OF JUST BUSINESSES, UH, THAT ARE STILL OPERATING,

[00:45:01]

UM, YOU KNOW, FROM AN ESSENTIAL WORKER STANDPOINT, OUR, UM, EPIDEMIOLOGISTS, UM, TEAM, THE WAY THEY ARE, ARE SET UP, WE ARE WATCHING ALL, UM, NURSING HOME IN LONGTERM CARE CLUSTERS, AS WELL AS NON NURSING HOME RELATED CLUSTERS.

UM, WHENEVER WE HAVE THREE OR MORE CASES IN A SETTING, OUR TEAM KEEPS WHAT WE ARE CALLING A WATCH LIST.

AND WITH THAT WATCH LIST, WE ARE ABLE TO, UM, INTERVENE EARLY TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO THAT BUSINESS ABOUT WHAT WE ARE SEEING AT THAT PRACTICE.

AND SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT, YOU KNOW, WE CAN EMPHASIZE IS THAT YES, WE ARE CONTINUING TO SEE CLUSTERS, UM, IN THE WORKPLACE WHERE WE KNOW THERE ARE ESSENTIAL WORKERS.

HOWEVER, UM, WE KNOW THAT ALSO THAT BECAUSE OF PERSONAL, UM, GATHERINGS, UM, WHETHER IT IS BIRTHDAY PARTIES, UM, OR ANY TYPE OF CELEBRATIONS, WE KNOW THAT THOSE ARE CONTINUING TO HAPPEN.

AND SO IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT.

UM, AS WE STATED EARLIER THAT WE CANNOT HAVE THOSE TYPES OF CELEBRATIONS.

IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO MAKE NEW TRADITIONS AND FIND OTHER WAYS TO SOCIALLY DISTANCE AND ENSURE, UM, THAT EVEN WITH OUR FAMILY, UM, OR OTHER PEOPLE THAT WE MAY HANG AROUND OUR FRIENDS, UM, THAT WE MAY TEND TO, UM, TO GO OUT, TO EAT AND HANG OUT WITH.

AND THEN IN THE INSTANCE THAT FOLKS FEEL LIKE THEY MUST GATHER, UM, WHERE THAT MASK KEEP, THAT MAN IS GONE AT ALL TIMES, SOCIALLY DISTANCE, UM, SIX, SIX, SIX FEET APART FROM ANYONE, UM, THAT YOU ARE VISITING.

AND, YOU KNOW, IF YOU, IF YOU HAVE TO, UM, UM, TAKE THE MASK OUT FOR WHATEVER REASON, UM, LET IT BE BRIEFED TO MAYBE DRINK SOMETHING OR EAT SOMETHING, BUT PRETTY MUCH PUT THAT MASK ON AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, MAKE SURE YOU ARE DOING YOUR HAND HYGIENE.

AND SO IS WHEN WE TAKE OUR GUARD DOWN AND SAY, OH, THIS IS MY BEST FRIEND.

I'VE KNOWN HER FOR ALL OF MY LIFE.

YOU KNOW, I DON'T THINK I CAN GET COVERED FROM HER.

WELL, THE ANSWER TO THAT IS, IS YES, YOU CAN.

AND AS SOON AS YOU SAY THAT, YOU CAN JUST TELL BY LOOKING AT A PERSON, IF THEY HAVE COVID-19, YOU CANNOT TELL, YOU CAN NOT MAKE THAT DECISION BY LOOKING AT THAT PERSON.

AND I UNDERSTAND, UM, RELATIONSHIPS ARE SO IMPORTANT, SO DO WHAT YOU CAN TO MAINTAIN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS, BUT WE REALLY PREFER THAT YOU NOT HAVE THOSE CELEBRATIONS.

OKAY.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE STATESMAN, WHAT DO THE LATEST MODELS FROM UT SAY ABOUT HOW WELL WE MANAGE THE JUNE TO JULY SURGE AND WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE NOW MOVING INTO THE FALL? SO THOSE PROJECTIONS, UH, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY WE WAY PUT A LID BACK ON THE, THE DISEASE GROWTH, UH, AND HAD A SUSTAINED PERIOD OF TIME WITH THE RAPID DECLINE OF CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS.

UH, AGAIN, THAT MODEL SHOWS THAT WE'RE FLAT RIGHT NOW AND THE PROJECTION THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF SEPTEMBER IS THAT WE'RE GOING TO BE RELATIVELY FLAT.

UH, THERE IS A, A STEADY DECLINE, UH, BUT IT IS A, A VERY SMALL SLOPE THAT'S ALMOST FLAT.

UM, AND AGAIN, YOU KNOW, THE PREDICTIONS ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS, AS, UH, AS THE DATA THAT GOES INTO IT.

AND WHAT THE DATA IS SHOWING IS THAT PEOPLE ARE MOVING AROUND.

IT'S SHOWING THAT PEOPLE AREN'T STAYING HOME AS MUCH AS THEY WERE SHOWS THAT THEY'RE GOING TO RESTAURANTS MORE, UH, IN OTHER PLACES MORE THAN THEY WERE IN THE PAST.

SO WHEN YOU CALCULATE IT OUT AND THE MODELS ARE DOING LOTS AND LOTS OF CALCULATIONS, IT'S PREDICTING THAT THERE'S NOT GOING TO BE MUCH CHANGE.

THAT'S WHY IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO CONTINUE THE EFFORTS TO STAY HOME AND ENGAGE IN THOSE PROTECTIVE ACTIONS SO THAT WE CAN CHANGE THAT RIGHT NOW, THE MODEL IS SHOWING THAT THE REPRODUCTIVE NUMBER'S ABOUT ONE RIGHT NOW, THE MODEL IS SHOWING THAT THERE'S ABOUT A 50% CHANCE OF THIS EPIDEMIC IS GROWING AND A 50% THAT IT'S DECREASING, UM, BECAUSE OF THAT UNCERTAINTY, BECAUSE OF THAT PLATEAU THAT WE'RE SEEING.

UH, AND AGAIN, THE MODEL IS NOT A WEATHER FORECAST.

WE DON'T HAVE A LOT OF PREVIOUS DATA, UH, TO PLUG INTO THAT.

UH, AND IT'S ALSO FORECAST THAT WE CAN CHANGE.

WE CAN CHANGE BY OUR BEHAVIOR.

WE CAN CHANGE BY OUR CHOICES TO STAY HOME.

AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN SAID TO NOT HAVE THOSE GATHERINGS, WE KNOW THAT DISEASES SPREADING AT FAMILY BARBECUES

[00:50:01]

AND EVENTS WITH FRIENDS AND HANGING OUT, BUT WE'RE TAKING OUR GUARD DOWN.

UH, IF WE CAN KEEP OUR GUARD UP, IF WE CAN NOT HAVE THOSE GATHERINGS, BUT IF WE CHOOSE TO HAVE THEM DO THEM IN A SAFE WAY, WHAT THE DISTANCING AND THE MASKING WE CAN PUSH THROUGH THE PLATEAU, UH, THIS QUESTION IS FROM ODBC ON WHEN NOTICING THESE NEW CLUSTERS AT APARTMENT COMPLEXES OR GROCERY STORES, HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT INFORMING THE PUBLIC OF POSSIBLE EXPOSURE? AND THEY ASK, CAN WE KNOW THESE LOCATIONS, THE ART COMMUNITY, WE HAVE COMMUNITY SPREAD.

THINK THAT THAT IS THE MAIN TAKEAWAY THAT ALL OF US HAVE TO JUST REALLY USE THAT AS OUR NORTH STAR IS THAT WE DO HAVE COMMUNITY SPREAD.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE DONE, UM, THUS FAR IS THAT, UM, WE DO KEEP THIS LIST.

WE ARE ABLE TO PROVIDE OUR EPIDEMIOLOGISTS AND OUR SURVEILLANCE NURSES ARE ABLE TO REACH OUT TO COMPANIES AND START TO TALK WITH THEM ABOUT WHAT KIND OF PRACTICES THAT THEY HAVE IN PLACE SHARE WITH THEM INFORMATION ABOUT HOW THEY CAN MITIGATE THE SPREAD OF DISEASE, UM, IN THAT COMPANY.

AND SO THOSE THINGS ARE VERY IMPORTANT FOR US AND THOSE THINGS HAVE REALLY WORKED VERY WELL.

UM, WE'VE HAD INDIVIDUALS THAT HAVE CONTACTED US ABOUT REOPENING PLANS, AS WELL AS, UM, IF THEY'RE WANTING TO HAVE ADDITIONAL, UM, STAFF WORK BACK IN THE OFFICE, THEY'VE TALKED TO US ABOUT THAT.

AND SO THAT PROCESS WORKS VERY WELL.

UM, THERE EVEN SO MANY BUSINESSES, AS YOU CAN TELL, MAY HAVE SIGNS UP AND YOU WILL SEE THEM, UM, ABOUT, UM, HEALTH HYGIENE, BUT THEN YOU ALSO SEE SIGNS IN THERE THOUGH ABOUT, UM, THE FACE COVERINGS.

AND SO THOSE THINGS ARE GOING TO BE ESSENTIAL FOR OUR BUSINESSES TO ENSURE THAT THEY ARE SAYING, I AM SUPPORTIVE OF THE GUIDELINES AND THE INFORMATION THAT IS PROVIDED BY AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, TO THE PUBLIC TO KEEP US ALL SAFE.

AND I WOULD SAY JUST TO ADD ON THAT, UM, UH, FOR EXAMPLE, RESTAURANTS ARE NOTIFIED BY OUR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SERVICES DIVISION, UH, THAT THEY MAY HAVE A POSITIVE CASE AND WHAT PRACTICES THEY CAN BEGIN TO IMPLEMENT, UH, AND PROTECT OTHER EMPLOYEES AND PATRONS THAT MIGHT BE IN THOSE FACILITIES.

BUT, UH, WE DO, UH, YOU KNOW, WITH EMPLOYERS, UM, I THINK MANY OF THEM HAVE PUT INTO PLACE WHAT ACTIONS THEY NEED TO TAKE, UH, SHOULD THEY HAVE A POSITIVE EMPLOYEE IN THEIR FACILITY, UM, AND, UH, MAKING SURE THAT PEOPLE ARE FOLLOWING QUARANTINE, UH, LIMITING THEIR EXPOSURE TO CASES.

UH, AGAIN, UH, I CAN'T STRESS ENOUGH THE IMPORTANCE OF, UH, THE QUARANTINE PERIOD AND MAKING SURE THAT PEOPLE STAY IN THEIR HOME IN QUARANTINE FOR A 14 DAY PERIOD FROM THEIR LAST DATE OF EXPOSURE.

A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE NOT DOING THAT.

THEY MAY GO OUT AND GET TESTED WITHIN THAT 14 DAY PERIOD.

AND IF THEY TEST NEGATIVE, UH, THEY MAY REENTER, UH, THE, THE COMMUNITY AND THEY SHOULD NOT BE DOING THAT.

THEY STILL NEED TO, EVEN IF THEY TEST NEGATIVE WITHIN THEIR 14 DAY QUARANTINE PERIOD, THEY NEED TO STILL COMPLETE THEIR QUARANTINE PERIOD BECAUSE IT COULD DEVELOP ILLNESS AT ANY POINT IN TIME DURING THAT PERIOD.

UM, SO, UH, IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE STAY IN QUARANTINE.

AND WHAT OTHER ADVICE TO EMPLOYERS TOO, IS THAT WE HAVE AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL DO NOT RECOMMEND TESTING, UH, AND THE, AND PROOF OF A NEGATIVE TEST AS A WAY TO REENTER THE WORKFORCE.

UH, WE'RE USING WHAT WE CALL A T A TIME BASED STRATEGY IF YOU ARE, UH, YOU CAN RETURN TO WORK 10 DAYS AFTER THE ONSET OF YOUR ILLNESS.

UH, AND YOU ALSO HAVE TO BE SURE THAT YOU HAVE HAD RESOLUTION OF YOUR SYMPTOMS AND ARE FEVER FREE FOR ONE DAY.

UM, A LOT OF TIMES, UH, UH, PEOPLE ARE, UH, A LOT OF EMPLOYERS ARE REQUESTING AND REQUIRING THIS TESTING.

AND, UM, THAT'S JUST NOT AN EFFECTIVE WAY CAUSE PEOPLE CAN CONTINUE TO SHED VIRUS, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NO LONGER INFECTIOUS.

AND SO IF THEY TEST IT, THEY MAY GET A POSITIVE TEST, BUT THEY'RE, BUT THEY'RE NO LONGER INFECTIOUS.

[00:55:01]

LET ME JUST COMMENT REAL QUICKLY ON THAT.

AND I APPRECIATE, UH, UH, DAN AND BRINGING THAT UP.

WE'VE HEARD REPORTS OF SOME EMPLOYERS ASKING FOR TWO OR THREE NEGATIVE TESTS WE CAUGHT, THEY'RE ALLOWING EMPLOYEES TO RETURN TO WORK.

THAT'S RIDICULOUS.

AND IF, IF YOU'RE AN EMPLOYEE THAT HAS FACED THAT OR IS FACING THAT NOW, PLEASE CALL THREE ONE ONE AND LET US KNOW SO THAT WE CAN REACH OUT TO THAT EMPLOYER AND, UH, AND MAKE SURE THEY UNDERSTAND THAT THAT'S NOT NECESSARY, UH, ACCORDING TO US AND ACCORDING TO THE CDC, OKAY, THIS WILL BE OUR LAST QUESTION FOR TODAY.

AND IT'S FROM COOPERATIVE YESTERDAY.

THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTE SUGGESTED THAT AS MANY AS 35% OF AMERICANS WILL NOT TAKE A COVID-19 VACCINE WHEN IT IS AVAILABLE.

AND HOW DOES THIS IMPACT THE DURATION AND DEADLINESS OF THE VIRUS AND WHAT IS APH PLANNING TO DO TO COUNTER THIS POTENTIAL IMPEDIMENT, TO NECESSARY HERD IMMUNITY? SO I'LL START OFF BY ANSWERING THIS ONE AND SAY THAT WE'VE GOT A LOT OF WORK TO DO STILL ON THE VACCINE.

UH, I THINK THAT'S THAT WE NEED TO SEE WHAT THE RESULTS LOOK LIKE.

WE NEED TO READ THE SCIENCE, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE EFFICACY.

AND ONCE THAT HAPPENS, THEN PUBLIC HEALTH WILL ENDORSE A VACCINE OR VACCINES THAT HAVE SCIENTIFIC PROOF OF BEING SUCCESSFUL, UH, WITH THAT, WITH, YOU KNOW, APPROPRIATE, UH, UH, RISK PROFILE AS WELL.

UH, WE WILL ENGAGE THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY AND ENSURE THAT THERE IS AGREEMENT ON THE FACT THAT, UH, THE VACCINE IS, IS WORTHY OF DISTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLIC.

AND I THINK THAT WILL HELP THIS, THIS 35% NUMBER THAT WE'RE HEARING FROM THE INSTITUTE.

UH, WE DON'T HAVE A VACCINE YET.

WE HAVE LOTS OF POTENTIAL VACCINES, AND I THINK THE PUBLIC IS, IS CONCERNED ABOUT THIS SPEED OF THE VACCINE DEVELOPMENT.

I THINK IT'S A GREAT THING, AND I THINK WE'VE MADE SUBSTANTIAL PROGRESS.

I THINK THE, THE, THE FACT THAT THE VACCINE HAS BEEN PRODUCED IN ADVANCE OF ITS, UH, OF ITS FINAL ANALYSIS IS A GOOD STRATEGY TO SPEED THINGS ALONG SO THAT WE CAN HAVE ONE THAT, UH, THAT CAN BE DISTRIBUTED MORE QUICKLY, BUT NOT AT THE COST OF SAFETY.

AND, UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK WE ALL HAVE TO BE PATIENT AND WE ALL HAVE TO SEE THE EVIDENCE.

I WANT TO SEE THE EVIDENCE, UH, AND IF THE VACCINE IS APPROPRIATE, THEN WE WILL MAKE THAT RECOMMENDATION AND WORK TOGETHER WITH OTHER COMMUNITY STAKEHOLDERS TO ENSURE THAT THAT FOLKS FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH IT AND ARE ABLE TO RECEIVE IT.

AND I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ADD THAT WE, YOU KNOW, CONTINUE TO DO OUR PLANNING, UH, FOR VACCINE DISTRIBUTION, UH, AND PLANNING FOR, UH, CLINICAL OPERATIONS THAT COULD HELP PROVIDE THAT, UH, THE, UH, VACCINE TO THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE.

UM, THIS IS, THIS OPPOSITION IS NOTHING NEW THAT WE HAVEN'T FACED IN THE PAST.

WE GET THIS EVERY YEAR, WHETHER IT'S RELATED TO MEASLES, PERTUSSIS, FLU, WE HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE OPPOSING VACCINE ALL THE TIME.

UH, AND HOWEVER WE KNOW THEY WORK.

SO WE WILL CONTINUE TO PLAN AND MAKE EFFORTS WHEN, WHEN WE ARE ABLE TO PROVIDE A VACCINE ENDURING H ONE N WHEN, UH, YOU KNOW, THE VACCINE CAME OUT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, UH, FOLLOWING THE FIRST OUTBREAK AFTER THE SECOND PART, PARTLY DURING THE SECOND WAVE.

AND, UM, YOU KNOW, WE HAD PEOPLE WHO WERE OPPOSED TO IT, BUT WE STILL HAD A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WERE THERE, UH, PRESENT AND AT THE CLINICS TO RECEIVE THAT VACCINE.

AND WE WERE, WE ARE READY TO, UH, PROVIDE THAT.

SHOULD WE NEED TO, BEFORE WE WRAP UP, WOULD YOU ALL LIKE TO GIVE ANY CLOSING REMARKS MORNING? I JUST WANT TO REMIND EVERYONE.

WE CANNOT LET OUR GUARD DOWN.

WE HAVE GOT TO STAY IN THE SAME PLACE THAT WE ARE AS FAR AS OUR HEALTH AND OUR HEALTH HYGIENE, OUR HAND HYGIENE, HER FACE COVERING OUR SOCIAL DISTANCE.

I KNOW A LOT OF FOLKS ARE SAYING, OH, WHAT ALL THE NUMBERS ARE DECREASING AND IT LOOKS LIKE WE ARE PLATEAUING.

I DON'T WANT US TO PREMATURELY CELEBRATE.

I WANT IT TO STAY THIS COURSE.

AND IF YOU ARE HAVING A DIFFICULT TIME, STAYING THE COURSE, FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER, A PERSON THAT YOU CAN CHECK IN WITH AND LET THEM KNOW THE AREAS WHERE YOU COULD NEED SOME ENCOURAGEMENT.

AND

[01:00:01]

IF YOU HAVE BEEN THAT PERSON THAT HAS REALLY PROVIDED INFLUENCE TO OTHERS, I WANT YOU TO CONTINUE TO INFLUENCE OTHERS, FIND OTHER PEOPLE THAT YOU CAN INFLUENCE TO STAY IN THIS PATH.

AS A COMMUNITY.

ONE, WE HAVE TO STAND TOGETHER TO GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER.

THE OTHER THING TESTING WE HAVE TESTING THAT'S AVAILABLE, GO TO THE WEBSITE, USE, UM, THE ASSESSMENT.

IF YOU'RE UNABLE TO DO THAT BECAUSE YOU HAVE ACCESS, UM, CHALLENGES, YOU DON'T HAVE INTERNET ACCESS, PLEASE CALL THREE, ONE, ONE.

WE WILL GET YOU SCHEDULE, SHOW UP TO ONE OF OUR WALKUP SITES IN THE COMMUNITY.

WE WELCOME YOU TO COME TO THOSE SIDES, TO BE TESTED AND KEEP IN MIND.

FLU SEASON IS VERY NEAR.

WE'RE GETTING VERY CLOSE.

SO YOU ARE GOING TO START TO HEAR THINGS FROM US ABOUT THE FLU VACCINE.

WE MUST ALL GET OUR FLU VACCINE SO WE CAN REMAIN TO BE A HEALTHY COMMUNITY.

I WANT TO SAY AGAIN, COVID-19 18 IS A SERIOUS DISEASE.

UH, IT IS THE THIRD LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN THE UNITED STATES THIS SO FAR, AND WE'VE ALL GOT TO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY.

WE'VE ALSO GOT TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS NOT GOING TO GO AWAY ON ITS OWN, BUT WE TOGETHER CAN PUSH PAST THIS PLATINUM THAT WE'RE EXPERIENCING IN TRAVIS COUNTY AND GET OUR SOCIETY IN A BETTER PLACE TO REOPEN SCHOOLS.

ALSO, I DON'T WANT TO MENTION THAT THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF MISINFORMATION GOING AROUND ON SOCIAL MEDIA RIGHT NOW.

PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THE SOURCE OF THE INFORMATION.

PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU ARE GETTING YOUR INFORMATION FROM TRUSTED SOURCES, UH, AND, AND BE VERY WEARY OF INDIVIDUALS CLAIMING TO BE EXPERTS, UH, WHO ARE ALSO SELLING PRODUCTS.

UH, UNFORTUNATELY WE'VE SEEN A NUMBER OF PHYSICIANS AND OTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONALS TALKING ABOUT, UH, NEGATIVELY ABOUT TREATMENTS IN VACCINES AND SO FORTH GENERALLY BECAUSE THEY'RE SELLING A PRODUCT OF THEIR OWN.

THIS IS A RIPE SITUATION FOR MISINFORMATION.

WE EXPECT THAT MISINFORMATION TO CONTINUE.

SOME OF WHICH IS INFLUENCED BY FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS.

UH, STICK WITH THE FACTS, STICK WITH PUBLIC HEALTH, WITH CDC, WITH THE WHO, WITH AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, AS YOUR SOURCE OF INFORMATION, WE HAVE NO OTHER AGENDA THAN YOUR HEALTH.

AND I'LL JUST ADD, UH, YOU KNOW, AS BOTH DIRECTOR HAYDEN AND DR.

S COD MENTIONED, WE DO NEED TO STAY THE COURSE, UH, TO KEEP THIS, UH, TAMP DOWN THE OUTBREAK.

AND WELL, WE'RE SEEING A PLATEAU.

THIS IS THE FIRST WAVE OF THIS EPIC EPIDEMIC.

AND THERE STILL IS THE POTENTIAL FOR A SECOND WAY.

THAT COULD BE LARGER THAN THE FIRST.

AND IT'S GOING TO BE COMPLICATED BY FLU AND OTHER ILLNESSES THAT ARE CIRCULATING OUT IN OUR COMMUNITY AS WELL.

ALSO, WE NEED TO BE EXTRA CAREFUL WHETHER IT'S DURING SKEETO SEASON, WHETHER IT'S DURING FLU SEASON, MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR VACCINATION.

AND AGAIN, I'M GONNA SAY THIS ONCE AGAIN, IF YOU ARE IN CORN TEA, YOU NEED TO STAY AT HOME.

YOU DO DO NOT NEED TO BE OUT IN THE COMMUNITY.

A NEGATIVE TEST OR UNDER QUARANTINE PERIOD DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU'RE CLEAR OF DISEASE.

YOU HA IF YOU HAVE A NEGATIVE TEST AFTER YOUR QUARANTINE PERIOD, UH, THAT'S A LITTLE BETTER, BUT YOU NEED TO STAY AT HOME AND PROTECT THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE AND YOUR FAMILY.

UM, AND WITH THAT, I'LL CLOSE.

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

THANK YOU TO APH DIRECTORS, DIRECTOR, STEPHANIE HAYDEN, DR.

MARK SCOTT EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JENNIFER MICHELLE, AND THE POOL REPORTER FOR JOINING US TODAY.

THANK YOU EVERYONE.

.

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