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[00:00:08]

GOOD MORNING, I'M MARK ALBRIGHT, AND I'LL BE THE MODERATOR FOR TODAY'S MEDIA AVAILABILITY.

SPANISH INTERPRETATION OF THIS MEDIA AVAILABILITY IS ON HEX AND THREE TO START AWESOME.

PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR.

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

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

AND THEN WE WILL OPEN IT UP TO THE POOR REPORTER WHO WILL ASK QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA, STEPHANIE, OVER TO YOU.

GOOD MORNING.

FIRST OF ALL, I WOULD LIKE TO START WITH A ROUND OF APPLAUSE AND REALLY ACKNOWLEDGE, UM, THE ASA PUBLIC HEALTH STAFF, AS WELL AS ALL OF OUR PARTNERS THAT HAVE WORKED WITH US DURING THIS PROCESS, WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE POSITIVITY RATE AND AS A COMMUNITY, WE HAVE ALL PULLED TOGETHER.

WE HAVE ALL WORKED SO HARD.

YOU HAVE BEEN THE INFLUENCER, YOU HAVE A SHOW COURAGE, YOU ANSWERED THE CALL FOR CALL TO ACTION.

AND I AM SO PROUD OF THE WORK THAT WE'VE DONE.

WE'RE NOT WHERE WE NEED TO BE.

WE STILL HAVE A WAYS TO GO IN THIS OUTBREAK.

WE ALL HAVE TO CONTINUE TO STAY THE COURSE AND NOT GET EXCITED, BUT WE HAVE TO REALLY ACKNOWLEDGE ALL THE WORK THAT'S BEEN DONE.

AS WE MOVE THROUGH THIS PROCESS, PLEASE CONTINUE TO WEAR YOUR FACE COVERING.

PLEASE ADHERE TO YOUR HAND HYGIENE AND USE YOUR SOCIAL DISTANCING.

DO NOT JUST STOP DOING THOSE THINGS.

WE WANT YOU TO CONTINUE.

I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO, UM, ANNOUNCE RISE 2.0, WE HAVE THE PHONE BANK CENTER THAT IS AVAILABLE AND BLAINE IS PROVIDING THAT SERVICE.

AND WE WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THEM AT THIS TIME.

WE ALSO WOULD LIKE TO ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO GET A FLU VACCINE.

WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF FLU, AND WE REALLY WANT YOU TO MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR VACCINE, ENCOURAGE OTHERS IN YOUR CIRCLE TO DO THE SAME.

WE APPRECIATE YOUR TIME TODAY.

THANKS STEPHANIE.

AND AS DIRECTOR OF HAYDEN SAID, OUR COMMUNITY HAS DONE A GREAT JOB AT BATTLING COVID-19.

YOU'VE DONE A GREAT JOB AT MASKING AND SOCIAL DISTANCING AND ALL THE OTHER THINGS THAT WE NEEDED TO DO TO GET OURSELVES BELOW 5% POSITIVE BEFORE SCHOOL START.

AND I'M HAPPY TO SAY WE ARE THERE AND, YOU KNOW, LOOKING AT THE DATA FROM LAST WEEK SO FAR, IT LOOKS LIKE WE'RE STAYING THERE FOR ANOTHER WEEK, BUT IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THAT DOESN'T MEAN COVID HAS GONE AWAY.

IT'S STILL AROUND.

IT STILL WANTS TO INFECT PEOPLE.

WHAT WE HAVE TO DO IS STAY THE COURSE.

AS WE SEE CASES DROP, AS WE SEE POSITIVITY DROP, AS WE SEE OUR HOSPITALS GETTING A BETTER SITUATION IN TERMS OF BEDS BEING UTILIZED FOR COVID-19 THE PRESSURE TO STOP DOING THOSE THINGS, WHICH HAVE BEEN EFFECTIVE IS GOING TO INCREASE.

SO WE HAVE TO RESIST THAT TEMPTATION TO RELAX THOSE MEASURES UNTIL WE ARE IN A MUCH SAFER PLACE.

NOW, WHEN WE KNOW THAT VACCINES FOR COVID-19 ARE A WAYS AWAY STILL, WE DON'T KNOW IF THAT'S GOING TO BE A FEW MONTHS OR SIX MONTHS OR LONGER, BUT WE HAVE TO STAY THE COURSE UNTIL WE HAVE THAT ASSURANCE THAT WE HAVE AN EFFECTIVE VACCINE, WHICH IS GOING TO BE WHITE, ONLY AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC.

YOU KNOW, AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN SAID, WE, WE HAVE TO CONTINUE THIS EFFORT.

AND RIGHT NOW IT LOOKS LIKE OVER THE PAST WEEK, WE'VE HAD A PLATEAU IN CASES.

SO WE'VE, WE'VE HIT THAT PLATEAU AGAIN IN TERMS OF CASES, UH, IN TERMS OF OUR HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS, WE'VE BEEN PLATEAUED FOR ABOUT 10 DAYS.

SO IT MEANS THAT WE HAVE MORE WORK TO DO TO PUSH PAST THAT PLATEAU AND BE WORKING, MAKE SURE THAT, THAT WE CAN, UH, CONTINUE TO, UH, PUSH THAT BLOWER TO GET OUR POSITIVITY BELOW 3%, IF POSSIBLE, AND, UH, AND BEING A MUCH BETTER SITUATION AGAIN, TO, UH, TO KEEP OUR SCHOOLS OPEN, TO OPEN THEM FURTHER, TO MORE STUDENTS FOR IN PERSON LEARNING AND TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CAN, UH, KEEP OUR BUSINESSES OPEN AND OPEN THEM FURTHER AS WELL.

I WILL SAY THERE, THERE ARE A COUPLE OF THINGS WHICH CONCERN ME.

NUMBER ONE IS, IS THE INCREASING DISCUSSION

[00:05:01]

ABOUT REOPENING BARS.

UH, AND I'VE SAID, AND OTHERS HAVE SAID OVER AND OVER AGAIN, UH, THAT WE ARE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT BARS IN THE TRADITIONAL SETTING, UH, BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT PEOPLE TEND TO BE FACE TO FACE FOR EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME, UH, WHICH CERTAINLY LEADS TO AN ENVIRONMENT FOR, UH, FOR INCREASED RISK OF TRANSMISSION.

THE OTHER THING IS, IS LARGE GATHERINGS IN PARTICULAR, UH, THE UT FOOTBALL GAME, WHICH IS SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE THIS WEEKEND.

UM, YOU KNOW, OUR, OUR GATHERING LIMITS 10 AND HAVING 25,000 PEOPLE IN ONE SPACE IS, IS OF A CONCERN.

UH, IS IT BETTER THAN 50%, WHICH WAS THE ORIGINAL PROPOSAL? ABSOLUTELY.

AND I'LL SAY THAT I'M, I'M PLEASED THAT UT HAS DROPPED THAT NUMBER.

I'M PLEASED TO SAY THAT THEY HAVE BANNED TAILGATING, WHICH WOULD HAVE, HAVE, UH, UH, POSED A, AN INCREASED RISK, BUT THERE'S STILL GOING TO BE RISK THERE.

WHEN WE LOOK AT OUR, OUR CURRENT RATE OF TRANSMISSION IN TRAVIS COUNTY, WE CAN EXPECT THAT PERHAPS 40 TO 50 PEOPLE OUT OF THAT 25,000 THAT WILL SHOW UP WITH COVID-19.

UM, AND YOU KNOW, OF COURSE, IF THERE'S CONGREGATION HAPPENING AT ALL, UH, IF THERE'S QUEUING IN LINES FOR BATHROOMS OR CONCESSIONS, IT CAN INCREASE THE RISK OF TRANSMISSION OF THE DISEASE THERE.

UH, SO ULTIMATELY PEOPLE HAVE TO MAKE A DECISION WHETHER OR NOT THEY'RE GOING TO GO TO THE GAME.

I WILL BE WATCHING ON MY TV, UH, FOLKS WHO ARE HIGH RISK THEY'RE OVER 65, THEY HAVE OTHER HEALTH CONDITIONS, OR THEY LIVE IN A HOUSEHOLD WITH SOMEBODY WHO IS AT HIGHER RISK, UH, SHOULD REALLY, UH, THINK STRONGLY ABOUT NOT ATTENDING, UH, BECAUSE THAT, THAT BIT OF RISKS THAT INCREASE THE RISK OF BEING A GATHERING OF THAT SIZE MAY NOT BE WORTH IT IN THE END.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

UM, I JUST WANTED TO BRING UP A FEW THINGS.

ONE, THIS SUNDAY MARKS THE SIX MONTH ANNIVERSARY OF RECEIPT OF OUR FIRST CASE OF COVID-19 IN OUR COMMUNITY.

AND WITH THAT BEING SAID, I WANTED WITH THAT BEING SAID, I WANTED, UM, JUST TO HIGHLIGHT SOME OF THE THINGS THAT DIRECTOR HAYDEN AND DR.

S CAUGHT IT BROUGHT UP, AND THAT IS TO REMAIN VIGILANT.

UM, YOU KNOW, THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS, WE'VE SEEN SOME HIGHS BACK IN JULY AND WHEN WE HAD AN ASTRONOMICAL NUMBER OF CASES AND SOME LOWS, AND WE'RE IN A GOOD POSITION RIGHT NOW.

AND I BELIEVE THAT IF WE REMAIN VIGILANT, WE CAN MAINTAIN THIS COURSE, UH, OF HAVING LOW NUMBER OF CASES IN OUR COMMUNITY.

UM, IT DOES REQUIRE, AS WE'VE TALKED ABOUT OVER THE WEEKS INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY AND MAKING SURE PEOPLE ARE CONTINUING TO USE PREVENTION METHODS THAT REDUCE TRANSMISSION RISKS, UH, AND THAT INCLUDES, UH, LIMITING, UH, CONGREGATE SETTINGS, SUCH AS GATHERINGS, UH, AND THINGS LIKE THAT, THAT ALSO TO WEAR YOUR MASK AND, AND REMAIN VIGILANT ABOUT THOSE ACTIVITIES.

UM, YOU KNOW, I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE EXPERIENCING FATIGUE, UH, RELATED TO THIS PANDEMIC AS FAR AS, YOU KNOW, LETTING AND LETTING THEIR GUARD DOWN, BUT YOU DO NEED TO REMAIN VIGILANT AND I'LL LEAVE IT AT THAT.

NOW TORAH POLL REPORTER, MIKE CLARK, MADISON FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE.

GOOD MORNING.

YES.

THIS IS MY MEDICINE FOR THE CHRONICLE.

AND OUR FIRST QUESTION TODAY IS FROM THE CHRONICLE.

AND I GUESS THIS PICKS UP ON WHAT JANET WAS JUST SAYING, AS WE MOVE INTO FALL AND FURTHER INTO THE FLU SEASON, IF WE STAY VIGILANT AS WE HAVE BEEN, ARE WE GOING TO REMAIN AT WHERE WE ARE STAGE THREE IN TERMS OF THE COMMUNITY RISK, OR WILL WE POSSIBLY SEE FURTHER DECLINE IN OUR COVEN POSITIVITY RATES, ET CETERA? WELL, MY HOPE IS THAT WE'LL SEE FURTHER DECLINE.

UH, AGAIN, IF, IF WE STAY THE COURSE, IF WE CONTINUE THE, THE MANDATORY MASKING AND THE SOCIAL DISTANCING, AND, AND WE PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO OUR, OUR HYGIENE, PARTICULARLY OUR HAND HYGIENE, UH, WE CAN FURTHER SUPPRESS THE TRANSMISSION OF DISEASE AND GET INTO THIS, UH, THE STAGE TWO TERRITORY.

WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS WE NEED TO SAY HOSPITALIZATIONS AS IT, NEW ADMISSIONS DROP BELOW 10 ON THAT SEVEN DAY, MOVING AVERAGE.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, WE'D LIKE TO SEE POSITIVITY RATES DROP BELOW 3%, WHICH REALLY PUT US IN A, IN A BETTER SITUATION GOING INTO THE FALL AND

[00:10:01]

CERTAINLY INTO THE WINTER.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT FLOODING.

AS I HAVE MENTIONED BEFORE LAST YEAR DURING FLU SEASON, OUR HOSPITALS WERE FULL, OUR ICU WERE FULL.

UH, THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR THIS EXTRA DISEASE COVID-19 AND IF WE HAVE A BAD FLU SEASON THIS YEAR, WE'RE GOING TO BE IN THE SAME SITUATION.

UH, SO OUR HOPE IS THAT THAT FOLKS WILL ACT NOW AND, AND GET THEIR FLU SHOT, UH, LONG BEFORE THE FLU SHOWS UP AT THEIR DOOR.

UH, FLU SEASON STARTS OCTOBER.

THE FIRST IT EXTENDS THROUGH MAY IT'S QUIET LONG, UH, BUT THERE SOME REAPPEARING NEWS COMING FROM, UH, THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE IN PARTICULAR AUSTRALIA THAT HAS SEEN A REALLY MILD FLU SEASON DUE TO THE FACT THAT FOLKS GOT THEIR IMMUNIZATIONS AND, UH, DUE TO THE, THE COVID-19, UH, MEASURES, WHICH PREVENT COVID-19 ANOTHER RESPIRATORY, UH, TRANSMITTED VIRUS.

SO OUR HOPE IS THAT THAT COMBINATION OF VACCINATION PLUS THESE PROTECTIVE MEASURES THAT WILL KEEP FLUID AT BAY FOR US IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

OKAY.

THANK YOU FOR THAT.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM ASTONIA LAST WEEK, APH REPORTED FOUR CLUSTERS AT PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS, BUT THIS WEEK IS ONLY REPORTING.

WHAT IS THIS EXPECTED? HOW ARE THESE CLUSTERS BEING IDENTIFIED? IF SCHOOLS ARE UNABLE TO DO WIDESPREAD ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING? UM, CURRENTLY WE ARE WORKING VERY CLOSELY WITH THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN, UH, IDENTIFICATION.

I MEAN, A LOT OF THE CLUSTERS ARE IDENTIFIED THROUGH TEEN CASE INVESTIGATION.

UH, WHEN WE HAVE A POSITIVE CASE, YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE QUESTIONS WE ASK ARE WHETHER OR NOT, UH, THE PATIENT IS A STUDENT, IF THEY'RE A STUDENT IN WHAT SCHOOL SETTING ARE THEY IN, UH, OR IF THEY'RE AN, A, IF THEIR EMPLOYER IS A SCHOOL DISTRICT, UH, THEY'RE IDENTIFIED FROM THAT, UH, FROM THAT ANGLE AS WELL AS WHAT THEIR POSITION IS WITHIN THAT SCHOOL DISTRICT.

SO WE DO FOLLOW UP WHENEVER WE GET THAT INFORMATION WITH THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, UH, AND WITH THE CASE TO, TO MAKE SURE THAT, UH, THEY'RE ISOLATING AND THEIR CONTACTS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AND NOTIFIED.

WE ALSO HAVE ESTABLISHED A SCHOOL CLUSTER TEAM OR TASK FORCE TO ASSIST WITH WHAT WE KNOW WILL BE A LARGE NUMBER OF, UH, INQUIRIES, UH, REQUESTS FOR GUIDANCE AND FOLLOW UP ON POTENTIAL CASES THAT MIGHT OCCUR IN THE SCHOOL SETTING.

SO, UM, WE ARE, YOU KNOW, WORKING VIGILANTLY TO VIGILANTLY TO MAKE SURE THAT, UH, WE EASE THE WAY CASES ARE REPORTED INTO US BY THOSE SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND, UH, HELP US PREPARE TO RESPOND TO THOSE, UH, CLUSTERS.

AND I, I, I DO WANT TO MAKE ANOTHER POINT IN TERMS OF OUR CLUSTERS ASSOCIATED WITH PRIMARY SECONDARY SCHOOLS, AS WELL AS COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES.

THOSE CLUSTERS ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY HAVE BEEN RELATED TO ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM.

UH, SO IN THE PRIMARY AND SECONDARY, UH, CIRCUMSTANCE IT'S BEEN RELATED TO, TO FOOTBALL AND STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING, UH, IN THE COLLEGE SETTING, IT'S BEEN RELATED TO OFF CAMPUS HOUSING SETTINGS, UH, FRATERNITIES, SORORITIES, APARTMENT COMPLEXES, UH, AND, UH, IN SITUATIONS WHERE FOLKS WHO HAVE GATHERED, UH, FOR SOCIAL EVENTS.

BUT AGAIN, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT WHAT OUR SCHOOLS, PRIMARY, SECONDARY AND OUR UNIVERSITIES HAVE DONE TO ENGINEER THE CLASSROOMS ARE LIKELY TO BE VERY EFFECTIVE.

AND, UH, AND OUR, OUR, OUR MESSAGE OF WARNING TO OUR YOUNG PEOPLE IS TO REALLY PRACTICE THOSE SAME MEASURES OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM, THE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND THE MASKING AND THE HAND HYGIENE IS GOING TO BE CRITICAL IN ALL SETTINGS SO THAT WE CAN DECREASE THE TRANSMISSION AMONGST THOSE YOUNG PEOPLE.

OKAY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

UH, THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM CBS AUSTIN AND DR.

SCOTT MAY HAVE ADDRESSED MUCH OF THIS ALREADY.

THE SEASON OPENER FOR UT IS THIS SATURDAY.

ARE YOU STILL AS CONCERNED ABOUT THE 25,000 SEATING CAPACITY AS YOU HAVE AT ANY NEW MEASURES BEEN PUT IN PLACE THAT COULD LESSEN THE THREAT OF SPREAD AND WHAT IS THE EXPECTED RATE OF TRANSMISSION AT THE GAME? UH, SO OBVIOUSLY THE, OUR, OUR SITUATION HAS IMPROVED SUBSTANTIALLY OVER THE PAST MONTH.

UH, YOU KNOW, BEFORE WE'RE LOOKING AT A HUNDRED TO 200 POTENTIAL

[00:15:01]

POSITIVES THAT, UH, AT A CAPACITY OF 25,000 NOW, WE'RE LOOKING SOMEWHERE ON THE ORDER OF 40 TO 50, UH, THE TRANSMISSION AT THE STADIUM REALLY DEPENDS ON HOW VIGILANT FOLKS ARE ABOUT AVOIDING THOSE INTERACTIONS WITHIN SIX FEET.

I DO KNOW THAT THEY, THE STADIUM IS, IS OPEN AIR AND, AND UT HAS BEEN WORKING HARD TO ENGINEER SOLUTIONS TO KEEP PEOPLE SEPARATED, UH, TO KEEP THEM SEPARATED BY ROWS AND BY SEATS AND, UH, AND TO DO THE BEST JOB THAT THEY CAN TO PREVENT TRANSMISSION.

BUT ULTIMATELY YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE 25,000 PEOPLE ON ONE SPOT, AND IT'S GOING TO BE DIFFICULT TO PREVENT ALL THOSE INTERACTIONS FROM HAPPENING.

UH, I THINK WE'LL HAVE TO WAIT FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS AFTERWARDS TO DETERMINE WHAT KIND OF TRANSMISSION HAPPENED.

UH, IT'S A BIT TOO DIFFICULT TO TELL RIGHT NOW.

YEAH.

OKAY.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FOR COMMUNITY IMPACT, DR.

S THAT YOU TOLD THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS YESTERDAY, THAT THE POSITIVITY RATE AND NUMBER OF HOSPITALIZATIONS IS RISING FOR D 10 TO 19 YEAR OLD AGE GROUP.

WHAT KIND OF CHALLENGES DOES THAT POSE? SO LAST WEEK WE HAD THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF HOSPITALIZATIONS ON RECORD FOR THAT 10 TO 19 AGE GROUP, A 6.1%, WHICH REPRESENTS ABOUT EIGHT INDIVIDUALS IN THAT AGE GROUP BEING HOSPITALIZED.

UH, AGAIN, YOU KNOW, WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT THAT BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, ACROSS THE UNITED STATES, WE HAVE RELATIVELY LITTLE DATA ON, ON YOUNGER CHILDREN.

UM, AND, AND I THINK WE HAVE TO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THAT DATA.

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO ADJUST OUR EXPECTATIONS RELATED TO HOSPITALIZATION RATES AS MORE CASES DECLARE THEMSELVES.

UH, NOW THAT WE HAVE SCHOOLS GOING BACK INTO SESSION, UH, WHILE THIS, AGAIN, THE SCHOOLS ARE DOING A GREAT JOB, THE COLLEGES ARE DOING A GREAT JOB OF TRYING TO PREVENT TRANSMISSION.

THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO PREVENT IT A HUNDRED PERCENT, SO IT WILL BE TRANSMISSION.

AND, AND WE'LL HAVE TO, UH, TAKE THAT NEW INFORMATION, THAT DATA AND, AND SEE IF WE NEED TO MODIFY RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPROVE THE SAFETY.

NOT ONLY FOR THOSE YOUNG PEOPLE, BUT FOR THE PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERACTING WITH THEM, UH, THE PARENTS, THE FACULTY AND STAFF WITH SCHOOLS AS WELL, ACCORDING TO, UM, A COUPLE OF STUDIES THAT HAVE, AND AS WE ALL KNOW, COVID IS A, AT A VERY YOUNG DISEASE.

OKAY.

BUT ACCORDING TO A COUPLE OF THE STUDIES THAT, UM, HAVE LOOKED AT THE YOUNG PEOPLE THAT AGE BETWEEN 10 TO TWO, 19 YEARS OLD, THEY HAVE THAT, UM, YOUNG PEOPLE THAT AGE HAVE A TENDENCY TO BE A CARRIER OF COVID-19 AND THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO PASS COVID-19 ALONG AS IF THEY WERE AN ADULT.

AND SO, AS WE LEARN MORE ABOUT COVID-19, IT IS GOING TO BE SO IMPORTANT FOR US ACROSS THE BOARD EXPRESSLY WITH OUR YOUNG PEOPLE WHILE THEY ARE IN SCHOOL AND WHAT THEY MAY DO OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL, TO BE VERY IMPORTANT FOR THEM TO CONTINUE WITH THE FACE MASK AND THE SOCIAL DISTANCING, THOSE THINGS ARE GOING TO BE VERY IMPORTANT BECAUSE ULTIMATELY WE WANT TO PROTECT THE YOUNG PEOPLE, BUT WE ALSO WANT TO PROTECT THE STAFF AND THE FAMILIES THAT THEY GO HOME TO.

OKAY, THANK YOU MUCH FOR THAT.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM COOPERATIVE RIO, THE LATIN X HEALTH EQUITY TEAM IS SEEING SUCCESS IN THE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY THAT HAS BEEN DISPROPORTIONATELY BESET BY THE VIRUS WILL APH FORM ANOTHER TEST FORCE ARMED WITH A SUCCESSFUL PROCESS TO ADDRESS THE INCREASED CONTAGION NOW EVIDENCED IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY.

YES.

UM, THE GOAL WAS INITIALLY TO START WITH THE LATIN X HISPANIC POPULATION, UM, BECAUSE THE CONCERN WAS IS THAT, UM, THAT DATA WAS THREE TIMES AS MUCH HIGHER THAN THE REST OF THE TOTAL POPULATION.

NOW THAT WE HAVE IMPLEMENTED, UM, SOME STRATEGIES IN THAT POPULATION TO TARGET AND LOOK AT SPECIFIC ZIP CODES, AS WELL AS OUTREACH EFFORTS.

UM, THE DEPARTMENT IS, IS GOING TO, UM, DEVELOP A SECOND STRIKE TEAM FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS.

AND THEN LASTLY, WE WILL DEVELOP A, ANOTHER STRIKE TEAM FOR THE ASIAN POPULATION.

ULTIMATELY, UM, THOSE STRIKE TEAMS WILL WORK COLLABORATIVELY IN A HEALTH EQUITY, UM, STRIKE TEAM, WHICH WILL INCLUDE REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE AFRICAN

[00:20:01]

AMERICAN ASIAN AMERICAN, AS WELL AS LAT LATIN X AND HISPANIC POPULATION.

OKAY, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

UH, THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KUT RADIO, UH, WE'RE NOW SIX MONTHS INTO THE PANDEMIC OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS.

WHAT WILL BE YOUR BIGGEST FUNDS OF CONCERN FOR AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY? I'LL START BY SAYING THAT THE, THE BIGGEST CONCERN I THINK IS, IS KEEPING THE VIGILANCE GOING.

I THINK WE'RE, WE'RE ALL VERY CONCERNED ABOUT PANDEMIC FATIGUE AND FOLKS JUST GROWING TIRED OF, OF MASKING AND SOCIAL DISTANCING, UH, AS THE HOLIDAYS APPROACH, UH, YOU KNOW, HALLOWEEN, THANKSGIVING, CHRISTMAS, I THINK THE PRESSURE TO BE MORE NORMAL IS GOING TO INCREASE.

SO WE'VE GOT ALL WORK HARD AND, AND TAKE THAT PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY UNTIL SUCH TIME AS, AS WE HAVE A VACCINE, WHICH IS EFFECTIVE AND WIDELY AVAILABLE.

UH, WE JUST CAN'T SHORTCUT THAT.

UH, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY OUR, OUR FOCUS RIGHT NOW IS ALSO ON KEEPING OUR SCHOOLS OPEN AND SAFE AND KEEPING OUR BUSINESSES OPEN AND SAFE.

AND WE CAN DO ALL OF THOSE THINGS IF WE CAN STAY VIGILANT ABOUT THE MASKING AND THE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND THE PERSONAL HYGIENE.

OKAY.

I AGREE WITH DR.

SCOTT.

UM, I THINK THAT BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN, UM, SIX MONTHS AND, UM, AND FOLKS ARE I BELIEVE AND KNOW THAT THEY ARE TIRED.

UM, IT HAS BEEN A LONG PROCESS, BUT WE'VE GOT TO REALLY REIGNITE AND REALLY ENCOURAGE OURSELVES TO CONTINUE TO BE VIGILANT, NOT TO GIVE UP, UM, AND TO STAY THE COURSE.

WE'VE ALL ALWAYS BEEN TOLD DURING THIS PROCESS THAT THIS IS NOT A SPRINT.

IT IS A MARATHON.

AND SO ALL OF THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE LEARN WHEN THEY ARE TRAINING FOR ANYTHING, WHETHER IT IS AN ATHLETIC EVENT, OR YOU ARE TRAINING, MAYBE YOU PLAY AN INSTRUMENT OR YOU ARE A MUSICIAN OR A SINGER, YOU KNOW, ALL OF THOSE THINGS THAT YOU HAVE TO CONTINUE TO PRACTICE AND PRACTICE IN PRACTICE.

AND OUR GOAL IS, IS THAT WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO MAKE THESE BE A PART OF HABITUAL PART OF WHO WE ARE, BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT FOR US.

THE OTHER THING THAT I AM CONCERNED ABOUT ALSO IS THAT MY HOPE IS, IS THAT WE GET MAXIMUM CAPACITY OF PEOPLE THAT ARE COMMITTED TO GET THEIR FLU VACCINE AND, YOU KNOW, GET OTHERS TO, TO GO ALONG AND, AND ASK THEM TO GET THEIR FLU VACCINE AS WELL, BECAUSE WE HAVE A VACCINE THAT DOES WORK.

THEN WE REALLY, REALLY HELP US IN THE EMERGENCY ROOMS. AS DR.

SCOTT SAID EARLIER, WE DON'T WANT OUR EMERGENCY ROOMS TO BE OVERRUN WITH INDIVIDUALS WITH FLU.

SO MY HOPE IS, IS THAT EVERYONE TAKES THAT VERY SERIOUSLY AND REALLY GET THAT FLU FLU VACCINE.

AND I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ADD, UH, YOU KNOW, WE'RE ON THE DOWNWARD SLOPE OF THE FIRST WAVE OF THIS FACT, UH, THIS EPIDEMIC AND AS HISTORY HAS SHOWN US TIME AND TIME AGAIN, IS THAT, UH, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE, THERE'S USUALLY MORE THAN ONE WAVE OF AN EPIDEMIC THAT OCCURS.

AND SO PART OF OUR GOAL HERE AT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH IS TO, AND THE REASON WHY WE HAD STRESS VIGILANCE IN OUR COMMUNITY IS WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE, THE IMPACT FROM A SECOND WAVE IS AS MINIMAL AS POSSIBLE.

AND WE FACE THAT IMPACT AS WE ENTER INTO COLD AND FLU SEASON.

AND, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, STRESSING THE IMPORTANCE OF, UH, ALL OF OUR PREVENTION MEASURES, WELL, IDEALLY, UH, REDUCE, UH, TRANSMISSION OF FLU AS WELL.

AND SO, AND PUTTING OUR, THAT PUTS OUR COMMUNITY AT, UH, IN A BIT BETTER POSITION, UH, IN GETTING YOUR FLU SHOT, YOU KNOW, NOT ONLY IS IT GOING TO HELP YOU WITH FLU, BUT, UH, IT WILL HOPEFULLY, UM, IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF, UH, AS FAR AS BEING PREDISPOSED TO, YOU KNOW, UH, WE CAN IN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM, IF YOU WERE TO GET FLUID, UH, AND THEN SUBCONSCIOUS SOME OTHER TYPE OF ILLNESS, UH, HOPEFULLY IT WILL REDUCE THAT, UH, THAT FROM OCCURRING.

BUT, UM, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, WE, WE STILL ANTICIPATE THAT THERE'S GOING TO BE A SECOND WAVE OF THIS VIRUS,

[00:25:01]

AND WE WOULD LIKE TO MINIMIZE THE IMPACT OF, OF THAT.

AND I THINK IF EVERYONE IS STAYS VIGILANT, YOU KNOW, GETS VACCINATED, OBVIOUSLY WE'RE IN THE MIDST OF PLANNING FOR VACCINE DELIVERY TO THE COMMUNITY THROUGH MULTIPLE, MULTIPLE MODALITIES.

UH, YOU KNOW, WE WANT, WE WANT PEOPLE TO STAY THE COURSE.

OKAY.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

ALL THREE OF YOU, THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM K VIEW, ACCORDING TO THE WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE, THE TOP RECOMMENDATION FOR TEXAS IS TO CONSIDER A FURTHER REDUCTION IN HOURS AND OCCUPANCY LIMITS IN BARS AND RESTAURANTS IN UNIVERSITY COUNTIES AND ANYWHERE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS GATHERED.

IF CASES BEGIN TO RISE, WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE TO THIS CONSIDERING THE GROWING NUMBER OF POSITIVE CASES AND UT STUDENTS? I, I AGREE, UH, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, THE, THE, THE CHALLENGE WITH BARS IS, IS THE NATURE OF A BAR.

YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE FOLKS WHO ARE IN A SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT, OFTENTIMES THEY'RE HUDDLED AROUND THE BAR ITSELF.

IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO SOCIAL DISTANCE IN THOSE SETTINGS.

UH, AS WE SEE INCREASES IN, IN THE CASES AMONGST THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO FREQUENT BARS, WHICH ARE OFTEN COLLEGE AGE STUDENTS, YOUNG ADULTS, UH, IT'S GOING TO EXACERBATE THE SITUATION.

LUCKILY COLLEGE AGE, STUDENTS AND TEENAGERS, UM, DON'T HAVE A HIGH RATE OF HOSPITALIZATION, DON'T HAVE A HIGH RATE OF DEATH, BUT THE CHALLENGE IS THEY DON'T OFTEN LIMIT THE INFECTION TO THAT AGE GROUP.

THEY SPREAD IT TO THOSE WHO ARE FORTIES AND FIFTIES AND SIXTIES AND OLDER, WHICH IS WHAT WE SAW AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS PANDEMIC IN AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

SO I THINK WE HAVE TO, UH, REACTIVE IF THAT'S A CIRCUMSTANCE THAT WE EXPERIENCE AND, UH, AND, AND STAY THE COURSE IN TERMS OF BARS AND, UH, YOU KNOW, DETERMINE IF, IF WE NEED TO MAKE FURTHER REDUCTIONS IN, IN RESTAURANT CAPACITY.

AGAIN, MY HOPE IS THAT THAT BARS WILL STAY CLOSED.

UH, AND, UH, AND THE CITY AND COUNTY ARE, ARE TAKING THE RESPONSIBILITY TO HELP WITH ENFORCEMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THOSE ENTITIES WHO ARE SERVING ALCOHOL, THE ONES THAT USED TO BE BARS, BUT NOW HAVE AN EXCEPTION SO THAT WE CAN AVOID THAT KIND OF, THAT KIND OF RISK HERE.

ALL RIGHT.

VERY WELL.

UH, THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KX AND, UH, WE, OUR BLOOD, THE LOCAL BLOOD BANK IS ASKING FOR $600,000 FOR A CAMPAIGN TO GET MORE CONVALESCENT PLASMA, DONOR.

WHAT IS APH DOING TO CONNECT POSITIVE PATIENTS WITH BLOOD BANK TO HELP FACILITATE THOSE DONATIONS? I'LL JUST SAY DURING OUR ROUTINE CASE INVESTIGATION WITH, UH, CASES THAT ARE POSITIVE, UH, ONE OF THE QUESTIONS WE ASK SPECIFICALLY IS WHETHER OR NOT FOLKS ARE WILLING TO DONATE PLASMA, UH, AND IT, YOU KNOW, AT ONE POINT WE WERE ACTUALLY REACHING OUT TO THOSE FOLKS TO MAKE SURE, YOU KNOW, THAT THIS OPPORTUNITY WAS AVAILABLE TO THEM, UH, TO PROVIDE CONVALESCENT PLASMA THAT COULD SAVE, UH, THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE, UH, SUFFERING VERY SERIOUSLY FROM COVID-19.

UM, WE WILL CONTINUE TO, TO DO THAT, UM, AND, UH, WORK WITH OUR CASES TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY'RE AWARE THAT THAT OPTION IS AVAILABLE.

UH, WE ARE BLED SO THAT THEY CAN DONATE THAT PLASMA.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, DURING THE PEAK OF, OF THE PANDEMIC, WE, UH, WE ACTIVELY REACHED OUT TO THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO HAD RECOVERED FROM COVID-19, UH, AND ASKED THEM TO DONATE, UH, AS A RESULT WE HAD, YOU KNOW, MORE THAN 100 INDIVIDUALS WHO WERE ADDED TO THE LIST OF DONORS.

UH, YOU KNOW, I, I THINK THIS IS SOMETHING THAT, THAT EVERYBODY WHO, UH, HAS RECOVERED FROM COVID-19 SHOULD CONSIDER, AND THEY SHOULD CONSIDER GIVING MORE THAN ONCE.

THIS REPRESENTS THE, THE ONLY OPTION THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW IN TERMS OF, UH, A TREATMENT, WHICH WE CAN PRODUCE MORE OF, WE HAVE WRITTEN DESERT VEER THAT, YOU KNOW, HAS SHOWN TO BE EFFECTIVE, BUT IT'S AN UNLIMITED SUPPLY THAT SUPPLY GOES TO THE STATE, AND THEN IT'S DISTRIBUTED TO THOSE AREAS IN NEED, BUT IT'S NOT AS PLENTIFUL

[00:30:01]

AS OUR CLINICIANS AND OUR HOSPITALS WOULD LIKE, THEY CAN'T GIVE IT AS EARLY AS THEY'D LIKE, OR IN THE DOSES THAT THEY WOULD LIKE A CONVALESCENT PLASMA.

WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO MAKE MORE IF PEOPLE DONATE.

AND WE'RE CERTAINLY GRATEFUL FOR ALL OF THOSE WHO HAVE MADE THE DECISION TO DONATE CONVALESCENT PLASMA, WE'RE HOPEFUL THAT THE STORIES AND THE MEDIA ATTENTION WILL HELP MORE INDIVIDUALS MAKE THAT IMPORTANT DECISION TO DONATE.

ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM FOX SEVEN, JUST QUICKLY EXPLAIN FOR THE AUDIENCE, WHAT POSITIVITY RATE NEEDS.

GO AHEAD.

YEAH, GO AHEAD, MARK.

SO THE POSITIVITY RATE IS BASICALLY THE POSITIVE CASES AS THE NUMERATOR AND THE TOTAL TESTS PERFORMED AS NOMINATORS.

UH, SO IT'S THE PERCENTAGE OF POSITIVE CASES OVER THE TOTAL, UH, POSITIVE TESTS OVER THE TOTAL NUMBER OF TESTS PERFORM FOR THAT PERIOD OF TIME.

ALL RIGHT.

UM, THE NEXT QUESTION IS BACK FROM US AT THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE, WHEN WILL THE NURSING HOME COVID-19 DATA BE UPDATED ON THE ATC DASHBOARD TO INCLUDE FACILITY NAMES? SO THE PUBLIC CAN SEE IT STAFF HAVE, UM, RECEIVED A MARKUP OF THE DASHBOARD, UM, AND THEY ARE WORKING ON THAT.

WE'RE IN THE PROCESS OF, OF PUTTING OUT A INTERNAL PORTAL.

SO, UM, STAFF CAN LOOK OVER IT AND REVIEW IT AND SIGN OFF ON IT.

AND SO, UM, THE GOAL IS, IS TO HAVE IT GRANNY EARLY NEXT WEEK.

UM, IF WE HAVE IT SOONER THAN THAT, WE WILL GO AHEAD AND IT WILL GO LIVE AS SOON AS IT'S READY.

SO WE ARE DEFINITELY, I'M EXCITED ABOUT ALL OF THE INFORMATION THAT, THAT THAT DASHBOARD HAS, AND IT WILL SHOW, UM, ALL OF THE WORK THAT, UM, AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH AND PARTNERS HAVE DONE IN THAT POPULATION.

UM, THE NEXT QUESTION AGAIN IS FROM US TONIA TOO.

WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THE REDUCED DISPARITY AMONG LATIN X PRESIDENTS WHO ARE HOSPITALIZED WITH COVID-19 I GUESS GOING FROM FORMERLY TWO THIRDS TO NOW ABOUT HALF OF THE HOSPITALIZED POPULATION, I WOULD ATTRIBUTE THAT TO, UM, AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH HAS WORKED WITH SEVERAL PARTNERS IN THE COMMUNITY.

UM, OUR PARTNERS HAVE, HAVE DONE, UM, THEY SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF WORK.

UM, WE HAVE A PARTNER, UM, IN THE FOUR OH ONE THAT DOES, UM, OUTREACH THAT PROVIDES THE MASK, UM, AS WELL AS, UM, ENSURES THAT INDIVIDUALS ARE GETTING TESTED.

UM, THEY ARE EMPHASIZING THE KNEE TO, UM, TO WEAR THEIR FAITH COVERING AS WELL AS ENSURING THAT, UM, INDIVIDUALS UNDERSTAND ABOUT HEALTH HYGIENE AND, UM, HOW THAT SHOULD WORK IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD.

THEY ARE PROVIDING INFORMATION ABOUT, UM, HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN YOU'RE IN A, A MULTIGENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLD, AS WELL AS, UM, PROVIDING, UM, INFORMATION ABOUT THE FEDERAL LEAVE BACK, WHICH WILL PROVIDE FUNDING TO YOU AS WELL AS OUR RISE.

1.0, AS WELL AS I RISE 2.0, WHICH IS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO INDIVIDUALS THAT MAY HAVE SOME FINANCIAL CHALLENGES.

AND SO ALL OF THOSE THINGS TOGETHER OVER TIME, AND THE EDUCATION HAS BEEN VERY IMPORTANT.

SO IT'S BEEN A COLLABORATIVE PROCESS IN AUSTIN.

PUBLIC HEALTH HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO DO THIS WORK ALONE, AND WE, WE APPLAUD, UM, ALL OF OUR PARTNERS ALONG THE WAY.

OKAY, THANK YOU.

THE NEXT QUESTION AGAIN FROM CVS AUSTIN, A REPORTER SAYS, I WAS JUST NOTIFIED.

I COULD DOWNLOAD THE IOS THREE BOOK, 13.78, THE IPHONE UPDATE THAT LETS YOU OPT INTO THE COVID-19 EXPOSURE NOTIFICATION SYSTEM.

I FOUND THAT EXPOSURE NOTIFICATIONS ARE NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE IN THE AUSTIN AREA.

IS APH PLANT PARTICIPATE IN, WOULD IT BE USEFUL? UM, I'LL START OFF BY SAYING THAT, YOU KNOW, TECHNOLOGY IS GREAT.

IT HAS THE CAPABILITY OF, OF, OF CERTAINLY BEING HELPFUL.

BUT WHEN WE'RE LOOKING AT OTHER COUNTRIES

[00:35:01]

THAT, THAT, UH, TRIED TO DO ELECTRONIC CONTACT TRACING, UH, IT WASN'T AS GOOD AS, AS THE, THE INTENTION.

UH, SO FOR INSTANCE, IN SINGAPORE, THEY HAD A, UH, AN APP AVAILABLE FOR CONTACT TRACING, WHICH WOULD AUTOMATE NOTIFICATIONS IF YOU HADN'T BEEN AROUND AN INDIVIDUAL WHO WAS DETERMINED TO BE COVID-19 POSITIVE.

UH, BUT ULTIMATELY THE ESTIMATION WAS THAT 80% OF THE POPULATION WOULD NEED TO HAVE DOWNLOADED AN OPT IN TO THAT APP OR TO EFFECTIVELY, UH, CHANGE THE, THE, THE TRAJECTORY OF, OF THE TRANSMISSION OF DISEASE.

AND FAR LESS THAN THAT, A NUMBER OF PEOPLE DECIDED THAT THEY WANTED TO UTILIZE.

UH, UH, SO IT'S SOMETHING WE'LL CERTAINLY LOOK INTO, BUT ULTIMATELY IT'S, IT'S, UH, EFFICACY IS, IS REALLY DETERMINED BY INDIVIDUALS AND THEIR ENGAGEMENT IN THE COMMUNITY, UH, OF OPTING IN AND, UH, AND TAKING PLACE AND TAKING PART IN THAT PROCESS OF CONTACT TRACING.

I DO WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT IT IS CRITICAL AS, UH, JANET AND HER TEAM, UH, CALL INDIVIDUALS TO NOTIFY THEM OF, UH, THAT THEY ARE POSITIVE, THAT THEY ARE COOPERATIVE WITH OUR CONTACT TRACERS IN CASE INVESTIGATORS, SO THAT WE CAN TRACK DOWN THOSE INDIVIDUALS AND NOTIFY THEM THAT IS ALWAYS DONE IN AN ANONYMOUS FASHION.

THE INDIVIDUALS THAT WE CONTACT NEVER KNOW WHO EXPOSE THEM.

AND, UH, YOU KNOW, THAT THAT IS A, THAT IS A KEY THING TO, TO REALLY HELP US DECREASE THE SPREAD CONTACT TRACING IS NOT ALWAYS EFFECTIVE AND IT'S NOT EFFECTIVE.

IT WASN'T EFFECTIVE DURING THE PEAK OF, OF THIS PANDEMIC BECAUSE THE CASES WERE HAPPENING FAR TOO QUICKLY FOR EFFECTIVE CONTACT TRACING TO TAKE PLACE.

NOW THAT CASES ARE DECLINING.

NOW THAT THOSE CASE NUMBERS ARE MANAGEABLE, CONTACT TRACING AND CASE INVESTIGATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER.

SO WE DO NEED THAT ENGAGEMENT FROM THE COMMUNITY, AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO LOOK AT OTHER OPPORTUNITIES, INCLUDING TECHNOLOGY TO HELP US WITH THAT.

AND I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ADD AS A REMINDER, THAT IF CITIZENS ARE CONTACTED BY AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, AS PART OF THAT CASE INVESTIGATION OR CONTACT TRACING, WE WILL NEVER ASK FOR A FINANCIAL INFORMATION.

AND SO I KNOW THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF WARNINGS OUT THERE AND A LOT OF CONCERNS ABOUT, UH, PEOPLE CONTACTING, CONTACTING THEM AND SCAMMING PEOPLE, BUT WE WOULD NOT ASK FOR, UH, FINANCIAL INFORMATION.

WE WOULD, YOU KNOW, BE WANTING TO GET INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR COURSE OF ILLNESS AND, UH, WHO THEY MAY HAVE HAD CONTACT WITH AND SPECIFIC INFORMATION LIKE THAT.

BUT WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE ASKING FOR FINANCIAL INFORMATION.

SO IF YOU COME ACROSS SOMEBODY WHO, UH, DOES REQUEST THAT INFORMATION FROM YOU CAN ALSO ALWAYS CALL THREE, ONE, ONE, OR YOU CAN CALL (512) 972-5555.

UH, AND WE CAN, UH, UM, ALLAY ANY CONCERNS THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE ABOUT SOMEONE CONTACTING YOU.

ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU FOR THAT INFORMATION.

NEXT QUESTION IS GOING FROM THE COOPERATIVE, UH, CENTRAL TEXAS COUNTIES HAVE ACHIEVED AND MAINTAINED LOW NUMBERS.

WE SPARE RESOURCES TO HELP THE ONGOING DEVASTATING MEDICAL CRISIS IN THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY.

WHAT WE WOULD RECOMMEND AS FAR AS HEALTHCARE IS CONCERNED, WE WOULD RECOMMEND, UM, THAT THAT QUESTION IS DIRECTED TO HEALTHCARE, UM, AND PROVIDERS AND ADMINISTRATION.

UM, THEY ARE BETTER IN A POSITION THAT CAN ANSWER THAT, CALL THAT QUESTION.

ALRIGHT, UNDERSTOOD.

UH, NEXT QUESTION AGAIN FROM CAVE USE STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS HAVE EXPRESSED CONCERN REGARDING GREEK LIFE AND PARTIES OFF AND LOCAL COLLEGES.

UT SAYS IT IS LOOKING TO THIS CITY TO ENFORCE PUBLIC GATHERING ORDERS.

WILL THOSE BE ENFORCED AROUND COLLEGE CAMPUSES? IF SO, HOW, AND WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO HEARING ABOUT GATHERINGS LIKE THAT HAPPENING? IT IS ALWAYS CONCERNING, UM, WHEN INDIVIDUALS ARE GATHERED, UM, WHICH IS AGAINST THE ORDERS THAT ARE IN PLACE CURRENTLY, UM, WE INITIALLY START WITH WARNINGS.

WE WILL PROVIDE THOSE WARNINGS AND, UM, INFORM THEM ABOUT ANY TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE THAT WE CAN PROVIDE TO THEM.

BUT AS THE SYSTEM IS PROGRESSIVE, STARTS

[00:40:01]

WITH A WARNING, IT DOES MOVE INTO ENFORCEMENT.

SO BETWEEN OUR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, OUR, UM, CODE ENFORCEMENT TEAM, OUR, UM, FAR MARSHALL FOLKS, AS WELL AS OUR AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT, THOSE INDIVIDUALS WILL ASSIST US.

WE ALSO COLLABORATE WITH UT, UM, POLICE DEPARTMENT AS WELL, BUT THE GOAL IS, IS TO START WITH EDUCATION, BUT OUR SYSTEM IS PROGRESSIVE.

LET ME JUST ADD THAT.

IT'S IMPORTANT THAT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE REALIZE THAT THAT THOSE ACTIVITIES, THOSE GATHERINGS, THOSE PARTIES IS RECKLESS.

AND AS A MEMBER OF THIS COMMUNITY, THE FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES, UH, THEY HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO OTHER PEOPLE.

THEY MAY NOT BE IN DANGER.

THEIR LIFE MAY NOT BE IN DANGER IF THEY GET COVID-19, BUT OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVES WILL BE IN DANGER IF THEY SPREAD IT.

AND WE'RE ASKING THEM TO MODIFY WHAT THEY NORMALLY DO SO THAT WE CAN KEEP THIS DISEASE UNDER CONTROL IN AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

UM, WE HAVE SENT OUT LETTERS TO THE FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES TO REMIND THEM OF THEIR LEGAL OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE HEALTH AUTHORITY RULES.

UM, SO THERE'S NO, THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT THEY HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAINTAINING THEIR SITE, THEIR FACILITY, AS WELL AS THE REQUIREMENTS THAT ARE, UM, UH, THEREFORE, UH, OTHER ENTITIES, OTHER PLACES OF BUSINESS, UH, THEY HAVE TO BE PARTNERS.

WE HAVE TO BE PARTNERS WITH OUR COLLEGE STUDENTS.

WE VALUE OUR COLLEGE STUDENTS.

WE VALUE THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AND THE GREAT PARTNERSHIP THAT WE'VE HAD FOR MANY YEARS WITH THEM, BUT WE CAN'T, WE CAN'T TOLERATE ACTIVITY, WHICH IS GOING TO PLACE THE REST OF US IN DANGER.

AND SO WE'RE ASKING AGAIN, THAT THAT STUDENTS TAKE THE LEAD THAT STUDENT LEADERS AT UT AND OTHER COLLEGES CAMPUSES MAKE A STATEMENT AND COME OUT AGAINST THAT KIND OF ACTIVITY, WHICH, WHICH MAY PUT US IN DANGER.

VERY GOOD.

AND THIS IS OUR FINAL QUESTION FOR TODAY.

THIS IS FROM CACS AND DR.

SCOTT SAID YESTERDAY, HE HOPED TO BE ABLE TO DROP US TO STAGE TWO IN THE NEXT 30 DAYS.

WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO MAKE THAT CHANGE? AGAIN, WE NEED TO SAY HOSPITALIZATIONS THAT SEVEN DAY MOVING AVERAGE OF NEW ADMISSIONS DROP BELOW 10.

AND WE'D ALSO LIKE TO SEE POSITIVITY RATE DROP BELOW 3%.

AGAIN, IT TAKES US STAYING VIGILANT.

IT TAKES MASKING AND SOCIAL DISTANCING, THE PERSONAL HYGIENE.

IT TAKES US AVOIDING THOSE THINGS THAT WE WANT TO DO.

LIKE GAVIN WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE A BIT LONGER UNTIL WE CAN GET AN A IN A BETTER SITUATION AND, AND GET DOWN TO STAGE TWO.

UH, I THINK AGAIN, IF WE, IF WE CAN GET TO STAGE TWO, IF WE CAN REALLY DROP THAT TRANSMISSION RATE FURTHER, IT'S GONNA PUT US IN A BETTER POSITION TO ALLOW MORE CHILDREN IN OUR SCHOOLS AND TO KEEP OUR SCHOOLS AND OUR BUSINESSES OPEN.

OKAY.

IF THAT'S ALL WE HAVE.

SO THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY.

AND I'LL HAND IT BACK OVER TO THE MODERATOR LIKE THAT.

GIVE ANY CLOSING REMARKS AGAIN, I WOULD LIKE TO, UM, CONGRATULATE, UM, AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH ON A VERY, VERY LONG RESPONSE.

OUR TEAM HAS WORKED, UM, EXTENSIVE HOURS AND PUT IN A LOT OF WORK.

AND I WOULD LIKE TO APPLAUD THOSE EFFORTS, BUT I ALSO WOULD LIKE TO APPLAUD THE PUBLIC.

EACH OF YOU, THIS HAS BEEN A SACRIFICE FOR YOU AS WELL.

WHEN WE LOOK AT ACROSS OUR TEAM OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY, WE HAVE AN AWESOME TEAM.

WE HAVE ALL PULLED TOGETHER, BUT I HAVE TO REMIND YOU BECAUSE I KNOW I KNOW INDIVIDUALS OR ENTIRE, AND NO, YOU REALLY ARE LIKE THAT.

SOME ASK AGAIN, AND I'M GOING TO SAY, YES, THIS MASK AGAIN, IT IS A LONG RUN.

IT IS A MARATHON.

SO ALL OF THE THINGS THAT WE DO TO PREPARE FOR A MARATHON OR ANYTHING THAT ALLOWS US TO HAVE TO PRACTICE, WE'VE GOT TO BE CONSISTENT IN OUR BEHAVIOR.

WE HAVE COME TOO FAR TO GIVE UP,

[00:45:01]

TO THROW IN THE TOWEL.

WE'VE GOT TO STAY ON THE PATH AND NOT GIVE UP.

AND SO I APPLAUD YOU.

YOU'VE DONE WELL, CONTINUE TO DO WELL.

PLEASE REMEMBER YOUR FLU VACCINE.

IT IS SO IMPORTANT.

WE HAVE SO MANY PARTNERS ACROSS OUR COMMUNITY THAT ARE PROVIDING VACCINES.

YOU CAN CALL, YOU CAN DROP IN AND YOU'RE ABLE TO GET THOSE VACCINES.

AND IT'S SO IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO DO THAT.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

I'LL JUST REITERATE WHAT DIRECTOR HAYDEN SAID, GREAT JOB, AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY, YOUR WORK, YOUR DEDICATION, YOUR VIGILANCE HAS PAID OFF.

WE'RE UNDER 5% IN TERMS OF OUR POSITIVITY RATES.

LET'S KEEP IT THAT WAY AND LET'S PUSH IT FURTHER DOWN BELOW 3%.

POLITICS IS THE MASKING, THE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION TO THAT PERSONAL HYGIENE.

WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT, THAT COVID-19, ISN'T GONE.

IT'S STILL OUT THERE.

IT STILL WANTS TO INFECT PEOPLE ALREADY.

IT'S THE FOURTH LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

AND WE'RE ON TRACK FOR IT TO BE THE THIRD LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH BY THE END OF THIS YEAR WITH ALMOST 400 DEATHS SO FAR.

SO LET'S STAY THE COURSE.

LET'S AVOID THE GATHERINGS.

LET'S WATCH FOOTBALL AT HOME THIS YEAR AND KEEP EACH OTHER SAFE.

AND I WOULD JUST LIKE TO SAY, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, AS BOTH DR S SCOTT AND DIRECTOR, HAYDEN HAVE MENTIONED, STAYING VIGILANT IS KEY TO THIS AND KEY TO HOW WE PROCEED THROUGH THE SECOND HALF OF THIS MARATHON.

WE'RE ABOUT HALFWAY AND WE WANT THE SECOND HALF OF THE MARATHON TO, UH, TO BE MILD.

UH, AND IN, IN PREPARATION FOR DOING THAT, WE NEED TO BE AS PREPARED AS POSSIBLE.

AND SOME OF THAT PREPARATION IS MAKING SURE THAT YOU GET YOUR FLU VACCINE AND KEEPING UP WITH THOSE PREVENTION MEASURES THAT WILL BOTH LEAD TO REDUCE NUMBERS OF COVID-19, BUT ALSO, UH, INFLUENZA.

UM, I ALSO WANT TO REMIND PEOPLE THAT, YOU KNOW, WHILE OUR NUMBERS ARE COMING DOWN FOR COVID-19, UH, WE ARE PREPARING FOR FLU, AND WE'RE ALSO PREPARING A, WE'RE TRYING TO FINISH UP, UH, WITH WEST NILE VIRUS AND OTHER CONDITIONS THAT WE START SEEING RAMP UP DURING, UH, THE FALL SEASON AND THAT IT COULD INCLUDE A VACCINE PREVENTABLE DISEASES, UH, MAKING SURE THAT WE HAVE OUR VACCINATIONS UP TO DATE FOR, UH, THOSE ILLNESSES AS WELL.

BUT, UH, IF WE STAY THE COURSE, I I'M HOPEFUL AND OPTIMISTIC THAT WE CAN HAVE A SECOND WAY THAT IS MUCH SMALLER OR LESS OF AN IMPACT.

UH, THEN, THEN THE FIRST, THANK YOU.

THAT CONCLUDES OUR MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR TODAY.

THANK YOU TO APH DIRECTOR.

STEPHANIE HAYDEN, DR.

MARK ASCOT, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JANET SHIT, AND PAUL REPORTER, MIKE CLARK MADISON FOR JOINING US TODAY.

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