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SHE WAS LEANING

[00:00:01]

LONG BOTTLE CAP SIDE OF THE COUNTRY STORE COKE AND A SMILE COOLEST PLACE TO LINGER ON AND ARKANSAS, WHAT YOU SAW.

GOOD

[COVID-19: Press Q & A]

MORNING.

I'M ALINA CARNAHAN, AND I WILL BE THE MODERATOR FOR TODAY'S MEDIA AVAILABILITY, SPANISH INTERPRETATION OF THIS MEDIA A LITTLE BIT.

IT IS ON ATX AND THREE TO START AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR.

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

MARK ASCOT, INTERIM 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 ASKED QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA, STEPHANIE, OVER TO YOU? GOOD MORNING.

UM, TODAY I WANT TO JUST REMIND EVERYONE ABOUT OUR TESTING AVAILABILITY.

WE OPENED UP A SITE, UM, SEPTEMBER 22ND IN THE METROPOLIS COMMUNITY THAT, UM, NEIGHBORHOOD AS WELL AS ALL OTHER NEIGHBORHOODS HAVE MORNING, EVENING, AND WE CAN TESTING AVAILABILITY, PLEASE GO TO OUR WEBSITE AND EITHER SIGN UP THERE OR YOU CAN CALL A NURSE LINE AND SCHEDULE THAT APPOINTMENT, OR YOU CAN DO A WALKUP AT THOSE FACILITIES.

WE ALSO HAVE IN-HOME TESTING.

THE OTHER THING I WANT TO TALK ABOUT AS THINGS BEGAN TO REOPEN, AND WE HAVE MORE CAPACITY AT RESTAURANTS AND INDIVIDUALS ARE MOVING ABOUT MORE.

IT IS GOING TO BE VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE WATCH OUR BEHAVIOR.

WE HAVE RECOGNIZED DURING COVID-19.

IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO CONTINUE TO HAVE GREAT HEALTH HYGIENE, AS WELL AS SOCIAL DISTANCING AND WEARING YOUR FACE COVERING.

WE REALLY CANNOT EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANT FOR US.

WE KNOW THAT THOSE ARE THINGS THAT ARE PROVEN.

THE SCIENCE SUPPORTS THAT THESE HAVE HELPED US AS A COMMUNITY TO STAY STRONG.

SO PLEASE WATCH HER BEHAVIOR, UM, AND BE THAT IMPORTANT PERSON FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO, UM, TO REALLY WANT TO MIMIC YOUR BEHAVIOR THAT YOU'RE DOING.

LASTLY, FLU SEASON, OCTOBER ONE, WE'RE HERE, AND WE CAN NOT EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING YOUR FLU VACCINE.

IT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO TAKE CARE OF THAT AS OUR COMMUNITY.

IT IS A PROVEN VACCINE THAT WE KNOW WILL WORK.

UM, IT WILL REALLY HELP US AS A COMMUNITY, AND THAT IS SOMETHING YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF AS AN INDIVIDUAL, BUT ALSO FOR YOUR FAMILY.

UM, WE JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TYPE OF FLU SEASON THAT WE WILL HAVE.

AND SO BETWEEN FLU AND COVEN, UM, WE REALLY TRIED TO KEEP DOWN THE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS THAT ENDED UP IN OUR HOSPITAL.

SO WE DON'T.

THANK YOU.

THANKS, STEPHANIE.

AND I WANT TO SAY THAT, UM, YOU KNOW, I, I THINK THE, THE NEWS FROM EARLIER THIS MORNING, UH, REGARDING THE PRESIDENT AND FIRST LADY INDICATES TO US AND DEMONSTRATES THAT COVID-19 CAN TOUCH ANYONE.

IF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES CAN BE TOUCHED BY IT, IT CAN TOUCH ANYONE.

IT ALSO DEMONSTRATES THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING LAYERS OF PROTECTION IN OUR COMMUNITY.

THAT'S THE TESTING, IT'S THE CASE INVESTIGATION AND CONTACT TRACING, BUT ALSO IT'S THE MASKING AND THE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND THE PERSONAL HYGIENE.

WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE BEING CAREFUL, NOT ONLY IN THE WORKPLACE, NOT ONLY WHEN WE'RE AT GROCERY STORES OR AT RESTAURANTS, BUT IN OUR PERSONAL LIVES WITH OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY LOOKING WELL, NOT HAVING KNOWLEDGE OF BEING COVID POSITIVE IS NOT ENOUGH PROTECTION.

WE HAVE TO CONTINUE THE SOCIAL DISTANCING.

WE HAVE TO CONTINUE THE MASKING.

WE HAVE TO CONTINUE THE HAND HYGIENE.

IF WE'RE GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT LIMITING THE SPREAD OF DISEASE.

OUR DATA FROM THIS WEEK IS THE SAME AS OUR DATA FROM LAST WEEK.

IT INDICATES TO US THE TRANSMISSION IS HAPPENING DURING SOCIAL GATHERINGS.

IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU'RE A COLLEGE STUDENT, A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT OR A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC.

THE TRANSMISSION IS HAPPENING IN THE SAME WAY WHEN PEOPLE ARE FACE TO FACE IN GENERALLY WHEN THEY'RE NOT MASKED AND NOT SOCIALLY

[00:05:01]

DISTANCED, AS LONG AS WE CAN CONTINUE THOSE PROTECTIVE ACTIONS, WE CAN CONTINUE TO KEEP OUR SCHOOLS OPEN.

WE CAN CONTINUE TO KEEP BUSINESSES OPEN, BUT IT'S GOING TO CONTINUE TO BE IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US TO BE COMMITTED TO THOSE PROTECTIVE MEASURES.

AND I'LL JUST ADD ONTO WHAT DR.

S SCOTT HAS TO SAY, AND THAT IS, UH, THE BEST PREVENTION FOR COVID-19.

AND FOR THE FLU, WE'LL BE DOING YOUR HAND WASHING, AVOIDING TOUCHING YOUR FACE, MAKING SURE THAT YOU SOCIALLY DISTANCE AND STAY SIX FEET AWAY FROM OTHER PEOPLE.

AND IF YOU'RE, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, IF YOU'RE SICK, YOU NEED TO STAY HOME AND YOU NEED TO ISOLATE YOURSELF AND, UH, PEOPLE WHO ARE, ARE WELL SO THAT YOU DON'T, UH, SPREAD DISEASE TO THEM.

AGAIN, REMINDER IT IS FLU SEASON AND FLU SEASON HAS STARTED.

WE ARE GETTING ANECDOTAL INFORMATION, UH, THAT FLU IS IN OUR COMMUNITY.

UH, WE HAVE PROVIDERS THAT WILL BE PROVIDING US WEEKLY REPORTS STARTING THIS WEEK, UH, AND WE WILL BE GETTING THAT INFORMATION, UH, AND PREPARING REPORTS RELATED TO THAT.

BUT IT WILL BE ALL THE MORE IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU GET YOUR FLU SHOT TO GIVE YOU ANY KIND OF ADDED PROTECTION FROM ANY FROM FLU.

UH, AND SO THAT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IS AT THE BEST IN THE PLACE WHERE IT IS THE BEST THAT IT CAN BE.

THANK YOU, JANET NOW TO OUR FOUR PORTER BUDDY CROSS FROM CVS TO AUSTIN, WHO'LL BE ASKING ME QUESTIONS, THANKS FOR HAVING ME AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE FIRST LADY OF 30, THE BIG NEWS OF THE DAY, BUT ALSO UT FOOTBALL.

SO THEY'RE ASKING ABOUT THE PRESIDENT, I'LL ASK ABOUT FOOTBALL OR WIKI, KEEP IT ALL SET FOR SATURDAY.

WHAT IS THE STATUS OF CAMPUS AND DO YOU KNOW THE RESULTS OF THE TESTING FOR THOSE ONES? UM, SO I'LL JUST ADD THAT, UH, WE DID MEET WITH DT THIS MORNING.

UH, WE MEET WITH THEM EVERY FRIDAY MORNING.

UH, THEY'RE WORKING ON DOING THE RAPID TESTING.

THEY WILL, YOU PROBABLY WILL NEED TO REACH OUT TO UT TO GET SPECIFIC RESULT INFORMATION RELATED TO THE RAPID TESTING OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO WILL BE GOING TO TOMORROW'S GAME.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING UP, UH, WITH UT THEY'VE BEEN AN EXTENSION OF AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH AND BEEN DOING THE CASE INVESTIGATION AND CONTACT TRACING OF UT STUDENTS.

UH, THERE HAVE BEEN SOME INDICATIONS THAT THERE WERE SOME CLUSTERS ASSOCIATED WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, UH, UTAH GAME.

UH, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF, UH, LINES OF TRANSMISSION THAT HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH NOT JUST THE GAME ITSELF, BUT WITH THOSE SOCIAL GATHERINGS THAT HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED.

SO PEOPLE WHO ARE GATHERING TO WATCH THE GAME IN SOME SETTING, UM, ARE ACTUALLY TRANSMITTING DISEASE IN THAT, UH, TO EACH OTHER, OUR STAFF, UM, OUR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH STAFF ATTENDED THE LAST UT GAME.

AND, UM, THEY PROVIDED SOME INFORMATION BACK TO UT AND, UM, AND WERE ABLE TO MEET WITH THEM THIS WEEK TO, UM, PROVIDE ADDITIONAL SUPPORT.

WE KNOW THAT, UM, THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, AS WELL AS, UM, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT AND UT DELL MED, WHICH IS HANDLING ALL OF THE, UM, TESTING IN CONTACT TRACY, UM, IT, WE HAVE TO BE, UM, A TEAM WHERE IT'S VERY SEAMLESS THAT WE ARE WORKING TOGETHER.

AND SO AS WE RECEIVE MORE INFORMATION, UH, IT ALLOWS US TO MAKE THE NECESSARY IMPROVEMENTS, BUT AS INDIVIDUALS ARE TESTING POSITIVE, THEY ARE PROVIDED THE INFORMATION FOR THEM TO, UM, QUARANTINE, UH, FOR THE 14 DAYS THAT YOU WERE JUST SAYING, TALKING ABOUT WHAT WAS THE HEALTH IMPACT IN TERMS OF CASES OF THE FIRST GT THE FALL GAME.

AND WAS THERE ANY CORRELATION BETWEEN THE GAME AND THERE THERE'S ALWAYS AN IMPACT, UM, WHEN YOU PUT A LARGE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS TOGETHER IN A SETTING.

SO WHETHER IT IS A UT FOOTBALL GAME THAT THEY ARE ATTENDING, OR IF IT'S, UM, A GALLERY OUTSIDE OF, UH, THE ARENA

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WHERE THEY ARE WATCHING THE GAME TOGETHER, UM, WHAT WE HAVE NOTICED IS, IS THAT MOST OF OUR, UM, UH, POSITIVITY IS AS A RESULT OF, OF SOME TYPE OF SOCIAL GATHERING.

SO WHETHER IT IS, UM, A PARTY THAT INDIVIDUALS HAVE ATTENDED TOGETHER, UM, AND EVEN LIKE WITH, WITH SCHOOLS, WE'RE EVEN NOTICING THAT WITH THE EXTRACURRICULAR.

AND SO THOSE ARE THINGS THAT OUR CONTACT, UM, UM, CASE INVESTIGATION HAS REALLY SHOWN US IS THAT THE SOCIAL GALLERY HAS REALLY LED TO, UM, MORE, UM, POSITIVE CASES IN OUR COMMUNITY.

THIS IS A QUESTION, AND IT GOES BACK TO THE PRESIDENT AND THE FIRST LADY PRESIDENT TRUMP'S COVID-19, YOU'D HAVE ONLY GIVEN HIS AGE OF 74, THE SEX MALE ON HIS WEIGHT, 244 POUNDS.

AND HOW HAVE AUSTIN RESIDENTS FOR SIMILAR PROFILES.

SO, BUDDY, I'LL START BY ANSWERING THAT, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, LOOK AT THAT STATISTICS LIKE HOSPITALIZATION RATES AND CASE FATALITY RATES, IT'S ON A, A, A HETEROGENEOUS POPULATION.

SO THERE ARE GOING TO BE MANY DIFFERENCES AMONGST PEOPLE WHO ARE 70 TO 79.

SO IT MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO USE STATISTICS TO DETERMINE HOW SOMEONE'S INDIVIDUAL RISK IS WHAT SOMEONE'S INDIVIDUAL RISK IS GOING TO BE FROM.

COVID-19.

I WILL SAY FOR THE DATA THAT WE ANALYZED FOR MARCH AND APRIL INDIVIDUALS, AGE SEVEN TO 79, HAD A HOSPITALIZATION RATE OF 37.1% AND A CASE FATALITY RATE OF 12.9.

AND THAT WAS INDIVIDUALS WHO WERE LIVING OUTSIDE OF A NURSING HOME.

UH, WHEN WE LOOK AT, AT THE PRESIDENT'S KNOWN RISK FACTORS, SUCH AS OBESITY, UH, THAT'S GOING TO INCREASE HIS RISK COMPARED TO SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T HAVE ANY RISK FACTORS.

SOME OF THE NATIONAL DATA SETS SUGGEST THAT THEY, THE MORTALITY RISK FOR SOMEBODY A 74 YEAR OLD WITH A HISTORY OF OBESITY, MAYBE BETWEEN THREE AND 11%.

BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS UNLIMITED ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE.

HE HAS UNLIMITED POSITION RESOURCES AND, UH, AND CERTAINLY WE EXPECT THAT HIS RISK WILL BE ON THE LOWER END OF THAT ESTIMATE.

YEAH.

THE OTHER THING THAT I WOULD LIKE TO ADD, I, I TOTALLY AGREE WITH DR.

MASCOT.

I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE, UM, WE ARE CONCERNED FOR THE PRESIDENT.

WE ARE CONCERNED WITH, WITH ANY INDIVIDUAL.

UM, MAN IS 74 YEARS OLD, UM, ACROSS OUR CITY AND YOUNGER, THEY MAY, UM, TEST POSITIVE WITH COVID-19 AND HIS DOCTOR HAS GOT A STATED, THE PRESIDENT, UM, HAS THE BEST ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE IN THE NATION.

HE WILL, UM, BE ABLE TO RECEIVE, UM, HEALTHCARE THAT THE AVERAGE 74 YEAR OLD WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO RECEIVE.

AND WHEN WE LOOK AT IT FROM AN EQUITY PERSPECTIVE, MOST 74 YEAR OLDS WILL NOT HAVE THAT ACCESS OF THE MAJORITY OF 74 YEAR OLDS.

UM, MAY PRIMARILY HAVE A MEDICARE BENEFIT.

SOME MAY HAVE AN ADDITIONAL TYPE OF A BENEFIT.

UM, WHEN WE LOOK AT UNINSURED RATE IN, IN AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, PEOPLE THAT ARE 65 YEARS OLD, UM, DO HAVE THAT THE FEDERAL BENEFIT OF INSURANCE, HOWEVER, INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE 18 THROUGH 64, WE KNOW THAT 23% OF FOLKS LIVING IN AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY OR UNINSURED.

AND SO WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE THAT ACCESS, UM, IT DOES LEAD TO HIGHER, UM, NEGATIVE OUTCOMES FOR YOU VERY MUCH.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM AUSTIN ON TUESDAY, APH DIRECTOR HAYDEN ON DECEMBER 30TH WILL OFTEN PUBLIC HEALTH BE ABLE TO CONTINUE PROVIDING TESTING, CONTACT, TRACING ANOTHER PANDEMIC AS SERVICES IN 2021, ADDITIONAL RELIEF, UM, PUBLIC HEALTH, UM, IS A NUMBER ONE PRIORITY, UM, FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

UM, IN THE EVENT, UM, WE NO LONGER HAVE THE FEDERAL FUNDING.

UH, CURRENTLY

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WE DO RECEIVE SOME, SOME STATE FUNDING, UM, TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE SOME OF THESE SERVICES.

UM, HOWEVER, WE WILL WORK WITH OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS IN OUR CITY MANAGEMENT, UH, TO DETERMINE EXACTLY WHAT WE WILL NEED, UM, TO TAKE US THROUGH, UH, THE CALENDAR YEAR OF NEXT YEAR.

WE HAVE SENT THEM A ROUGH ESTIMATE OF, TO MAINTAIN AT THE LEVEL THAT WE HAVE AT OUR HIGHEST POINT OF SURGE, UM, BUDGET WE'VE PROVIDED THAT TO THEM.

AND SO THEY ARE AWARE OF OUR NEEDS.

AND SO WE WILL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE THE LEVEL OF SERVICES THUS FAR GOES BACK TO PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THE FIRST LADY, BUT IT'S A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT.

SO IT'S, IT'S CERTAINLY NOT THE BENDER TRUMP AND THE FIRST LADY BOTH TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19.

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THIS IN TERMS OF CONTACT TRACY PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS A WILD, A LOT OF LARGE BATTLE AND OFFICIALS ARE TRYING TO PICK YOU UP WHO HE CAME IN FROM TACTFUL.

WHAT WILL THE PROCESS LOOK LIKE IN GENERAL GOING FORWARD? WELL, I'LL START BY SAYING THAT, YOU KNOW, I THINK THE FIRST REACTION WAS CONCERNED FOR THE PRESIDENT AND THE FIRST LADY, UH, YOU KNOW, COVID-19 10 CAN IMPACT SEVERELY MANY PEOPLE.

AND, AND THE PRESIDENT IN PARTICULAR IS AT HIGHER RISK THAN OTHERS FOR HER COMPLICATIONS, INCLUDING HOSPITALIZATION AND DEATH.

BUT, YOU KNOW, WE ALSO KNOW FROM THE EPIDEMIOLOGIST ROLE EVALUATIONS OF OUR CASES, AS WELL AS THE DATA FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY, THAT TRANSMISSION HAPPENS WHEN PROTECTIVE MEASURES ARE NOT FOLLOWED.

AND, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE LAYERS OF PROTECTION.

IN THE CASE OF THE WHITE HOUSE.

WE DON'T HAVE THE DETAILS ON, ON THE PROTOCOLS THERE.

I UNDERSTAND THAT EVERYONE IS SCREENED BEFORE INTERACTING WITH THE PRESIDENT.

THAT SCREENING ITSELF IS NOT ENOUGH.

SCREENING IS NOT A PERFECT SCIENCE.

IF THERE'S GOING TO BE FALSE POSITIVES, THERE'S GOING TO BE FALSE NEGATIVES.

THAT'S ONE LAYER OF PROTECTION.

THE NEXT LAYER OF PROTECTION IS SOCIAL DISTANCING.

THE NEXT LAYER OF PROTECTION IS MASKING.

THE NEXT LAYER OF PROTECTION IS, IS THAT PERSONAL HYGIENE, FREQUENT WASHING OF HANDS.

AND THE ACCORDANCE OF TOUCHING ONE'S FACE SUCCESS IN DECREASING TRANSMISSION DEPENDS ON MULTIPLE LAYERS.

YOU SIMPLY CANNOT RELY ON A SINGLE LAYER OF PROTECTION AND EXPECT TO PREVENT DISEASE TRANSMISSION.

AND, YOU KNOW, ALSO ADD THAT, YOU KNOW, UM, I THINK THIS JUST HIGHLIGHTS THE EXAMPLE OF HOW YOU MAY HAVE THE AVAILABILITY OF MASKING AND, UM, PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE TO YOU, BUT THAT YOU STILL ARE SUSCEPTIBLE, UH, TO, TO DEVELOP DISEASE.

IF YOU'RE NOT AS DR.

S SCOTT SAID USING THOSE LAYERS OF PROTECTION TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES.

UM, SO IT'S, IT'S AGAIN, UM, VERY IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE CONTINUE TO USE THOSE PREVENTION MEASURES, ESPECIALLY IF THEY'RE GOING TO BE PLACING THEMSELVES IN POSITIONS WHERE THEY HAVE INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER PEOPLE, UM, FROM THE CONTACT TRACING STANDPOINT, I IMAGINE I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THE STATE, UH, OF MARYLAND OR WASHINGTON DC OR IN THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION WILL FOLLOW UP ON THESE PARTICULAR CASES RELATED TO CONTACT TRACING, UM, OR, BUT I IMAGINE THEY WILL FOLLOW THE CDC GUIDANCE, BUT, UH, THAT WOULD BE A SPECIFIC QUESTION, UH, FOR THEM SPECIFICALLY, BUT IDEALLY, YOU KNOW, WHEN WE DO CONTACT TRACING, WE TRY TO IDENTIFY WHO ANYBODY WHO'S HAS HAD CONTACT WITH THAT ILL INDIVIDUAL, UH, WITHIN SIX FEET FOR AT LEAST A 15 MINUTE PERIOD OR CUMULATIVE 15 MINUTE PERIOD, EVEN IF THEY ARE MASKED.

UM, AND WE WOULD FOLLOW THOSE PEOPLE UP AND WE WOULD PLACE THOSE PEOPLE INTO QUARANTINE AND MAKE SURE THEY ARE MONITORING THEIR SYMPTOMS AND ARE GETTING THE APPROPRIATE TESTING TO RULE OUT ANY, UH, DISEASE TRANSMISSION.

UH, SO JUST, JUST TO ADD TO, TO JANET'S COMMENTS, THAT ONE BENEFIT IN TERMS OF A CASE INVESTIGATION AND CONTACT TRACING, AS IT PERTAINS TO THE PRESIDENT, FIRST LADY IS THAT THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST OF INDIVIDUALS WHO WERE IN CONTACT WITH THE PRESIDENT.

THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE MORE SPECIFICS THAN USUAL ON THE DURATION OF THAT CONTACT.

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UH, SO I WOULD IMAGINE THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO DO AN EFFECTIVE JOB AT CONTACT TRACING.

UH, ONE OF THE CHALLENGES THAT WE'VE HAD LOCALLY AND THAT WE'VE SEEN ACROSS THE COUNTRY IS HAVING THAT DETAILED INFORMATION, HAVING INDIVIDUALS BEING WILLING TO SHARE THAT INFORMATION SO THAT WE CAN PROTECT THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY AS WELL AS NOTIFY THEIR CONTACTS.

AND AGAIN, I CAN'T STRESS ENOUGH THE IMPORTANCE OF, OF THAT COOPERATION FOR THOSE WHO DO TEST POSITIVE, UH, THAT IT'S, IT'S ESSENTIAL FOR US TO REALLY LIMP THE SPREAD AND ENSURE THAT THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN EXPOSED OR AREN'T BORN RADIO SCHOOL, MANY SCHOOL CHILDREN COULD BE ASYMPTOMATIC RESPONSIBILITY FOR TESTING VOLATILE FAMILIES THAT MAY BE UNABLE AND WILLING TO PASS.

EVEN IF FAMILY, I WOULD SAY THAT THEY DID TO BE SUCCESSFUL USE TO MAKE EDUCATED DECISIONS.

SO I'LL START BY SAYING THAT, THAT WE HAVE PLENTY OF TESTING AVAILABLE FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO GET TESTED, UH, THROUGH OUR AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV FORWARD SLASH COVID-19 WEBSITE.

IN ADDITION TO THE DRIVE THROUGH TESTING, WE HAVE NEIGHBORHOOD TESTING.

UH, WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO TEST PEOPLE IN THEIR HOME IF THEY CAN'T GET OUT.

UH, AND IT'S IMPORTANT THAT THAT PARENTS ARE, UH, UNDERSTAND THOSE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS SO THAT IF THEIR CHILD DEVELOPS ANY OF THEM, THAT THEY GET THAT CHILD TESTED AND THEY KEEP THEM AT HOME, UH, WE'VE RECOMMENDED TO THE SUPERINTENDENTS THAT THEY ENCOURAGE STUDENTS WHO ARE PARTICIPATING IN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES WHERE MASKING AND SOCIAL DISTANCING ARE NOT POSSIBLE OR PRACTICAL TO CONSIDER THAT PROACTIVE TESTING SO THAT THEY CAN HAVE BETTER SURVEILLANCE BECAUSE THEY ARE AT HIGHER RISK.

WE'VE ALSO RECOMMENDED THAT THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS, UH, PROVIDE NOTIFICATION TO PARENTS OF THOSE STUDENTS, THAT THAT INDIVIDUAL IS AT HIGHER RISK FOR TRANSMISSION.

AND THAT THE HOUSEHOLD IS THEN AT HIGHER RISK FOR TRANSMISSION.

UH, AND THAT THOSE STUDENT ATHLETES OR BAND MEMBERS ARE CHEERLEADERS, UH, MASKING SOCIAL DISTANCE WITHIN THE HOUSEHOLD TO PREVENT THE, OR DECREASE THE LIKELIHOOD OF TRANSMISSION, UH, WITHIN THAT HOUSEHOLD.

AND I'LL GO AHEAD AND ADD THAT, UH, YOU KNOW, THERE'S DEFINITELY TWO WAY COMMUNICATION BETWEEN, UH, AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS, EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT.

EACH SCHOOL HAS A POINT OF CONTACT WHO WE COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY WITH.

UH, WE HAVE DEVELOPED A SCHOOL TASK FORCE OR SCHOOL CLUSTERS STRIKE TEAM, UH, TO FOLLOW UP ON INDIVIDUALS WHO MAY BE SICK IN SCHOOL SETTING.

UH, AND WE'RE MONITORING THAT AND HAVING THOSE COMMUNICATIONS, PROVIDING GUIDANCE AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE ON THOSE, UH, CASES, UH, AS THEY ARE PRESENTED TO US.

SO, UM, SO THERE IS A DIALOGUE THAT'S HAPPENING ON A DAILY BASIS.

UM, AGAIN, UM, IN HERE, I JUST LOST MY TRAIN OF THOUGHT THERE FOR A SECOND.

SORRY.

I'LL JUST LOOK AT THEIR OWN THING.

I JUST WANT TO MAYBE CHIME IN IS THAT, UM, I AGREE WITH DR.

SCOTT IN, UM, AND, UM, JANET AS WELL, THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT WE'VE ESTABLISHED, UM, AT THE, AT THE SUPERINTENDENT LEVEL WITH BOTH INDIVIDUALS, BUT ALSO THE RELATIONSHIP THAT OUR, UM, OUR, OUR HIGHER HIGHER EDUCATION STRIKE TEAM HAS ESTABLISHED WITH THE STAFF THAT ARE WORKING IN EPIDEMIOLOGY STAFF.

IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT FOR THEM, UM, AND THEY'VE DONE SO THEY WILL REACH OUT TO US.

WE'VE ESTABLISHED AN EMAIL ABOUT EMAIL ADDRESS, UM, AND THEY'RE ABLE TO SEND US EMAILS AND THEY'RE ABLE TO CALL OUR NURSING, UM, HOTLINE.

AND SO WITH, WITH THAT TYPE OF SUPPORT, WE FEEL CONFIDENT THAT WE WILL RECEIVE THE INFORMATION, UM, TESTING IS AVAILABLE, UM, AS DR.

SCOTT STATED.

AND SO IT IS IMPORTANT FOR, UM, THE INDIVIDUAL WE'LL SEE, BUT CALL THE NURSE LINE AND RECORD US THAT AN INDIVIDUAL, UM, COME TO THEIR HOME AND WILL BE WILLING TO COME AND TEST THEM AT HOME, BECAUSE THAT MAY BE A BETTER SETTING FOR THEM TO, TO HAVE THEIR PERSON TESTED AT HOME.

BETTY, LET ME JUST ADD ONE FINAL THING.

AND AGAIN, I THINK IT'S CRITICAL FOR PARENTS TO UNDERSTAND TRANSMISSION IS HAPPENING IN SOCIAL EVENTS.

THAT MEANS OUR

[00:25:01]

PARENTS HAVE TO BE RESPONSIBLE AND NOT HOST PARTIES.

THEY HAVE TO ENSURE THAT THEY'RE PROVIDING GOOD ADVICE TO THEIR CHILDREN.

I THINK AGAIN, THE, THE PRESIDENT'S INFECTION WITH COVID-19 SHOULD RESONATE ACROSS OUR COMMUNITY.

THAT TRANSMISSION CAN HAPPEN IN ANYONE.

AND IF WE WANT TO KEEP OUR CHILDREN SAFE, IF WE WANT TO KEEP OUR TEACHERS SAY, IF WE WANT TO KEEP OUR COMMUNITY SAFE, WE HAVE TO AVOID THOSE SOCIAL GATHERINGS, WHERE PEOPLE ARE NOT WEARING MASKS AND WHERE PEOPLE ARE NOT SOCIAL DISTANCE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

WE WILL BE MOVING.

AND WHAT'S YOUR RECOMMENDATION FOR PARENTS DURING HALLOWEEN? SO I'LL START BY ADDRESSING THE STAGE TWO.

UH, I HOPE IT'S SOON, BUT AGAIN, RATHER THAN HOPE, I I'D RATHER ENCOURAGE FOLKS TO CONTINUE THOSE PROTECTIVE ACTIONS THAT WILL GET US THERE.

THIS IS NOT MAGIC.

IT'S NOT JUST GOING TO HAPPEN, THAT WE GET TO STAGE TWO, IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE COMMITTED.

IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE BOARDING THOSE SOCIAL GATHERINGS IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE LEARNING THEIR MASKING AND THEIR SOCIAL DISTANCING.

THAT'S HOW WE'RE GOING TO GET THERE.

HOW LONG THAT ROAD IS, DEPENDS ON US AS A COMMUNITY AND THE ENGAGEMENT IN THAT MISSION.

UH, IT COULD BE SOON.

IT COULD BE NEXT WEEK.

IT'LL BE THE FOLLOWING WEEK, UH, OR WE COULD SEE A BOUNCE AGAIN, THE STAGE THAT WE'RE AT, WE'VE BEEN ALSO LETTING FOR WINKS NOW, UH, YOU KNOW, BACK IN JUNE AND JULY, BUT FROM WHERE WE ARE NOW TO, UH, ICU IS BEING AT CAPACITY WITHIN THREE WEEKS.

SO AT THIS STAGE, IT'S IMPORTANT.

REMEMBER THAT THEY COULD GO EITHER WAY, BUT IF WE CONTINUE THOSE PROTECTIVE EFFORTS, WE HAVE A MUCH BETTER SHOT OF GOING IN A POSITIVE DIRECTION AND GETTING US TO STAGE TWO HALLOWEEN.

YES.

UM, I WILL ADDRESS THE, THE QUESTION ABOUT HOW WE, UM, THE DEPARTMENT, UM, HAS REVIEWED THE, UM, CDC GUIDELINES, UH, FOR HALLOWEEN THAT THEY HAVE ISSUED.

WE HAVE ALSO, UM, REVIEWED, UM, SOME ADDITIONAL INFORMATION THAT WE'VE RECEIVED FROM OTHER MAJOR CITIES.

AND SO WE ARE PUTTING TOGETHER, UM, SOME GUIDANCE INFORMATION THAT WE'RE GOING TO PROVIDE TO THE PUBLIC.

UH, AND WE WILL BE PUTTING THAT INFORMATION ON OUR WEBSITE.

IT IS GOING TO BE IMPORTANT.

I KNOW THAT THIS IS A HUGE TRANSITION FOR FOREMOST FOLKS.

AND EVEN AS WE EVEN MAKE OUR WAY THROUGH THE YEAR FOR THE REST OF THE HOLIDAYS, UM, THERE IS GOING TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE GATHERINGS THAT WE TYPICALLY DO.

UM, AND SO I ENCOURAGE INDIVIDUALS TO THINK ABOUT A NEW TRADITION FOR HALLOWEEN.

UH, I DON'T ENCOURAGE, UM, UM, THE, THE, THE GATHERING, UM, BUT IF IT'S ALL ABOUT BEHAVIOR, SO INDIVIDUALS HAVE TO MAKE THE BEST CHOICE FOR THEM AND THEIR FAMILIES.

AND SO, UM, IF THERE ARE, UM, UH, NEW THINGS THAT YOU WANT TO CREATE WITHIN YOUR FAMILY, UM, YOU KNOW, I'VE SEEN PEOPLE BE REALLY CREATIVE AND, YOU KNOW, INSTEAD OF GOING DOOR TO DOOR, UM, DO YOU KNOW, GETTING COLLECTING CANDY, UM, YOU KNOW, MAYBE THEY WANT TO HIDE THE CANDY IN THE BACKYARD AND DO SOMETHING YOU NEED FOR, UM, YOU KNOW, THEIR CHILDREN AND OUR FAMILIES, BUT YOU JUST REALLY HAVE TO CREATE THINGS WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO BE SAFE, UM, THAT YOU ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO, UM, SOCIAL DISTANCE, UM, AND, UM, ENSURE YOU HAVE YOUR, YOUR FACE COVERING ON A, AT ALL TIME.

AND LASTLY, THE DOCUMENT THAT WE WILL, UM, GENERATE, UM, WE'LL SHOW YOU SOME THINGS THAT ARE LOWER RISK, UM, AND MEDIUM RISK AND HIGHER RISK IN THE EVENT.

INDIVIDUALS DO GO OUT AND GET CANDY.

PLEASE DON'T ALLOW THE STUDENTS, THE, THE CHILDREN TO EAT THE CANDY IMMEDIATELY HAVE THEM TO PUT THE CANDY, UM, FOR A DAY, UM, AND THEN HAVE ACCESS TO THE CANDY.

BUT YEAH, I'LL JUST ADD TO THAT.

NOW, I'LL TELL YOU WHAT THE ASCOT FAMILY IS GOING TO DO THIS HALLOWEEN.

THEY HAS GOT FAMILIES GOING TO DRESS UP, AND IF WE CAN FIND A COVID PENNATO, WE'RE GOING TO HANG IT AND FILL

[00:30:01]

IT WITH CANDY AND TAKE A WHACK AT IT.

UM, YOU KNOW, IT'S, IT'S NOT SOMETHING WE NORMALLY DO, BUT, UH, CERTAINLY IT'S A, IT'S A SAFER WAY TO, UH, TO HAVE THAT SAME SORT OF SPIRIT THEN, AND DO IT IN A SICK WAY.

IF YOU FIND THAT WE'VE GOT TO LIKE SHARE THAT WITH ALL OF THEM, MAYBE I MAY HAVE TO MAKE ONE MYSELF.

SO THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN, I KNOW MAYOR STEVE ADLER HINTED THIS WEEK FOR POSSIBLE CHANGES TO GATHERING LIMITATION, ESPECIALLY GATHERING THE OUTDOORS AT THE SEVEN DAY.

MOVING AVERAGE IN HOSPITALIZATION CONTINUES TO DECREASE HOW SOON THAT WE SEE THAT SEVEN DAY MOVING AVERAGE DECREASE, DECREASE TO 10.

SO THAT MEANS LARGER GATHERINGS WOULD BE IMMEDIATELY ALLOW ALL THAT TENDING HOSPITALIZATIONS AVERAGE ALLOW FOR ANY OTHER CHANGES TO SOCIAL DISTANCE OVERS LIKE BARS REOPENING.

SO, BUDDY, UH, YOU KNOW, WE'RE, WE'RE LOOKING AT THE DATA RIGHT NOW, AND WE CERTAINLY ARE HAVING DISCUSSIONS ABOUT WHAT OUR LOCAL DATA, AS WELL AS, AS PUBLISHED RESEARCH IS TELLING US ABOUT GATHERINGS.

UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK THERE IS GROWING EVIDENCE THAT OUTDOOR GATHERINGS ARE GOING TO BE SAFER SETTINGS THAN INDOOR.

UM, AND CERTAINLY IF, UH, IF WE GET TO A STAGE TO A TERRITORY THAT WE WOULD CONSIDER OPENING THINGS UP IN TERMS OF, OF THOSE GATHERINGS, I THINK IT'S LIKELY THAT WE WOULD INCREASE OUTDOOR GATHERING SIZE FIRST AND THEN FOLLOWED BY INDOOR GATHERINGS.

OUR CURRENT GUIDANCE, UH, FOR GATHERINGS AT STAGE TWO IS A GUY, A LIMITATION OF 25.

UH, SO WE MAY MODIFY THAT.

WE CERTAINLY MAY MODIFY THAT IN TERMS OF OUTDOOR SETTINGS, UH, BECAUSE IT DOES SEEM APPARENT THAT DISEASES NOT TRANSMITTED AS EASILY IN THAT TYPE OF SETTING.

AND SO I HOPE THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE SOME UPDATES IN THE NEXT WEEK OR TWO WEEKS REGARDING THOSE OUTDOOR GATHERINGS.

OKAY.

THEN I'LL GO ONTO THE NEXT ONE.

ALRIGHT.

IN PERSON LEARNING ABOUT EXPAND.

DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT THE USE OF SCHOOL BUSES? AND DO YOU THINK IT'S STILL THE RIGHT TIME TO BRING 25% OF STUDENTS BACK TO THE CLASSROOM, BUT HE, AGAIN, YOU KNOW, THE, THE GUIDANCE THAT OUR, OUR TEAM CREATED, A IT'S A 52 PAGE DOCUMENT WITH RECOMMENDATIONS FOR OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

UH, OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS HAVE DONE A GREAT JOB IN, IN FOLLOWING THOSE GUIDELINES AS MUCH AS THEY CAN.

UH, THEY'VE IMPLEMENTED THE MASKING AND THE DISTANCING IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES, PHYSICAL BARRIERS WERE NECESSARY.

AND I THINK THAT THAT WHILE WE'VE SEEN SOME CASES, UH, FROM SCHOOL STUDENTS AND SOME FACULTY, WE HAVE NOT HAD EFFICIENT DISEASE TRANSMISSION IN THE SCHOOL SETTING.

UH, AGAIN, THE EVIDENCE THAT WE HAVE AT THIS STAGE IS THAT TRANSMISSION IS PRIMARILY HAPPENING IN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND SOCIAL EVENTS.

SO AS AISD OPENS UP, IT'S GOING TO BE CRITICAL THAT THE SUPERINTENDENT AND PRINCIPALS STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF THAT RESPONSIBILITY, NOT ONLY WHEN THE STUDENTS ARE IN THE CLASSROOM, BUT WHEN THEY'RE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM, AS WELL IN RELATION TO SCHOOL BUSES, IF THE STUDENTS ARE MASKING DISTANCE, IT SHOULD HELP TO PROTECT THE TRANSMISSION IN THAT SETTING.

CERTAINLY WE'VE ENCOURAGED VENTILATION.

SO AIR CONDITIONING AND WINDOW OPENING WOULD BE ENCOURAGED IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF A SCHOOL BUS HELP IMPROVE THE AIR FRO IN THE SCHOOL BUSES AND, UH, AND HELP PREVENT DISEASE TRANSMISSION.

BUT THE BEST METHOD BY FAR IN DECREASING THE RISK OF TRANSMISSION IS FOR ALL PARENTS TO BE COMMITTED, TO KEEPING THEIR CHILD AT HOME, IF THEY HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS AT ALL OF COVID-19.

AND I BRING THAT UP BECAUSE AS WE ENTER COLD AND FLU SEASON, THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT OF OTHER THINGS THAT ARE NOT COPING.

PEOPLE HAVE TO ASSUME IF THERE'S CONGESTION OR RUNNY NOSE OR COUGH OR SORE THROAT OR NAUSEA OR DIARRHEA, ANY OF THOSE THINGS, OR THE OTHER SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19, THEY HAVE TO PRESUME IT'S COVID-19 UNTIL IT CAN BE PROVEN THAT IT'S NOT, IF WE ALL TAKE THAT POSITION AS PARENTS, WHEN IT'S GOING TO LEAD TO SAFER BUSES AND SAFER SCHOOLS, AND IT'S GOING TO KEEP OUR EDUCATORS SAFE AS WELL.

[00:35:04]

AND I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ADD ON TO WHAT DR WAS SAYING IS THAT IF YOU HAVE THOSE SYMPTOMS THAT ARE SORT OF NONSPECIFIC, BUT SIMILAR TO KOBE, AND IT COULD BE, IT COULD BE FLU.

IT COULD BE RELATED TO YOUR ALLERGIES.

YOU NEED TO CONSIDER YOURSELF INFECTIOUS UNTIL YOU'VE BEEN TESTED AND RULED OUT THAT IT'S NOT COVID.

IF IT'S ANOTHER INFECTIOUS DISEASE, UH, YOU NEED TO REMAIN AT HOME, UH, UNTIL YOUR SYMPTOMOLOGY RESOLVES, OR YOU'RE A FEVER FREE FOR 24 HOURS.

UM, SO AS I MENTIONED IN THE PAST, IF YOU'RE IN DOUBT, GO GET IT CHECKED, CHECK IT OUT.

UH, AND THAT MEANS GET A TEST TO DETERMINE AND RULE OUT COVID-19.

THANK YOU.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE TEXAS TRIBUNE, SOME PARTS OF THE STATE, FOR EXAMPLE, THE WACO AREA, I'VE SEEN A RECENT INCREASE IN HOSPITALIZATIONS.

IF THE AUSTIN AREA SEE MORE HOSPITALIZED ROTAVIRUS PATIENTS, AND OR ARE YOU ANTICIPATING AN INCREASE AS WE HEAD INTO THE FALL? UH, MANY OUR, OUR CASES ARE NOT INCREASING RIGHT NOW.

WE'VE HAD SOME OSCILLATIONS UP AND DOWN OVER THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS, BUT IT'S, IT'S RELATIVELY FLAT.

UH, OUR POSITIVITY RATE IS GOING DOWN, UH, LOOKING AT OUR, OUR POSITIVITY RATE.

WE DON'T HAVE AN UPDATE YET FOR LAST WEEK, BUT THE DATA THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW IS, IS SHOWING THAT IT'S LOWER THAN, THAN IT WAS UNDER 4% AT THIS STAGE FOR LAST WEEK.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE STILL HAVE DATA COMING IN, SO THAT COULD CHANGE, BUT CERTAINLY WE DON'T HAVE AN INDICATION THAT IT'S GETTING WORSE.

UH, SO I WOULD EXPECT THAT AT LEAST IN THE, IN THE SHORT TERM THAT WE WOULD STAY FLAT OR POTENTIALLY DECREASE.

UH, BUT AGAIN, THAT CAN CHANGE VERY QUICKLY.

IF BEHAVIORS CHANGE.

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT A MESSAGE THAT, THAT WE CAN TAKE A BATH SOFTEN AND START BURNING THEM.

THE MASS HAVE TO STAY.

THE DISTANCING HAS TO STAY.

UH, WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO AVOID THOSE SOCIAL GATHERINGS, BUT PEOPLE CAN BE A LITTLE MORE ASSURED THAT THAT THINGS ARE IMPROVING.

AND IF WE STAY COMMITTED, THEY'LL CONTINUE TO IMPROVE.

THEY CAN HAVE A FOLLOWUP QUESTION NOW ABOUT THE PRESIDENT AND FIRST LADY, BUT WITH VIDEO SHOWING MEMBERS OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, WENDY, AND AIR FORCE ONE, AND ALL TOUCHING THE HAND RAIL ON THE WAY UP, THAT'S TURNING AROUND AND TALKING TO EACH OTHER WITHOUT MAT, HOW DANGEROUS IS THIS? AND HOW LIKELY IS COVID-19 TO SPREAD IN THIS WALL AGAIN, BETTY, UM, YOU KNOW, THE, I THINK THAT THE CHALLENGE IS THAT, THAT WHEN THERE'S A PROGRAM IN PLACE OF TESTING EVERYBODY, THEN THERE'S THE, THE, THE FALSE REASSURANCE THAT EVERYBODY IS COVID FREE.

AND THAT'S SIMPLY NOT THE CASE.

THAT'S WHY REAL PROTECTION DEPENDS ON LAYERS OF PROTECTION.

AND I THINK THAT THAT, BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE NOT MASKS BECAUSE THEY WERE TALKING TO ONE ANOTHER, WITHIN SIX FEET, FACE-TO-FACE, IT'S GOING TO INCREASE THE RISK OF TRANSMISSION.

UM, THERE'S SIMPLY NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THOSE PROTECTIVE ACTIONS.

YOU KNOW, SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF THE OFFICE WHERE I WORK, UH, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE ARE SELF SCREENING, THERE'S TEMPERATURE CHECKS AT THE DOOR, THERE'S HAND SANITIZER AT THE DOOR.

AND EVERY SINGLE PERSON ALL DAY LONG, EVERY DAY IS WEARING A MASK.

AND IF WE'RE COMMUNICATING WITH ONE ANOTHER, IT'S FROM A DISTANCE, AND THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE TO DO, THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE TO DO UNTIL WE HAVE HEARD IMMUNITY THROUGH VACCINE.

AND, AND, YOU KNOW, IF WE TRY TO SHORTCUT THAT IT'S GOING TO LEAD TO TRANSMISSION, YOU KNOW, I WOULD SAY THAT, YOU KNOW, THE, THE SCIENCE REALLY SUPPORTS, UM, THAT WHEN YOU DON'T SOCIAL DISTANCE AND YOU'RE, YOU'RE NOT WORRYING, UM, YOUR FACE COVERING THE POTENTIAL TO TRANSMIT COVID-19 IS GREATER.

SO WHETHER YOU ARE ON THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, UM, OR YOU'RE, YOU KNOW, AN INDIVIDUAL AVERAGE CITIZEN, IF YOU ARE NOT, UM, TAKING THOSE PRECAUTIONS AND USING THE THINGS THAT WE KNOW THE SCIENCE HAS PROVEN WORKS FOR US, WE WILL SEE MORE TRANSMISSION.

THANK YOU BOTH.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KB, WE RELATED TO PEOPLE NOT GETTING TESTED, BUT NECESSARILY THE VIRUS GOING

[00:40:01]

AWAY, OR ARE YOU TAKING THIS INTO CONSIDERATION? WE ARE DEFINITELY TAKING THIS UNDER CONSIDERATION.

UM, WE, WE HAVE NOTICED THAT THERE ARE FEWER INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE COMING IN FOR TESTING, UM, AND, UM, BUT OUR MESSAGES REMAINS THE SAME THAT, UM, EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT SYMPTOMATIC, UH, AT THIS POINT WE ARE TESTING ASYMPTOMATIC AS WELL AS SYMPTOMATIC INDIVIDUALS AND ALL OF OUR TESTING SITES, BECAUSE THERE MAY BE A PERCEPTION THAT BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE SYMPTOMS, BUT IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO AN INDIVIDUAL THAT HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR KOBE, WHETHER YOU HAVE THE SYMPTOMS OR NOT, IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO COME IN AND TEST.

AND SO WE ARE REALLY, REALLY EMPHASIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING TESTED, BUT I'LL SAY THAT THAT WHILE WE SAY SOME DECREASES IN TESTING, YOU KNOW, OVER THE PAST SIX, EIGHT WEEKS, IT'S BEEN RELATIVELY STEADY.

WE'RE GETTING RESULTS AT ABOUT 12,000 TESTS A WEEK INTO OUR, INTO OUR DATABASE.

AND THAT'S BEEN, THAT'S BEEN CONSISTENT.

UH, ONE OF THE REASONS WHY, WHEN WE LOOK AT HOSPITALIZATIONS OR NEW ADMISSIONS TO THE HOSPITAL, AS ONE OF OUR KEY INDICATORS IS BECAUSE IT'S NOT LONG GOOD TO BE RELATED TO THE TESTING EFFORT.

IT'S SORT OF A, AN VERIFIER OF DISEASE SPREAD IN OUR COMMUNITY WOULD ALSO LOOK AT THE POSITIVITY BECAUSE THAT'S GOING TO BE A, A, A RATIO OF POSITIVE TO TOTAL TESTS.

SO THAT'S ALSO GOING TO GIVE US AN INDICATION.

UH, SO I THINK THERE'S A GOOD AMOUNT OF TESTING.

WE CERTAINLY WANT TO ENCOURAGE FOLKS TO, TO NOT AVOID GETTING TESTED.

AND I BRING THAT UP BECAUSE WE HA WE HAVE HEARD THAT, UH, THAT SOME GROUPS MAY BE INTENTIONALLY AVOIDING DETECTION BECAUSE OF, UH, VARIOUS CONSEQUENCES THAT THEY PERCEIVE.

UH, WE NEED FOLKS TO FEEL FREE, TO GET TESTED.

WE WANT THEM TO GET TESTED SO THAT WE CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES, PROTECT THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD, AS WELL AS THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY.

LAST QUESTION HERE TODAY, AND I KNOW SOME OF Y'ALL HAD HAD A HEART OUT, SO THIS IS PROBABLY GOOD NEWS.

THIS IS FROM CROP RADIO AND IT'S ATHENS, GEORGIA WAS ABLE TO KEEP CASE MEMBERS OF THE MALL WAS IN THE STATE WHEN THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA OPEN READING.

ONE OF THE NATIONS FORMED THE VIRUS HOTSPOTS.

THAT WAS THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH WORKING TO KEEP THIS FROM OCCURRING HERE.

SO WE HAVE A GREAT PARTNERSHIP WITH UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, THE DELL MEDICAL SCHOOL, AND, UH, YOU KNOW, I I'M, I'M PLEASED WITH THEIR EFFORTS AT PROACTIVE TESTING.

UH, THEY'VE BEEN A GREAT JOB OF, OF DESIGNING A SYSTEM THAT, THAT ALLOWS FOR POTENTIALLY A THOUSAND STUDENTS A DAY TO GET TESTED, UH, FOR THE FACULTY TO GET TESTED.

AND, UH, I'M ALSO GRATEFUL FOR THE MESSAGING THAT THEY'RE SENDING ACROSS THE CAMPUS, WHICH, UH, WHICH TALKS ABOUT INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY.

AND, YOU KNOW, I THINK ONE OF THE MESSAGES THAT THEY WANT COLLEGE STUDENTS TO REALLY UNDERSTAND IS THAT WHILE WE WOULD PREFER THAT THEY NOT INTERACT SOCIALLY WITH ONE ANOTHER TO HELP DECREASE TRANSMISSION AMONGST THEM, WE REALLY DON'T WANT THEM TO HAVE SOCIAL INTERACTIONS WITH PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF THEIR AGE GROUP, BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE THE RISK IS, IS MORE CONSEQUENTIAL.

THAT'S WHERE WE INCREASE THE RISK OF HOSPITALIZATIONS.

AND WE INCREASED THE RISK OF DEATH IF THEY ARE SPREADING DISEASE TO MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY OUTSIDE OF THEIR SOCIAL CIRCLE.

UM, SO WE'LL CONTINUE THAT MESSAGING WITH THEM.

WE'LL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH NURSERY, TEXAS.

AND ULTIMATELY I THINK THAT THAT UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS HAS A, A RICH TRADITION OF, UH, SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AMONGST THEIR STUDENTS.

UM, I'M HOPEFUL AND CONFIDENT THAT WE'LL CONTINUE.

AND I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ADD THAT, YOU KNOW, UH, ANYBODY WHO GETS TESTED, UH, IN THE AUSTIN AREA OR IN TEXAS FOR THAT MATTER, IF THEY A POSITIVE RESULT THAT WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE TRANSMITTED TO THE LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT, IT'S ALSO A REQUIREMENT FOR CLINICIANS, HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS AND SCHOOL OFFICIALS TO REPORT POSITIVE CASES TO THE LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT, SO THAT WE CAN INTERVENE AND INVESTIGATE AND CONDUCT CONTACT TRACING WHERE NECESSARY TO BREAK THE TRANSMIT DISEASE TRANSMISSION CYCLE.

UH, NOT ONLY ARE WE WORKING WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, BUT WE HAVE

[00:45:01]

SIMILAR TO OUR SCHOOL CLUSTER, A STRIKE TEAM, WE HAVE A HIGHER EDUCATION STRIKE TEAM THAT'S REACHING OUT AND WORKING WITH ALL SCHOOLS OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY AREA TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY HAVE, UH, A POINT OF CONTACT HERE AT THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

SHOULD THEY NEED ASSISTANCE OR GUIDANCE ON CASES THAT MAY OCCUR AT THEIR UNIVERSITY? THANK YOU VERY HELPFUL.

THANK YOU EVERYONE.

BEFORE WE WRAP UP, WOULD YOU ALL LIKE TO GIVE ANY QUICK CLOSING REMARKS? UM, IN CLOSING, I WOULD JUST LIKE TO REMIND INDIVIDUALS THAT AS WE CONTINUE TO REOPEN IT IS GOING TO BE VERY IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO BE CAUSATIVE OF YOUR BEHAVIOR, ENSURE THAT YOUR BEHAVIOR IS CONTINUING TO, UM, TO SOCIAL DISTANCE.

UM, HEALTH HYGIENE IS HAND HYGIENE IS SO IMPORTANT ALSO, UM, YOUR FACE COVERINGS THAT IS SO IMPORTANT.

I KNOW AS THINGS BEGAN TO OPEN AND IT LOOKS LIKE WE'RE AT A POINT WHERE YOU CAN STOP DOING THESE THINGS, IF YOUR BEHAVIOR CHANGES AND YOU STOP DOING ANY OF THESE, THE RISK OF YOU GETTING COVID IS GREATER.

SO CONTINUE TO DO THESE THINGS.

FLU SEASON IS HERE, PLEASE GET YOUR FLU VACCINE.

IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO THAT FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR LOVED ONES.

WE CONTINUE TO HAVE TESTING AVAILABLE.

PLEASE REACH OUT TO US AND SCHEDULE YOUR TESTS.

WELL, I'LL CLOSE BY SAYING, YOU KNOW, OUR, OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE FIRST LADY, AS WELL AS, AS THE OTHER MEMBERS OF HIS STAFF THAT, UH, HAVE CONTRACTED COVID-19 OR BEEN EXPOSED.

AND WITH THE MILLIONS OF OTHER AMERICANS, WHO'VE HAD COVID-19 IN THE MORE THAN 200,000 FAMILIES.

WHO'VE LOST A LOVED ONE FROM COVID-19.

THIS IS NOT OVER, WE HAVE A LONG ROAD AHEAD OF US, BUT IF WE CAN STAY COMMITTED TO THOSE PROTECTIVE MEASURES, THOSE LAYERS OF PROTECTION, WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS STORM.

WE NEED TO BE COMMITTED.

AND IN PARTICULAR, WE NEED TO AVOID THOSE SOCIAL INTERACTIONS WHERE THE MASS SAUL, AND WE'RE NOT SOCIAL DISTANCE.

WE PREFER THAT YOU NOT GET TOGETHER WITH LARGE GROUPS OF PEOPLE, BUT IF YOU DO WEAR A MASK IN SOCIAL DISTANCE, IT'S GOING TO DECREASE THE RISK.

AND I WOULD JUST LIKE TO BRING UP, I KNOW FALL IS A BEAUTIFUL TIME IN CENTRAL TEXAS, BUT WITH IT COMES ALLERGY SEASON COLD AND FLU SEASON, AS WELL AS NOW WE HAVE COVID-19.

SO THE BEST PREVENTION FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY IS TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE USING THOSE PROTECTIVE MEASURES THAT BOTH STEPHANIE AND DR.

ASCOT HAVE MENTIONED, UH, AND WEARING YOUR MASK WHEN YOU'RE OUTSIDE.

IF YOU NEED TO GO OUTSIDE, UH, AND WASHING YOUR HANDS, STAYING HOME, IF YOU'RE SICK, THAT'S DEFINITELY A BIG ONE.

UH, AND MAKING SURE THAT YOU PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE ONSLAUGHT OF ALL THESE OTHER, UH, CONDITIONS LIKE FLU AND ALLERGIES, BUT MAKE SURE YOU'RE GETTING YOUR FLU SHOT AND PUTTING YOURSELF IN YOUR BEST HEALTHY POSITION THAT CONCLUDES OUR MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR TODAY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO DIRECTOR STEPHANIE HAYDEN, DR.

MARK ASCOT, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JENNIFER BISHOP, AND CROSS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

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