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[COVID-19: Press Q & A]

[00:00:06]

GOOD MORNING.

I'M YOUR SHAUNDRA SHAW PIO FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

AND I'M THE MODERATOR FOR TODAY'S MEDIA AVAILABILITY.

SPANISH INTERPRETATION OF THIS MEDIA AVAILABILITY IS ON ATX IN THREE TO STARK AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTORS.

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

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

AND THEN WE WILL OPEN UP QUESTIONS FOR THE POOL REPORTER ON BEHALF OF THE MEDIA, STEPHANIE, OVER TO YOU.

GOOD MORNING.

I WANT TO START TODAY BY ASKING YOU WHAT MOTIVATES YOU.

I WANT US TO START THINKING ABOUT FROM NOW UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR.

WHAT TYPE OF GOALS CAN YOU SET FOR YOURSELF AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND YOUR FAMILY? I WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR FAMILY, AS YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT HOW WE CAN CONTINUE TO BE SAFE, HOW WE CAN, UM, DECIDE WHAT TRIPS ARE GOING TO BE ESSENTIAL, HOW WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO WHERE OUR FACE COVERINGS, SOCIAL DISTANCES AND HAND HYGIENE.

WHAT TYPE OF PLANS CAN YOU PUT IN PLACE? NEXT OF ALL, IT IS FLU SEASON.

IT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO GET YOUR FLU VACCINE.

IF YOU ARE UNINSURED, UM, PLEASE JOIN US AT, YOU KNOW, ANY EVENTS THIS WEEKEND.

UM, GO ONLINE TO AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV, BACKSLASH FLU, AND YOU CAN SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT AT ONE OF OUR CITY CLINICS.

UM, IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE, UM, OUT AND ABOUT THIS WEEKEND, THERE ARE A COUPLE OF EVENTS IN THE COMMUNITY AT O'HARA MIDDLE SCHOOL, AS WELL AS, UM, TRAVIS COUNTY, TRAVIS HIGH SCHOOL.

SO PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR FLU SHOT.

IF YOU HAVE INSURANCE CHECK WITH YOUR INSURANCE CHECK WITH THE PHARMACY, IF IT'S VERY QUICK, UM, YOU CAN SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT OR YOU CAN DO IT ON A WALK-IN BASIS, BUT PLEASE GET THAT FLU SHOT.

THANKS, STEPHANIE.

UH, I WANT TO START BY TALKING ABOUT HALLOWEEN.

IT'S OUR HOLIDAY, WHICH IS COMING UP THIS WEEKEND.

AND AS WE'VE DISCUSSED WITH OTHER HOLIDAYS, THERE'S A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF RISK, UH, THAT THAT MAY COME WITH HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS.

I'M HAPPY TO SAY THAT AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY HAVE DONE A WONDERFUL JOB CHANGING THEIR TRADITIONS, THANKSGIVING HERE FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY FOR LABOR DAY.

AND NOW WE NEED TO DO THE SAME FOR, FOR HALLOWEEN.

SO MODIFY YOUR ACTIVITIES CHANGE FROM THE TRICK OR TREATING DOOR TO DOOR AND DO SOMETHING ELSE.

UH, THERE'S A GREAT GUIDE FROM, UH, FROM AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH ON OUR WEBSITE, AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV FORWARD SLASH COVID-19.

THERE'S ALSO GUIDANCE FROM CDC.

I'M HAPPY TO SAY THAT I HAVE FOUND A COVID-19 KENYATTA THAT WE'RE GOING TO USE FOR OUR KIDS, UH, ON HALLOWEEN TO, TO CHANGE OUR TRADITIONS.

WE'VE NEVER HAD ONE BEFORE, BUT THIS YEAR THAT'S WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO.

AND I SUGGEST THAT THAT OTHERS IN THE COMMUNITY CHANGE THEIR TRADITIONS AS WELL, SO THAT WE CAN DO THIS IN A MORE SAFE WAY.

UH, WE HAVE CONCERNED ABOUT THE TRENDS RIGHT NOW.

WE HAVE CONCERN ABOUT WHERE WE'RE HEADED, LEADING UP TO THANKSGIVING.

AND, UH, I, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO, TO BE AS PROTECTIVE AS WE CAN THIS HALLOWEEN, SO THAT THE FORECAST FOR THANKSGIVING LOOKS A LOT BRIGHTER.

UH, GOOD MORNING.

I JUST WANTED TO JUST TAG ONTO WHAT BOTH DR.

S GOD AND DIRECTOR HAYDEN HAD SAID ABOUT, UH, PREVENTION.

AND RIGHT NOW PREVENTION IS OUR BEST DEFENSE RELATED TO COVID-19 AND TO THE FLU AND, AND OTHER ILLNESSES.

UM, AND SO AS WE START, UH, THE HOLIDAY SEASON, WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT IF YOU DECIDE TO PARTICIPATE IN ACTIVITIES THAT, UH, PLACE YOU AT RISK, YOU NEED TO BE PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR, UH, USING THOSE PREVENTION TECHNIQUES THAT ARE GOING TO PUT YOU AT THE BEST ADVANTAGE, UH, FROM, YOU KNOW, BEING EXPOSED TO COVID-19 OR THE FLU, UH, THOSE INCLUDE WEARING YOUR MASK.

SO IF YOU'RE, IF YOU HA, IF YOU GO SOMEWHERE AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE DEFINITELY DISTANCING YOURSELF,

[00:05:01]

IF HE SEES SOMEONE, YOU KNOW, ENCROACHING INTO YOUR AREA, MAKE SURE YOU PLACE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOURSELF, BUT HAVE THAT SELF-AWARENESS, UH, RELATED TO HAND HYGIENE, TOUCHING YOUR FACE, UH, WASHING YOUR HANDS, UH, STAYING HOME.

AND IF YOU'RE SICK AND DEFINITELY WEARING YOUR MASK, UH, WHEN YOU'RE OUT AND ABOUT, UH, AGAIN, JUST, YOU KNOW, YOU SELF-AWARENESS AND USE THOSE PREVENT KNOWN PREVENTION, MESH MEASURES THAT WORK, UH, TO PLAY PLACE YOU AT A GREATER PROTECTION AGAINST CONTRACTING ILLNESS.

THANK YOU, PANEL MEMBERS NOW OVER TO OUR POOL REPORTER, KAREN MAY HERNANDEZ FROM UNIVISION TO ASK QUESTIONS ON BEHALF OF OUR MEDIA OUTLETS.

JEREMY.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

I'M GOING TO START WITH OUR QUESTION FROM UNIVISION.

AS MANY AS 700 PEOPLE COULD BE IN THE HOSPITAL BY THE THIRD WEEK IN NOVEMBER, ACCORDING TO HEALTH OFFICIALS, HOW ARE HOSPITALS PREPARING? AND CAN YOU SHARE SOME OF THE LOGISTICS? WELL, I'LL START BY SAYING THAT, UH, I'M HAPPY TO SAY THAT THE PROJECTIONS FROM THE UT MODELING CONSORTIUM HAVE IMPROVED WITH OUR DROPPING ADMISSION NUMBERS OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS.

SO THE PROJECTION DOESN'T LOOK QUITE AS BLINK FOR THE MIDDLE OF NOVEMBER, BUT THERE IS STILL A PROJECTION FOR MORE THAN 250 ADMISSIONS.

UH, AND THE WEEK BEFORE THANKSGIVING, OUR HOSPITALS CONTINUE TO, UH, TO RESPOND AND PREPARE FOR, UH, SURGE ACTIVITIES.

WE HAVE, UH, IDENTIFIED ADDITIONAL CAPACITY WITHIN THE WALLS OF THE HOSPITAL, IF THAT IS NEEDED.

UH, IN ADDITION TO THAT, WE HAVE THE ALTERNATE CARE SITE AT THE CONVENTION CENTER, WHICH STANDS READY TO, UH, TO TAKE ON ADDITIONAL PATIENT PATIENTS.

IF WE EXCEED THE SURGE CAPACITY WITHIN THOSE HOSPITALS, UH, WE ARE LUCKY THAT OUR HOSPITAL SYSTEMS HAVE AFFILIATED HOSPITALS ACROSS TEXAS AND IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

UH, SO THEY DO HAVE THE ABILITY TO THE SURGE PERSONNEL, TO SOME EXTENT FROM OTHER JURISDICTIONS, BUT WE HAVE TO KEEP IN MIND AS WE'VE BEEN DISCUSSING FOR THE PAST EIGHT MONTHS, WE CAN'T ALL SURGE AT THE SAME TIME.

WE CAN'T HAVE SURGES AND OUR MAJOR METROPOLITAN CITIES ACROSS TEXAS AND IN MAJOR METROPOLITAN CITIES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES, UH, BECAUSE THE REDUNDANCY IS GOING TO BE DIMINISHED.

UH, WE ARE STILL CONCERNED ABOUT THE, THE MOST LIMITED ASSET THAT WE HAVE AND THAT'S OUR PERSONNEL.

UH, WE KNOW THAT WITH INCREASED ACTIVITY OF COVID-19, WE CAN EXPECT INCREASING ABSENTEEISM FROM OUR STAFF, EITHER STICK TO THEMSELVES OR CARING FOR SOMEBODY WHO'S SICK OR WHO'S UNDER QUARANTINE.

UH, THIS IS WHY WE HAVE TO CONTINUE USE EXTREME CAUTION THROUGHOUT THE FALL AND INTO THE WINTER MONTHS, UH, WHEN WE NOT ONLY PACED THE THREAT FROM COVID-19, BUT THE THREAT FROM INFLUENCE AS WELL.

I WOULD LIKE TO ADD THAT IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT.

THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION FOR AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

THIS CAN BE AVOIDED.

WE CAN COME TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY, AN INDIVIDUAL IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD AND WITH YOUR FAMILY.

AND WE CAN MAKE A DECISION THAT WE ARE NOT GOING TO OVERRUN OUR HOSPITAL SYSTEMS. WE ARE GOING TO GET OUR FLU SHOTS.

WE ARE GOING TO ESTABLISH OUR GOALS FOR THE END OF THE YEAR, AND WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO WASH OUR HANDS.

OFTEN, WE'RE GOING TO BE SIX FEET DISTANCE FROM OTHERS, AND WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO WEAR OUR FACE COVERINGS.

THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION, AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, YOU HAVE ALWAYS STEPPED UP AND WE KNOW THAT YOU CAN DO THIS.

SO WE ARE GOING TO AVOID THESE HOSPITALIZATIONS BECAUSE WE'VE DONE IT BEFORE AND WE CAN DO IT AGAIN.

NEXT QUESTION YESTERDAY, DR.

SCOTT SAID THAT THERE HAS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN NEW CASES, REPORTED AREA LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS.

ARE THESE FACILITIES EQUIPPED IN TERMS OF PPE STRIKE FOR SUPPORT AND STAFF? ARE THEY, SO ARE THEY EQUIPPED IN TERMS, UM, TO CONTAIN THE SPREAD? SO THEY ARE, UH, EQUIPPED TO, TO CONTAIN THE SPREAD.

UH, WE DO HAVE OUR, OUR TASK FORCE, UH, IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH THE FACILITIES THROUGHOUT THE CITY AND THE COUNTY.

[00:10:01]

UH, WE DON'T HAVE OFFERS OF PPE AND SUPPORT.

UH, WE ALSO HAVE THE RESOURCES OF THE STRIKE TEAMS TO DEPLOY TO THOSE FACILITIES IF NEEDED.

I WILL SAY THAT A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THOSE NEW CASES IN THE PAST TWO WEEKS, UH, OUR, OUR STAFF MEMBERS.

SO AGAIN, AS WE'VE SEEN BEFORE, WHEN WE SEE THE POSITIVITY RISE ACROSS THE COMMUNITY, IN CASES RISE ACROSS THE COMMUNITY THAT PENETRATES INTO OUR NURSING HOMES AND LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY STAFF, AND IT PENETRATES INTO OUR HEALTHCARE AND HER RESPONDER STAFF.

UH, SO, YOU KNOW, TO SOME EXTENT THERE WAS AN EXPECTATION OF INCREASES BECAUSE THERE'S EXPECTATION THAT THERE'S BEEN COMMUNITY-WIDE INCREASE.

NOW, THIS IS WHY IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO SUPPRESS DISEASE AS MUCH AS WE CAN IN THE GENERAL COMMUNITY, SO THAT WE CAN PROTECT THOSE WHO ARE THE MOST VULNERABLE.

UH, OBVIOUSLY WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT TRANSMISSION FROM STAFF TO PATIENTS BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT THOSE INDIVIDUALS IN NURSING HOMES ARE THE HIGHEST RISK INDIVIDUALS IN OUR COMMUNITY, UH, WITH A VERY HIGH RATE OF HOSPITALIZATION AND A HIGH RATE OF DEATH, IF THEY DO CONTRACT COVID-19.

UM, PART OF, OF WHAT WE'VE SEEN RECENTLY WITH OUR INCREASE IN HOSPITALIZATIONS HAS BEEN THE FACT THAT WE'VE SEEN, UH, CASES SHIFT TO OLDER INDIVIDUALS.

SO WE CAN HAVE SMALL INCREASES IN CASES ASSOCIATED WITH THOSE WHO ARE 60 AND OLDER AND HAVE A MUCH MORE SUBSTANTIAL IMPACT ON OUR HOSPITALS AS COMPARED TO LARGER NUMBERS OF CASES IN YOUNGER PEOPLE.

OUR, UM, LONG-TERM CARE TEAM CONTINUES TO PROVIDE SUPPORT TO ALL LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES.

THEY CONTINUE TO MEET WITH THEM WEEKLY.

UM, WE HAVE PROVIDED SOME, UM, PPE TO FACILITIES.

WE'VE ALSO, UM, LOOKED AT THEIR, UM, THEIR ISOLATION PLAN, AS WELL AS, UM, ALL OF THE, UM, INFECTION CONTROL POLICIES THAT THEY HAVE.

SO THIS HAS BEEN AN ONGOING PRACTICE FOR US, AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE THAT SUPPORT.

AND IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO, UM, BE ABLE TO GIVE ANY GUIDANCE THAT WE CAN.

AND THEN IN THIS INSTANCE WAS LONG-TERM CARE.

WE WORKED VERY CLOSELY, UM, WITH THIS STATE ON LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES.

THAT WAS A ESTONIA'S QUESTION.

LET'S MOVE ON TO CBS AUSTIN, THE MEDIA PROJECTION THAT IS NOW UP ON THE UT COVID 19 MODELING CONSORTIUM WEBSITE SHOWS 200 TO 300 HOSPITALIZATIONS IN THE AUSTIN AREA BY MID NOVEMBER.

THAT DATA ON IT IS 10 26.

IS THIS AN UPDATE FROM THE GRAPHIC YOU TALKED ABOUT YESTERDAY WITH THE TRAVIS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON WHAT APPEARS TO BE A SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION IN PROJECTIONS FOR HOSPITALIZATIONS IN THE AUSTIN AREA? MY, MY TAKE IS THAT'S FANTASTIC.

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT TO SEE AGAIN, WE'VE TALKED ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE PROJECTIONS ARE NOT, NOT A FORECAST OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN.

IT'S A, IT'S A PROJECTION OF WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF THE TRANSMISSION STAYS THE SAME AS IT HAS BEEN.

UH, THE PREVIOUS NUMBERS WERE THAT WE HAD 110% INCREASE IN CASES AS COMPARED TO THE PREVIOUS 14 DAYS.

UH, AS PEOPLE RESPOND, AS PEOPLE TAKE MORE PROTECTIVE ACTIONS, DECREASE THEIR SOCIAL ACTIVITIES, DECREASE THEIR THEY'RE MOVING OUTSIDE THE HOUSE, WE SEE AN IMPACT ON, ON TRANSMISSION.

YOU SEE AN IMPACT ON CASES.

WE SEE AN IMPACT ON OUR HOSPITALIZATIONS.

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT TO HAPPEN.

UH, MY EXPECTATION IS THAT, YOU KNOW, YESTERDAY WE REPORTED 13 ADMISSIONS TO THE HOSPITAL, WHICH WAS SIGNIFICANTLY UNDER THE MOVING AVERAGE THAT THE PROJECTIONS WILL IMPROVE FURTHER.

IF WE CAN MAINTAIN THAT TREND OF, UH, HAVING LOWER CASES, UH, LOWER ADMISSIONS TO THE HOSPITAL THAN THE MOVING AVERAGE.

UH, THAT'S, THAT'S THE GOAL OF SHARING THAT INFORMATION PUBLICLY? UH, AGAIN, WE'VE, WE'VE SEEN MORE POSITIVE PROJECTIONS, UH, IN SEPTEMBER AND EARLY OCTOBER, WHICH INDICATED THAT WE WERE GOING TO GO INTO STAGE TWO TERRITORY OF RISK.

UNFORTUNATELY, THAT WAS TOO OPTIMISTIC AND WE MISSED THAT MARK AND WE BOUNCED OFF AND, AND WE'RE IN THE CURRENT SITUATION, UH, THAT WE'RE EXPERIENCING, BUT IT'S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT THESE ARE BASED ON, ON MATHEMATICAL MODELS, THEY'RE BASED ON BEHAVIOR, THEY'RE BASED ON FRIENDS.

AND THEN THAT MEANS THEY'RE GOING

[00:15:01]

TO BE CONSTANTLY UPDATED BASED UPON HOW WE SHIFT OUR BEHAVIORS AS, UM, DR.

ESCADA SHARE, UM, THIS IS NOT A WEATHER FORECAST.

AND SO IT IS REALLY DEPENDENT UPON THE BEHAVIOR THAT WE HAVE AS INDIVIDUALS IN OUR COMMUNITY.

UM, AS DR HAS KIND OF SHARED WITH US OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, UM, BY SHARING THIS INFORMATION ABOUT, UM, THESE PREDICTIONS AND IT GIVES US THE TIME TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT WE MAY BE DOING AS INDIVIDUALS, YOU KNOW, DID I STOP WORRYING MY FACE MASK? UM, DID I ACTUALLY ATTEND, UM, SOME, SOME PARTIES OR GET TOGETHERS WITH OTHER INDIVIDUALS WHERE I DIDN'T SOCIAL DISTANCE OR THEY WERE NOT SOCIAL DISTANCING.

SO WE HAVE TO TAKE THIS TIME TO REALLY REFLECT ON OUR BEHAVIOR.

AND AS, AS LONG AS AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY, UM, CONTINUES TO LISTEN TO WHAT ADVICE THE DEPARTMENT, AS WELL AS DR.

ESCADA IS PROVIDING, WE CAN JUST MAKE THINGS CONTINUE TO TURN AROUND.

IT'S ALL DEPENDENT UPON US JUST ONE DAY AT A TIME, BUT WE ALL HAVE TO PLAY OUR ROLE.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM COMMUNITY IMPACT.

HOW WILL THE COVID-19 VACCINE DISTRIBUTION COALITION LAUNCH LAST WEEK IDENTIFY WHICH INDIVIDUALS WILL FIRST RECEIVE A VACCINE WHEN ONE BECOMES AVAILABLE? HOW WOULD THE COLLISION CONNECT WITH MEDICALLY VULNERABLE RESIDENTS WHO NEED THE VACCINE MOST THE, UH, THE VACCINE, UH, COALITION MEETING, UM, THE GOAL OF THE MEETING WAS IT WAS TO INVITE A, A BROAD GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS, AS WELL AS COMMUNITY ADVOCATES, UM, AND INDIVIDUALS THAT WILL, UM, PROVIDE INFORMATION FOR PRIORITY POPULATIONS.

UM, OUR GOAL IS TO, UM, RECEIVE THAT FEEDBACK FROM EVERYONE IN THE GROUP.

HOWEVER, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE ARE AWARE OF IS THAT, UM, THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL, AS WELL AS THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF, UM, HELP THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, UM, HAS PUT IN PLACE A PLAN.

AND THAT PLAN, UM, HAS FOUR PHASES.

AND WITHIN THOSE FOUR PHASES, UM, WE ARE PRETTY SURE THAT WHEN THE INITIAL VACCINE IS AVAILABLE, IT IS GOING TO BE LIMITED AND IT IS GOING TO BE, UM, FOR FIRST RESPONDERS AND, UH, ESSENTIAL WORKERS.

OUR HOPE IS, IS THAT AS MORE VACCINE THAT COMES AVAILABLE, UM, WITH THE HELP OF OUR MEMBERS OF THE COALITION, WE WILL IDENTIFY WHICH SPECIFIC GROUPS THAT WE WANT TO PROVIDE THE VACCINE TO THE VACCINE IS OPTIONAL.

UM, BUT OUR HOPE IS, IS THAT, UM, WE WILL BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THE VACCINE TO THEM IN A SAFE MANNER, UM, AND THEY WILL BE WILLING TO ACCEPT THE VACCINE.

AND I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ADD THAT, UH, THE CURRENT VACCINE STRATEGY THAT HAS BEEN PUT BEFORE US BY CDC AND THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES IS VERY SIMILAR TO WHAT, UH, WE HAD HISTORICALLY SEEN WHEN H ONE N ONE VACCINE BECAME AVAILABLE AVAILABLE TO OUR COMMUNITY.

THERE ARE A FEW SUBTLE DIFFERENCES RELATED TO, UH, HOW THAT VACCINE IS STORED AND ALSO ABOUT, UH, WHETHER THERE WILL BE A ONE DOSE OR TWO DOSES REQUIRED FOR, UH, UH, THE PROPER LEVEL OF IMMUNITY.

UM, YOU KNOW, THE FIRST PHASE IS GOING TO BE CRITICAL.

I THINK AT THAT PHASE, WHAT WE LEARNED HISTORICALLY, UH, AND WHAT WE ANTICIPATE AND WHAT THE PLANS CURRENTLY INDICATE IS THAT THE VACCINE WILL LIKELY TRICKLE IN, IN THE FIRST PHASE.

AND SO THERE WILL BE LIMITED SUPPLY THAT WILL BE, UH, DISPENSE THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES AND TEXAS.

AND SO, UH, ONE GOAL OF THE VACCINE COALITION IS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE THOSE HARD DISCUSSIONS ABOUT WHO WE PRIORITIZE VACCINE FOR.

AND SO WE'RE FOLLOWING THAT GUIDANCE THAT'S BEEN PROVIDED TO US, BUT WE ALSO RECOGNIZE EVEN IF THERE ARE PRIORITY POPULATIONS IDENTIFIED AS PRIORITIES, THAT WE MAY HAVE TO DO SOME ADDITIONAL SUB, YOU KNOW, PRIORITIZATION WITHIN THOSE GROUPS TO MAKE SURE.

AND I THINK ONE OF THE GOALS OF OUR COALITION IS TO MAKE SURE THAT

[00:20:01]

THERE'S AN, YOU KNOW, COLLABORATION AGREEMENT AND UNDERSTANDING ABOUT HOW THOSE DECISIONS ARE MADE.

THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM THE TEXAS TRIBUNE OR THE AREA HOSPITALS ACCEPTING TRANSFER PATIENTS NOW.

AND IF SO, FROM WHERE, WAIT, WE HAVE NOT BEEN ADVISED OF, UH, ANY PARTICULAR TRANSFERS FROM, UH, FROM EL PASO AT THIS STAGE.

I KNOW THAT OUR HOSPITAL SYSTEMS, UH, AS, AS WELL AS THE REST OF THE METROPOLITAN JURISDICTIONS HAVE BEEN IN DISCUSSION WITH THE CITY OF EL PASO, UH, TO, TO COORDINATE RESOURCES, I WOULD CERTAINLY KNOW THAT SOME RESOURCES FROM AUSTIN HAVE BEEN SENT TO EL PASO, PARTICULARLY, UH, MEDICAL PERSONNEL, UH, TO HELP, UH, SUPPORT THEIR PATIENTS IN THEIR SURGE ACTIVITIES.

UM, BUT I'M NOT AWARE OF ANY, UH, PATIENTS BEING RECEIVED IN THE LOCAL JURISDICTION FROM EL PASO.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM WITH WINTER APPROACHING.

WHAT ROLE DOES THE WEATHER PLAN COVID-19 TRANSMISSIONS? UM, SO ONE THING THAT WINTER WEATHER PLAYS IS THAT AS TEMPERATURES BECOME COOLER, UH, IT CAN ALLOW THE VACCINE OR THE VIRUS TO BE MORE VIABLE OR LIVE LONGER IN A CERTAIN TYPES OF CONDITIONS.

THEY TEND TO THRIVE IN COLDER, DRIER WEATHER.

UH, ANOTHER HUGE FACTOR THAT WINTER PLAYS IS THAT, UH, PEOPLE TEND TO GO INSIDE RATHER THAN STAYING OUTSIDE, WHERE THERE'S FRESH AIR AND CIRCULATION.

THEY TEND TO GO INTO AN INDOOR AIR ENVIRONMENT.

UH, THAT'S MORE CONFINED AND, AND WINDOWS ARE SEALED.

SO, UH, IF YOU BECOME SICK, UH, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE IN THAT CONFINED SPACE, UH, IT CAN IMPROVE THE DISEASE TRANSMISSION RISK.

I WILL SAY THAT, UM, WELL, A COUPLE OF THINGS, NUMBER ONE, UH, YOU KNOW, THERE IS SOME CONCERN THAT, THAT AS THE ARROGANCE DRYER, IT DRIES OUT THE MUCUS MEMBRANES, WHICH MAY MAKE THE BODY MORE VULNERABLE TO, TO VIRAL INFECTION, BUT REGARDING THE, YOU KNOW, THE, THE CONGREGATION THEORY, WHICH, YOU KNOW, NORMALLY HAPPENS IN WINTER, WE S WE NORMALLY HAVE FLU AND FLU SPREADS VERY EASILY, UH, DURING THE WINTER MONTHS.

BUT I WILL SAY THAT THAT WHEN WE LOOK AT AUSTRALIA WHO JUST FINISHED THEIR WINTER AND DID NOT SEE THAT THEY HAD RECORD LOW INFLUENZA SEASON, AND THEY WERE EFFECTIVELY ABLE TO SUPPRESS COVID-19 TRANSMISSION, UH, IN FACT, THE TRAVIS COUNTY HAS HAD, UH, MORE CASES OR SIMILAR NUMBER OF CASES TO THE ENTIRE COUNTRY OF AUSTRALIA, BECAUSE THEY'VE DONE A GREAT JOB OF, OF, UH, OF CONTROLLING TRANSMISSION.

UH, SO IT'S NOT REAL CLEAR IF YOU KNOW, HOW THE WINTER IS GOING TO IMPACT US, UH, IN, IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE.

UH, THE FACT THAT THAT FOLKS CONGREGATE IS A CONCERN, BUT IF FOLKS ARE CONGREGATING ONLY WITH THEIR HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS, UH, AND IT IS DISCOURAGING FOLKS BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER FROM CONGREGATING WITH PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD, THAT WE MAY SEE A PROTECTIVE FROM THE WINTER MONTHS.

THE, THE OTHER THING WE WOULD REALLY STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU IS DURING THIS TIME, INDIVIDUALS WILL START TO HAVE SYMPTOMS. UM, SO WHETHER IT IS SYMPTOMS, YOU KNOW, THAT YOU MAY FEEL ALWAYS MY ALLERGIES OR, UM, I, YOU KNOW, I'M SNEEZING, I'M COUGHING.

UM, I HAVE A HEADACHE OR SORE THROAT.

UM, WHENEVER INDIVIDUALS DEVELOP SYMPTOMS, IT IS GOING TO BE IMPORTANT FOR US TO, TO GO AHEAD AND GET A, A COVID TEST.

UM, WE HAVE OUR, UM, OPERATIONS WILL CONTINUE TO BE OPEN.

UM, AND SO INDIVIDUALS CAN GO ONLINE AND SCHEDULE THAT TEST.

UM, BUT BECAUSE YOU REALLY WANT TO RULE OUT THAT YOU HAVE COVID-19, UM, AND THEN YOU MAY DETERMINE THAT I HAVE THE FLU, BUT YOU DEFINITELY WANT TO MAKE SURE WITH THE COLDER TEMPERATURES, WE DO START TO SEE MORE SYMPTOMS AS INDIVIDUALS.

I JUST WANT TO ADD SOME EMPHASIS ON, ON WHAT DIRECTOR HAYDEN JUST SAID.

IF YOU HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 SORE THROAT, COUGH, FATIGUE, CHANGE IN YOUR SMELL AND TASTE, NAUSEA,

[00:25:01]

VOMITING, DIARRHEA, ANY OF THOSE THINGS.

AND THERE'S MANY OTHER SYMPTOMS. IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THEM, YOU MUST ASSUME THAT YOU HAVE COVID-19 UNTIL YOU CAN PROVE THAT IT'S NOT WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN, FOLKS WHO THOUGHT THEY JUST HAD A SORE THROAT, OR THAT THEY JUST HAD A COLD, OR JUST THEIR ALLERGIES OR THEIR REGULAR HEADACHE.

AND THEN THEY WENT ABOUT THE REGULAR ACTIVITIES AND THEY INFECTED THEIR FAMILY AND THEIR FRIENDS.

SO PLEASE, PLEASE ASSUME THAT IT'S, COVID GET A TEST.

YOU CAN GET A TEST, USUALLY WITHIN 24 HOURS, UH, THERE'S TESTING AVAILABLE AT PHARMACIES.

NOW DOCTOR'S OFFICES, HOSPITALS, AND CERTAINLY THROUGH AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, UH, THE RESOURCES OUT THERE IT'S MUCH EASIER AND MUCH MORE CONVENIENT TO GET TESTING RIGHT NOW.

SO PLEASE DO THAT AND PLEASE PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM THE STATESMAN.

IF AUSTIN AREA DOES SEE A SPIKE IN NOVEMBER OR DECEMBER, WHAT ACTIONS WILL YOU ADVISE THE CITY AND COUNTY TO TAKE? SHOULD THE AREA GO BACK INTO A SHUTDOWN? WELL, I THINK WE HAVE TO, YOU KNOW, RESPOND BASED ON THE SITUATION.

MY HOPE IS THAT THAT WE CAN AVOID ANOTHER SHUTDOWN.

UH, WE HAVE, UH, IMPLEMENTED STRATEGIES IN OUR BUSINESS COMMUNITY HAS BEEN ENGAGED IN THAT PROCESS.

UH, THEY HAVE PUT IN RULES AND REQUIRE MASKING AND IN THE DISTANCING OF TABLES AT RESTAURANTS, WE HAVE PLEXIGLASS PARTITIONS EVERYWHERE IN GROCERY STORES AND IN RESTAURANTS AS WELL.

WE CAN DO THINGS SAFER THAN WE COULD BACK IN MARCH AND APRIL, BUT IF THE SITUATION WORSENS, UH, I THINK IT'S RIGHT FOR US TO LOOK AT HOW WE CAN REDUCE RISKS THAT COULD INCLUDE REDUCING OCCUPANCY OF THE BUILDINGS OF RESTAURANTS, UH, REDUCING OCCUPANCY OF SCHOOLS OR CLOSING INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS AS NECESSARY.

UH, ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE STILL ON THE TABLE.

UH, IS IT POSSIBLE THAT WE WOULD REACH A SITUATION WHERE WE WOULD NEED TO DO A COMMUNITY WIDE LOCKDOWN? YES, IT'S POSSIBLE.

UM, BUT AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN SAID EARLIER, IT'S UP TO ALL OF US.

IT IS OUR CHOICE AS A COMMUNITY.

IF WE ALLOW THINGS TO GET TO THAT STAGE AND LOOKING AT WHERE WE'VE BEEN AND, AND THE SITUATIONS THAT WE'VE GONE THROUGH THE SUMMER, I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THIS COMMUNITY WOULD ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN.

I BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE ARE RESPONDING VERY WELL TO THE INFORMATION THAT'S BEING SHARED BY PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS LOCALLY AND ACROSS THE STATE.

AND THEY'RE RESPONDING APPROPRIATELY.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM K O O P RADIO NPR REPORTS THAT A YOUNG MEN IN NEVADA HAS ALREADY GOTTEN COVID TWICE STUDIES INDICATE THAT COVID ANTIBODIES HAVE A SHORT LIFE CYCLE THAT COULD IMPACT HERD IMMUNITY IS APH PLANNING A SHIFT IN ITS PUBLIC HEALTH FOCUS FROM VACCINATION HERD IMMUNITY TO LONG-TERM PREVENTION STRATEGIES LIKE THAT FOR THE FLU? WELL, I WILL SAY THERE, THERE'S STILL A LOT OF UNKNOWNS RELATED TO, TO IMMUNITY.

UH, WE KNOW FROM MANY OTHER INFECTIOUS DISEASES, THAT IMMUNITY IS VARIABLE.

UH, YOU KNOW, W WE TAKE, UH, IMMUNIZATIONS, FOR INSTANCE, SOME PEOPLE WILL GET THE REGULAR SCHEDULE OF IMMUNIZATIONS FOR THINGS LIKE MEASLES, AND SOME WILL BE VERY IMMUNE AND SOME WILL HAVE PARTIAL IMMUNITY.

SO THEY HAVE A MILD COURSE OF ILLNESS AND SOME HAVE NO IMMUNE RESPONSE AND THEN NEED TO RECEIVE BOOSTER SHOTS.

UH, NATURAL DISEASES IS THE SAME WAY.

SOME PEOPLE WILL HAVE COVID-19, THEY'LL HAVE A SIGNIFICANT CLINICAL COURSE AND THEY'LL HAVE STRONG IMMUNITY.

SOME WILL HAVE IMMUNITY TEMPORARILY THAT WANES OVER TIME.

AND OTHERS, PARTICULARLY THOSE WHO HAVE A MILD OR ASYMPTOMATIC COURSE MAY NOT HAVE ANY SIGNIFICANT IMMUNITY AS A RESULT OF THAT.

SO I THINK THERE'S STILL A LOT TO LEARN ABOUT IMMUNITY ASSOCIATED WITH COVID-19, BUT CERTAINLY I THINK THAT, THAT WE DO NEED TO TAKE A LESSON FROM, UH, PROMOTING THE EXPERIENCE WITH COVID-19 AND CERTAINLY FLU AND TALK ABOUT AS A COMMUNITY, HOW GOING FORWARD, WE CAN MAKE SOME OF THESE PROTECTIONS PART OF OUR NORMAL AND INCREASED TRANSMISSION, NOT ONLY OF COVID-19, BUT INFLUENZA AND OTHER INFECTIOUS DISEASES.

WE ALSO WANT TO JUST EMPHASIZE THAT, YOU KNOW, WE'VE, WE'VE RECEIVED THE FLU VACCINE EVERY YEAR, EVERY YEAR THAT VACCINE IMPROVES.

[00:30:02]

AND SO IT'S GOING TO BE SO IMPORTANT FOR INDIVIDUALS NOW TO GET THAT FLU VACCINE, THE VACCINE IS WIDELY AVAILABLE.

SO WHETHER YOU ARE UNINSURED OR UNDER INSURED, OR IF YOU HAVE INSURANCE, UM, THE OPPORTUNITIES TO, TO GET THE FLU VACCINE, IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT THAT EVERYONE WE KNOW, GET THE VACCINE.

THE OTHER THING THAT I WOULD ENCOURAGE IS IS THAT IF YOU HAVE THREE OR FOUR FRIENDS, AND IF YOU WANT TO REACH OUT TO THEM AND SAY, I WENT OVER TO THE PHARMACY AND I RECEIVED MY FLU VACCINE, HAVE YOU RECEIVED YOURS AND CONTINUE TO TALK WITH THEM ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF THEM GETTING THEIR FLU VACCINE? BECAUSE OUR GOAL IS TO THEN OUR COMMUNITY, WE WANT A HUNDRED PERCENT COMPLIANCE.

IF WE CAN GET IT, WE WANT AS MANY PEOPLE TO RECEIVE THEIR FLU SEAT, THEIR FLU VACCINE, AS WE CAN GET IN OUR COMMUNITY, BECAUSE WHAT WE DON'T WANT TO SEE US, CAUSE WE DON'T WANT THE, THE, UM, HOSPITALS TO BE OVERRUN BY INDIVIDUALS THAT HAVE FLU AND COVID VACCINE AND COVID AS WELL.

WELL, LET ME JUST RESPOND TO THAT ALSO, AND SAY, A HUNDRED YEARS AGO, INFLUENZA KILLED.

I PERCENT OF THE POPULATION OF THE PLANET, THE ABILITY TO VACCINATE AGAINST FLU IS LITERALLY ONE OF THE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS IN HUMAN HISTORY.

AND WE HAVE TO TREAT THE VACCINE LIKE THAT.

GET YOUR FLU SHOT.

IT IS A MILD MIRACLE THAT WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO CREATE THAT VACCINE LET'S TREAT IT LIKE THAT.

WE'RE GOING TO MOVE ON TO QUESTION NUMBER TWO.

THIS IS FROM MY STATION UNIVISION, HOW WILL HALLOWEEN PARTY CELEBRATIONS BE CONTROLLED? WILL PEOPLE BE FINE? ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO AS WE HAVE THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS IS WE HAVE PUT TOGETHER OUR CITY OF AUSTIN TEAM, WHICH IS CALLED THE PACE TEAM, WHICH IS, UM, UH, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH STAFF FROM AUSTIN, PUBLIC HEALTH, UM, AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT, THE FIRE MARSHALL, AS WELL AS CODE ENFORCEMENT.

UM, THOSE STAFF ARE GOING TO BE OUT.

SO WHENEVER WE, UM, FIND THAT THERE IS AN EVENT GOING ON, UM, WE WILL BE CHECKING FOR THE CAPACITY TO ENSURE THAT FOLKS ARE NOT OVER THE CAPACITY.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, OUR STAFF BE EMPHASIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL DISTANCING AND WEARING YOUR FACE COVERING.

AND SO DURING THAT TIME, WE WILL DEFINITELY HAVE OUR ENFORCEMENT STAFF OUT TO PROVIDE THOSE OPPORTUNITIES.

AND I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ADD IF, UH, WE DON'T NECESSARILY RECOMMEND SOCIAL GATHERINGS AT THIS POINT.

HOWEVER, IF YOU DO CHOOSE TO GATHER, UH, AND PARTICIPATE IN ACTIVITIES, YOU NEED TO BE PERSONALLY AWARE OF THOSE PREVENTION MEASURES THAT ARE GOING TO, UM, PROTECT YOU FROM EXP EXPOSURE RISK TO COVID OR THE FLU.

UH, YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE SOCIALLY DISTANCING.

UH, YOU NEED TO BE SURE THAT YOU ARE WEARING YOUR MASK.

UM, AND YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE SICK, YOU SHOULD BE STAYING HOME.

UH, THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION SAYS YOU SHOULD FOLLOW THE THREE CS.

YOU SHOULD AVOID CROWDS.

YOU SHOULD AVOID CONFINED SPACES AND YOU SHOULD COVER YOUR FACE.

SO I WOULD RECOMMEND THAT YOU FOLLOW THOSE THINGS IF YOU SO CHOOSE TO PARTICIPATE IN HALLOWEEN GATHERINGS.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM CBS, AUSTIN.

WHAT IS THE LATEST TIMELINE FOR CONTACT TRACING IN THE AUSTIN AREA? IN EL PASO? THERE ARE REPORTS IT'S TAKEN AS LONG AS 10 DAYS.

WHAT IS THE TIMEFRAME HERE? SO, UH, WE ARE CONDUCTING CONTACT TRACING IN THE AUSTIN AREA.

I'M NOT SURE EXACTLY, UH, WHAT THE QUESTION IS SPECIFICALLY, UH, ASKING, BUT WE HAVE BEEN DOING CONTACT TRACING, UH, IN THE AUSTIN AREA.

WE HAVE HIRED, UH, CLOSE TO A 60 PEOPLE TO, UH, CONDUCT CASE INVESTIGATION, WHICH INCLUDES THAT INITIAL TO YOUR CONTACT TRACING.

WE'VE ALSO, UH, ENTERED INTO INTER-LOCAL AGREEMENTS WITH UT DELL MEDICAL SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY HERE AND CENTRAL HEALTH TO, TO ASSIST US IN SOME OF THOSE EFFORTS.

UH, AND THEY'VE BEEN DOING A REALLY GREAT JOB WITH THAT.

UM,

[00:35:01]

SO, UM, YOU KNOW, I THINK WHAT HAPPENS IS, UM, WHEN, WHEN YOU HAVE WIDESPREAD COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION, UH, SOMETIMES CONTACT TRACING IS NOT EFFECTIVE UNLESS YOU'RE ABLE TO GET, UH, CASES IMMEDIATELY.

WHAT WE EXPERIENCED BACK IN JUNE AND JULY IS WE HAD SO MANY CASES THAT WE WERE INVESTIGATING.

YOU NEED TO DO THE INITIAL CASE INVESTIGATION TO EVEN BE ABLE TO GET THOSE CONTRACTS.

SO, UH, BY THE TIME WE WERE EVEN GETTING OUR CASE INFORMATION, UH, THE TEST RESULTS WERE LAGGING SUCH THAT, UH, THAT INFECTIOUS PERIOD WAS OVER FOR MANY CASES.

SO CONTACT TRACING UH, IS JUST NOT EFFECTIVE AT THAT POINT.

BUT, UM, NOW THAT WE WERE KIND OF IN A SLOWER PERIOD, WE'VE REGAINED AND RESUMED THOSE ACTIVITIES AND, UH, WE'LL CONTINUE TO DO SO UNLESS WE HAVE ANOTHER POSSIBLE SURGE.

AWESOME.

WANT TO, TO JUMP IN AND MENTION THE GREAT PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

UH, ANYTIME WE HAVE A CASE THAT IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SCHOOL, OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE INVOLVED IN THE CONTACT TRACING WITHIN THE SCHOOL ITSELF TO IDENTIFY STUDENTS, FACULTY, STAFF, WHO MAY BE CLOSE CONTACT.

UH, SO THAT'S INCREDIBLY VALUABLE PARTNERSHIP.

AND WE CERTAINLY APPRECIATE THE SUPPORT OF ALL OF OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN THAT, UH, IN THAT EFFORT.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM KX A N HOW OFTEN ARE PEOPLE GETTING SICK IN ONE OFF ISOLATED EVENT VERSUS SUPER SPREADER EVENTS, WHICH ARE MORE CONCERNING TO ME, THEY'RE BOTH CONCERNING.

SO, UH, WE'RE SEEING TRANSMISSION IN BOTH AREAS.

UH, THERE ARE EVENTS THAT PEOPLE, I THINK WHAT YOU SEE HAPPENING IN EVENT, LARGER SOCIAL GATHERINGS AND EVENTS ARE YOU ARE, UH, SEEING PEOPLE WHO, UH, ARE EXPERIENCING PANDEMIC FATIGUE OR PANDEMIC ANGER FOR THAT MATTER.

AND THEY'RE JUST LIKE, I'M GOING TO STILL HAVE MY EVENT NO MATTER WHAT, UH, I DON'T, I DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES, BUT THEY SHOULD BE CARING ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES BECAUSE WE HAVE SEEN TIME AND TIME AGAIN, WHERE PEOPLE HOST EVENTS AND THEY THINK INNOCENTLY THAT IT'S NOT GOING TO HAVE AN IMPACT.

AND THERE, THERE, THERE HAVE BEEN A LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPOSED AS A RESULT OF THAT EVENT OCCURRING.

UH, AGAIN, UM, IF YOU ATTEND EVENTS LIKE THAT, YOU NEED TO BE MINDFUL ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL SPACE AND BE USING, UH, PERSONAL PROTECTION, UH, SO THAT YOU REDUCE YOUR TRANSMISSION RISKS.

UH, ESPECIALLY IF THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE IN THAT, AT THAT EVENT WHO ARE NOT DOING SO, BUT, UH, A LOT OF TIMES THESE EVENTS OCCUR AND PEOPLE GET THEIR GUARD DOWN.

THEY THINK THEY'RE IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT BECAUSE THEY KNOW SOMEONE.

UM, BUT JUST BECAUSE YOU KNOW, SOMEONE AND I THINK DIRECTOR HAYDEN HAS ALLUDED TO THIS EARLIER IS THAT, UH, IF SOME OF THESE OUT IS OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD, EVEN IF THEY'RE YOUR, A GOOD FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER, UH, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THEIR EXPOSURE RISK IS.

UH, AND SO ANYTIME YOU INTRODUCE THEM INTO YOUR SPACE, UH, YOU RUN THE GREAT RISK OF, UH, EXPOSING YOURSELF TO COVID AND TO FLU.

I THINK THIS IS OUR LAST QUESTION, AND IT COMES FROM K O O P RADIO.

DOES THE APH QUARANTINE FACILITY REQUIRE THAT PEOPLE HAVE COVID-19 IN ORDER TO QUARANTINE THERE? OR CAN THEY ALSO DO IT AS A PREVENTIVE QUARANTINE, ESPECIALLY FOR VISITING WITH FAMILY, FOR THE HOLIDAYS? UH, THE ISOLATION FACILITY THAT WE CURRENTLY OPERATING IS DESIGNED TO, UH, ALLOW PEOPLE WHO ARE BOTH CASES.

SO THOSE WHO ARE ILL WITH COVID AS A PLACE TO, UH, YOU KNOW, WAY OUT THERE, UH, ISOLATION PERIOD, BUT IT IS ALSO AVAILABLE FOR THOSE WHO YOU WOULD LIKE TO QUARANTINE, UH, TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY HAVE THE ABILITY, IF THEY CANNOT DO THAT SAFELY IN THEIR HOME, IT IS AVAILABLE, UH, FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO MEET THE 14 DAY PERIOD, UH, TO QUARANTINE, IF THEY'VE BEEN EXPOSED OR, UM, YOU KNOW, UH, MAKE SURE THAT THEY'RE, THEY'RE, UH, SAFELY ABLE TO QUARANTINE.

OKAY.

THAT FACILITY IS, UM, IS STILL OPEN.

UM, IT IS AN ASSET IN OUR COMMUNITY.

WE ENCOURAGE INDIVIDUALS, UM, TO REACH OUT TO THREE,

[00:40:01]

ONE, ONE, IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED OR YOU NEED TO, UM, ISOLATE OR QUARANTINE, WE HAVE ROOM.

SO PLEASE REACH OUT TO THREE, ONE, ONE, AND USE THAT ASSET IN OUR COMMUNITY.

THANK YOU, KARA MAE FOR REPRESENTING OUR MEDIA.

THANK YOU, PANEL MEMBERS.

IF THERE ARE ANY LAST REMARKS, WE WILL START WITH DIRECTOR HAYDEN.

I WOULD LIKE TO ENCOURAGE INDIVIDUALS TO FIND NEW BUTTONS, TO FIND A NEW TRADITIONS, NEW TRADITIONS THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY CAN CREATE.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MAKE IT THROUGH THIS WEEKEND? I KNOW INDIVIDUALS HAVE DECIDED TO TAKE THEIR FAMILY CAMPING.

UM, THEY'VE LOOKED AT, YOU KNOW, DR.

SCOTT HAS THIS MIATA.

WE HAVE STAFF THAT HAVE PURCHASED A PIN, YADA AS WELL, AND YOU CAN GET YOUR FRUSTRATIONS OUT BY BEATING ON THIS PIN THERE EITHER.

THE OTHER THING THAT IS IMPORTANT FOR US, AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION.

WHAT TYPE OF BEHAVIOR ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO THIS WEEKEND? AND FOR THE REST, THE YEAR TO KEEP US SAFE, AUSTIN, YOU HAVE BEEN A TRENDSETTER.

WE HAVE BEEN A PLACE WHERE MOST PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE.

WE LIVE HERE, LET'S TAKE CARE OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY LESS WEAR A FACE, COVERING LESS SOCIAL DISTANCE, LESS WASH OUR HANDS OFTEN.

AND IF YOU ARE SICK OR ILL, PLEASE TAKE A COVID TEST.

WE HAVE TESTING AVAILABLE AND IT IS FREE.

SO THAT IS A GOOD FREE, SO PLEASE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR TESTING IT'S FLU SEASON.

PLEASE GET YOUR FLU VACCINE, AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV, BACKSLASH FLU.

PLEASE SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH US.

IF YOU HAVE INSURANCE, GO ONLINE, LOOK AT WHERE YOU CAN GO FOR YOUR FLU VACCINE AND GET YOUR FLU TEST AS SOON AS, AND GET YOUR FLU VACCINE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

I'LL TURN IT OVER TO DR.

SCOTT.

THANK YOU, STEPHANIE.

AND, UM, I'M, I'M A LITTLE JEALOUS OF, UH, OF YOUR COVID-19 KENYATTA.

UM, BUT IN ALL SERIOUSNESS, IT'S, IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN HAS SAID BEFORE TO MODIFY OUR HOLIDAY TRADITIONS SO THAT WE CAN DO THINGS SAFER AND THAT WE CAN KEEP OUR, OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS SAY, UH, WE'VE GOT A BIG RISK COMING UP THIS WEEKEND WITH HALLOWEEN.

UH, IF WE ARE TO RISK OUT OF HALLOWEEN, WE ARE GOING TO SUFFER AT THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS.

UH, SO IT'S UP TO ALL OF US TO DO THINGS A BIT SAFER.

IF WE CHOOSE TO ENGAGE IN ACTIVITIES AS JANET PICHETTE SAID EARLIER, THERE ARE WAYS TO DO THOSE THINGS SAFER, HIS GUT OR AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV/ COVID-19 WEBSITE, LEARN TIPS ON, ON HOW TO AVOID RISKS THIS FOLLOWING.

AND WHILE I DON'T HAVE A PIN, YADA, I DO HAVE A MASK.

SO PLEASE REMEMBER TO WEAR YOUR MASK.

UH, IF YOU'RE OUT AND ABOUT, UH, IT'S, IT'S ONE OF THOSE PROVEN PREVENTION MEASURES THAT WILL PROTECT YOU FROM COVID AND OTHER RESPIRATORY ILLNESSES, SUCH AS FLU.

UH, AGAIN, IT'S, UH, DIRECTOR HAYDEN AND DR.

S SCOTT HAVE MENTIONED, YOU KNOW, WE KNOW WHAT THINGS WILL REDUCE TRANSMISSION RISKS, AND THAT'S ONE WEARING THIS MASK, AVOID TOUCHING YOUR FACE, UH, SOCIALLY DISTANCE.

AND IF YOU'RE SICK BY ALL MEANS, STAY HOME.

UH, AND DON'T SPREAD THE DISEASE TO SOMEONE WHO INNOCENTLY MAYBE, UH, NEAR YOU, AND I'LL LEAVE IT AT THAT HAPPY HALLOWEEN.

THANK YOU, PANEL MEMBERS THAT CONCLUDES OUR MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR TODAY.

THANK YOU TO APH DIRECTOR, STEPHANIE HAYDEN, DR.

MARK, SCOTT, AND EPIDEMIOLOGISTS, AND TO OUR POOR REPORTER.

KAREN MAY HERNANDEZ FROM UNIVERSITY ON FOR JOINING US TODAY.

THANK YOU, AND HAVE A SAFE DAY.

.

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