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[00:00:10]

GOOD MORNING,

[COVID-19: Press Q & A]

I'M MARK ALBRIGHT, AND I'LL BE THE MODERATOR FOR TODAY'S MEDIA AVAILABILITY TO START AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR.

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

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

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

GOOD MORNING.

I WANT TO START BY SAYING THAT TESTING IS AVAILABLE IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

WE HAVE OUR, UM, DRIVE INSIGHT THAT YOU CAN.

IF YOU GO ONTO TO THE WEBSITE AND ACCESS THE WEBSITE AND CREATE THAT ACCOUNT, IF YOU DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET, PLEASE CONTACT OUR NURSES.

YOU CAN REACH OUT TO THREE, ONE, ONE, AND THEY WILL GET YOU CONNECTED.

WELL, WE DEFINITELY HAVE TESTING AVAILABLE.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED OR YOU HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS, PLEASE REACH OUT AND TAKE A TEST.

WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF FLU SEASON.

SO IT IS GOING TO BE VERY IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO JOIN THE REST OF US WHO HAVE RECEIVED OUR FOOD VACCINE.

IT IS IMPORTANT AS A COMMUNITY THAT WE TAKE THIS POSITIVE STEP AND KEEP, UM, FLU ERADICATED AS MUCH AS WE CAN IN OUR COMMUNITY.

THE LAST THING I'D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT IS IT'S OPEN ENROLLMENT, OPEN ENROLLMENT, UM, OPEN, UM, NOVEMBER 1ST, AND IT WILL GO THROUGH DECEMBER 15TH.

IF YOU NEED TO MAKE ANY CHANGES TO YOUR CURRENT POLICY OR YOU DON'T HAVE INSURANCE.

OUR GOAL IS, IS THAT WE WANT AS MANY PEOPLE IN TRAVIS COUNTY TO, UM, GET INSURANCE.

AND THEN YOU CAN GO SEE A PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN AND ESTABLISH A MEDICAL HOME.

YOU CAN REACH OUT TO FOUNDATION COMMUNITIES AND WORK ON THAT PROCESS YOU HAVE UNTIL DECEMBER 15TH.

AT THIS TIME, I'M GOING TO TURN IT OVER TO DR.

SCOTT AT DESCO.

THANK YOU, STEPHANIE.

UH, THIS MORNING, I WANT TO TALK ABOUT OUR INCREASE IN CASES.

UH, WE HAVE SEEN A SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE IN OUR CASE NUMBERS OVER THE PAST MONTH IN PARTICULAR OVER THE PAST WEEK.

BUT YESTERDAY WE REPORTED OUR MOVING AVERAGE OF NEW CASES AT 135 THAT WHEN WE LOOK BACK AT THE LOW POINT, FOLLOWING OUR SURGE, THAT WAS ON OCTOBER 4TH WHEN WE HAD 64.

UH, SO IT'S MORE THAN DOUBLED, UH, IN A LITTLE OVER A MONTH.

OUR ADMISSIONS INCREASED TO 25 ON THE MOVING AVERAGE, WHICH ALSO IS UP MORE THAN A HUNDRED PERCENT FROM OUR LOW ON OCTOBER.

THE FOURTH HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE MOVING AVERAGE YESTERDAY.

WE REPORTED AT 129, WHICH IS UP 67% FROM OCTOBER THE FOURTH.

AND OUR ICU ADMISSIONS, UH, ARE 45, WHICH IS AGAIN, MORE THAN DOUBLED FROM OUR LOW ON OCTOBER 2ND.

NOW WE HAVE SEEN A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN OUR POSITIVITY AS WELL.

LAST WEEK, OUR POSITIVITY WAS 5.2%, AND IT SEEMS TO BE WIDESPREAD ACROSS AGE GROUPS, AGE 10 TO 59.

AND ALL OF WHICH RIGHT NOW ARE OVER 5%.

UH, SO WE HAVE SIGNIFICANT INCREASES IN TRANSMISSION, WHICH MEANS THAT WE HAVE TO, UH, REENERGIZE OUR EFFORTS TO ACT IN PROTECTIVE WAYS, THE MASKING, THE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND THE PERSONAL HYGIENE.

IT'S IMPORTANT.

NOW THAT WE DON'T PUT A LID BACK ON THIS, THAT WE DRIVE THE NUMBERS BACK DOWN IN ADVANCE OF THANKSGIVING NOW, WHICH RIGHT NOW THE PROJECTIONS ARE SHOWING IS GOING TO CONTINUE TO GET WORSE NOW.

BUT AGAIN, THOSE ARE PROJECTIONS.

THEY'RE NOT FORECASTS.

AND WE STILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO TURN THIS AROUND.

GOOD MORNING.

UM, I JUST WANTED TO BRING UP A FEW THINGS TO KIND OF TAG ONTO WHAT DR.

S SCOTT WAS SAYING IS THAT WE ARE DEFINITELY CONCERNED ABOUT THE INCREASING NUMBER OF CASES THAT WE'RE SEEING ON A DAILY BASIS.

UM, BASED ON SOME OF OUR CASE INVESTIGATION, UH, WE'RE ABLE TO IDENTIFY, UH, AND BEGINNING TO SEE THE IMPACT OF HALLOWEEN GATHERINGS, UH, ON OUR COMMUNITY.

AND I'M SURE MANY OF YOU'VE SEEN PICTURES OF ACTIVITIES THAT TOOK PLACE DOWN ON SIXTH STREET ON HALLOWEEN, AND A LOT OF PEOPLE GATHERING.

UM, BUT AS, AS DR ESKOM MENTIONED, UH,

[00:05:01]

WE NEED TO REALLY DRIVE HOME OUR PREVENTION RELATED TO COVID-19, AND THAT IS MAKING SURE THAT YOU WEAR A MASK.

YOU NEED TO WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY AND AVOID TOUCHING YOUR FACE.

YOU NEED TO BE SURE THAT YOU SOCIAL DISTANCE, AND IF YOU'RE SICK BY ALL MEANS, STAY HOME AND AVOID EXPOSING OTHERS TO, UH, YOUR SYMPTOMS THAT YOU MAY BE EXPERIENCING.

UH, AGAIN, UM, I'D LIKE TO ALSO REEMPHASIZE THE ROLE OF PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, AND THAT IS IF YOU DO HEAD OUT AND HAVE TO DO YOUR GROCERY SHOPPING, OR, UM, MUST BE OUT AND ABOUT, YOU SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE MAKING SURE THAT PEOPLE ARE KEEPING THE DISTANCE FROM YOU.

YOU NEED TO, UH, PLACE THOSE PREVENTION MEASURES IN PLACE AND, AND MAKE SURE THAT, UH, YOU'RE KEEPING YOUR DISTANCE FOLKS AND YOU HAVE YOUR, YOUR SELF PROTECTED.

AND I THINK, YOU KNOW, THAT WILL HELP, UH, MINIMIZE THE RISK OF EXPOSURE.

THANK YOU NOW TO OUR POOR PORTER, BEST SULLIVAN FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

THANKS FOR BEING HERE WITH US TODAY.

AND THE FIRST QUESTION WE HAVE IS FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE LAST WEEK, AUSTIN ISD OPENED ITS CAMPUSES TO ACCOMMODATE ALL STUDENTS WHO WISH TO RETURN TO CAMPUS.

WHAT ARE YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT THE POSSIBLE IMPACT ON THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 AS MORE STUDENTS RETURNED IN PERSON INSTRUCTION? WELL, IN THE, IN THE GUIDANCE DOCUMENT THAT WE GENERATED OVER THE SUMMER, WE RECOMMENDED A MAXIMUM OF 50% OCCUPANCY OF SCHOOLS AT STAGE THREE AT RISK, WHICH WE ARE STILL IN A, OF COURSE, THAT WAS SUPERSEDED BY THE TA.

UH, AND YOU KNOW, LUCKILY RIGHT NOW IN OUR MEETINGS WITH OUR SUPERINTENDENTS ACROSS TRAVIS' COUNTING, WE UNDERSTAND THAT AROUND 50% OF, OF STUDENTS SOMETIMES LESS, SOMETIMES A LITTLE BIT MORE BY ELECTING FOR IN-PERSON EDUCATION.

SO I THINK AS LONG AS WE STAY CLOSE TO THAT 50%, IT'S GOING TO HELP TO, TO KEEP SCHOOLS SAFE.

UH, AS WE INCREASE NUMBERS OF INDIVIDUALS IN SCHOOLS, BEYOND THAT, IT'S GOING TO BE DIFFICULT FOR OUR SCHOOLS TO, UH, TO MAINTAIN THE SOCIAL DISTANCING PRACTICES THAT ARE CURRENTLY IN PLACE AND ABLE TO BE ACHIEVED IN A LOWER NUMBERS OF STUDENTS.

BUT AGAIN, IN NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES ARE MANY OF OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE CROWDED.

UH, SO WE DO NEED TO AVOID THAT CROWDING IN ORDER TO KEEP THE SCHOOLS AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE.

AND I'LL JUST ADD THAT OUR SCHOOL'S CLUSTER TEAM HAS BEEN WORKING VERY CLOSELY WITH SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO MAKE SURE THAT THEIR PLANS ARE IN PLACE AND EFFECTIVE, THAT THEY'RE REPORTING INTO US AND PROVIDING ANY TYPE OF TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE THAT THEY MAY NEED.

I FEEL LIKE THE PLANS THAT THEY HAVE IN PLACE ARE PRETTY S UH, PRETTY GOOD, UH, WHERE WE'RE SEEING CONTINUED TRANSMISSION OF DISEASE IS IN THOSE SITUATIONS WHERE, UH, FOLKS ARE CONTINUING TO HAVE SOCIAL GATHERINGS OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL, LIKE HOSTING A PARTY, UH, OR IT COULD BE RELATED TO ATHLETICS OF SOME SORTS.

SO IN THOSE SITUATIONS, UM, UH, THAT'S WHERE WE'RE TENDING, TENDING TO SEE.

BUT AGAIN, WE ARE WORKING VERY CLOSELY WITH THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO MAKE SURE THAT, UH, WE INTERVENE AND PROVIDE ASSISTANCE WHERE WE CAN SO THEY CAN REDUCE THEIR, UH, TRANSMISSION RISKS.

THE NEXT QUESTION WE HAVE IS FROM CVS, AUSTIN, PFIZER SAYS IT HAS A VACCINE THAT COULD BE 90% EFFECTIVE AGAINST CORONAVIRUS.

HOW QUICKLY DO YOU THINK THE VACCINE CAN MAKE ITS WAY TO CENTRAL TEXAS FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS, AND THEN FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC? WELL, FIRST LET ME SAY THAT THE, WELL, THE NEWS FROM PFIZER'S ENCOURAGING, WE HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT, UH, DETERMINING EFFICACY WHILE THE, THE STUDIES ARE STILL UNDERWAY.

UM, YOU KNOW, I, I, I'M CERTAINLY HOPEFUL THAT, THAT THE EVENTUAL EFFICACY WILL BE GREATER THAN 50%.

UH, I, UM, I WOULD HESITATE TO THINK THAT, THAT IT WOULD BE AS MUCH AS 90%, UH, BUT WE COULD GET LUCKY.

UH, HAVING SAID THAT, YOU KNOW, THE, THE TIMEFRAME REALLY DEPENDS ON, ON WHEN THE REST OF THE CASES ARE IDENTIFIED IN THE GROUP WHO IS, UH, UH, UNDER, UNDER THE STUDY.

UM, MY HOPE IS THAT BY THE END OF NOVEMBER OR EARLY DECEMBER, THAT ENROLLMENT WILL BE COMPLETE, THEY'LL HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE, UH,

[00:10:01]

WHO HAVE BECOME COVID-19 POSITIVE, UH, TO PROVIDE, UH, THE, THE END POINTS NEEDED TO, UH, TO DETERMINE THAT FINAL EFFICACY, UH, FOLLOWING THAT THEN THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY WILL, WILL NEED TO SEE THAT IN, IN PEER REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS, DON'T NEED TO BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO, UH, DISSECT THE INFORMATION AND THE DATA TO ENSURE THAT THEY, THE GREATER SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY OUTSIDE OF PFIZER, AGREES WITH THE CONCLUSIONS.

UH, AND THEN IT'S GOTTA BE DISTRIBUTED.

SO, YOU KNOW, WHILE DECEMBER LATE DECEMBER MAY STILL BE, UH, YOU KNOW, A PART OF THE TIMEFRAME THAT IS REASONABLE.

I THINK IT'S MORE LIKELY THAT IT'S GOING TO BE 20, 21 BEFORE WE SEE IT, UH, FOR OUR FIRST RESPONDERS AND HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS.

AND I'LL JUST SAY THAT WE DID, UH, WE DO PARTICIPATE, UH, BASICALLY WEEKLY TO PROVIDE AND GET UPDATES FROM THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT ON HOW A COVID VACCINE IS GOING TO ROLL OUT IN OUR COMMUNITY.

UM, AND SO WE'RE TRYING TO GET OURSELF AS READY AS WE CAN, UH, IN, UH, IN ANTICIPATION OF RECEIVING THAT VACCINE AND DEPLOYING IT AS EFFECTIVELY AS POSSIBLE.

UH, AS AN EXAMPLE, WE HAD A FLU VACCINE, A DRIVE-THROUGH POD OR POINTED DISPENSING, UH, TODAY OR NOT TODAY, WE HAD IT ON SATURDAY WHERE WE, UH, VACCINATED OVER 400 PEOPLE.

AND THE PURPOSE OF THAT, UH, DRIVE THROUGH, UH, POINT OF DISPENSING WAS TO SEE IF IT WOULD BE A, UH, A SUITABLE MODEL TO, UH, USE DURING COVID VACCINE.

AND WE FELT LIKE IT WENT VERY EFFECTIVE.

THERE WERE DEFINITELY LESSONS LEARNED FROM THAT, UH, DRY THROUGH EXERCISE, BUT WE TO PRACTICE AND REFINE SO THAT WHEN WE DO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DELIVER THE VACCINE TO THE COMMUNITY, WE CAN DO THIS TIMELY AND AS EFFICIENTLY AS POSSIBLE.

ONE THING I WOULD LIKE TO ADD, UM, WHAT JANET HAS STATED, UM, ABOUT OUR EXERCISE THIS WEEKEND, UM, WE THUS FAR HAVE, UM, DID THE LARGEST SCALE, UH, AT THE EXPO THIS WEEKEND WITH TOOLS AND DRIVE THROUGH, UM, EXERCISE.

AND THEN A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, WE DID A SMALLER SCALE EXERCISE, UM, AND OUR, UH, ONE OF OUR RECLAMATION TESTING SITES.

AND SO IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT FOR US AS A COMMUNITY, UM, TO WORK TOGETHER WITH OTHER PARTNERS.

UH, THE STATE OF TEXAS IS ENROLLING PARTNERS TO, UM, PROVIDE THE VACCINE.

WE HAVE, UH, ESTABLISHED A VACCINE, UM, DISTRIBUTION COALITION, UM, THAT MEETS A COUPLE OF TIMES A MONTH.

AND SO, UM, WITH THAT INPUT FROM THE COALITION, AS WELL AS WORKING WITH THE STATE, UM, IN, IN, UH, IN ALIGNMENT WITH THE INFORMATION THAT'S COMING FORM, THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL, UH, WE FEEL LIKE WE ARE GOING TO BE READY TO DISTRIBUTE THE VACCINE WHEN IT IS AVAILABLE.

SONIA ASKS WITH NEW CONFIRMED COVID CASE LOADS RISING ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

THERE ARE CONCERNS OF ILLUMING.

SECOND SURGE HAVE TESTING, SUPPLY CHAINS IMPROVED TO AVOID THE LONG WAIT TIMES AUSTIN SAW IN JUNE AND JULY.

SO LET ME, I'LL, I'LL START BY SAYING WE HAVE MORE TESTS AVAILABLE THAN, THAN PEOPLE WHO ARE, ARE SHOWING UP TO, TO BE TESTED.

UH, SO WE CERTAINLY ENCOURAGE FOLKS WHO ARE SYMPTOMATIC TO GET TESTED.

WE ENCOURAGE FOLKS WHO'VE BEEN ENGAGED IN ACTIVITIES OR SOCIAL DISTANCING AND MASKING WERE NOT FOLLOWED SUCH AS HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES, PROTESTS, OR CELEBRATIONS OF THE WEEKEND.

UH, THOSE THINGS ARE GOING TO INCREASE INDIVIDUAL'S RISKS OF BEING EXPOSED TO COVID-19 GET TESTED.

IT'S FREE, IT'S AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE.

UH, WE, WE CERTAINLY HAVE LOTS OF CAPACITY TO DO ADDITIONAL TESTING.

UM, IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW THAT, THAT WE WORK AND DO WHAT WE CAN TO AVOID A SECOND SURGE.

WAIT, WE DON'T HAVE TO HAVE A SECOND SURGE.

MY PREFERENCE IS THAT WE, WE SUPPRESS THE CASES ENOUGH TO BUY US MORE TIME UNTIL WE GET THE VACCINE IN PLACE.

UH, RIGHT NOW WE CAN CERTAINLY BE AT A TIME WHERE WHAT WE'RE SEEING IS THE BEGINNING OF A SECOND SEARCH, OR WE CAN CHOOSE TO BE VIGILANT AND PUSH THE NUMBERS DOWN AGAIN.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE ARE AT A SIMILAR SPOT TO WHERE WE WERE IN TERMS OF CASES WITH ACTIVE CASES, HOSPITALIZATIONS, ICU ADMISSIONS, TO ABOUT THE 17TH OF JUNE, WHEN WE'RE ON A SIGNIFICANT

[00:15:01]

UPWARD TREND.

UH, YOU KNOW, ABOUT TWO WEEKS BEFORE WE HIT OUR PEAK, THAT WE COULD BE THERE AGAIN, THAT'S WHERE WE CAN BE RIGHT NOW.

UH, BUT REALLY THAT'S GOING TO BE DETERMINED BY HOW OUR COMMUNITY REACTS TO THE FACT THAT, THAT THESE CASES ARE INCREASING.

IF WE IMPROVE OUR VIGILANCE, IF WE CONTINUE TO MASK AND DISTANCE AND STAY HOME, WHEN WE'RE SICK AND FOLLOW THE OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS, THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE OUR SECOND SURGE.

WE CAN PUSH IT OFF AND WE CAN DELAY INTO WAIT OF A VACCINE.

I AGREE WITH DR.

ASCOT, YOU KNOW, IT IS, IT IS CALL, UM, BASED UPON INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOR.

AND, UM, WE CAN REALLY FOREGO ANY SERVICE.

THEY MAY COME BACK TO THIS COMMUNITY IF EVERYONE CONTINUES TO STAY THE COURSE, UM, AND CONTINUE TO WEAR YOUR FACE, COVERING, UM, WATCH YOUR SOCIAL DISTANCE, UM, AND ENSURE WITH YOUR HAND HYGIENE AND STAYING HOME.

SO THOSE PRINCIPLES STILL REMAIN AND THEY ARE VERY EFFECTIVE.

AND SO AS A COMMUNITY, UM, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO REEVALUATE AND MAKE SURE THAT THERE'S NOT AREAS WHERE WE DECIDED, OH, THAT'S NOT IMPORTANT ANYMORE.

AND SO REEVALUATE AND SAY, OKAY, I NEED TO, UM, INCREASE AND DO BETTER IN THIS AREA AND IN ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO BETTER, BECAUSE IT'S ALL BASED UPON HOW WE AS A COMMUNITY, HOW WE MOVE FORWARD, WHETHER WE KEEP THE CASES LOW OR ARE ENCOURAGED AND A SURGE.

I'D JUST LIKE TO ADD TO JUST ONE OTHER POINT, IS THAT, UM, WHEN YOU'RE HAVING GATHERINGS, IF YOU HAVE GATHERINGS IN YOUR HOME, UM, IT'S, IT'S JUST PLACING YOU AT INCREASED RISK.

IF YOU HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS, AND I KNOW THAT THEY'RE YOUR FAMILY, BUT IF THEY DO NOT RESIDE IN YOUR HOME, UH, YOU NEED TO ASSUME THEY MAY HAVE AN EXPOSURE.

THERE COULD BE AN EXPOSURE RISK TO WHOEVER'S IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD.

UM, WE HAVE SEEN TIME AND TIME AGAIN, UH, INDIVIDUALS WHO HAD A GATHERING AND IT WAS JUST MY SISTER OR JUST MY BROTHER, BUT THEY HAPPENED TO LIVE OUTSIDE OF THE HOME.

YOU CANNOT BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR BEHAVIORS, UH, AND IN ORDER TO PROTECT YOUR HOUSEHOLD, YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT, UH, YOU WERE ELIMINATING ANY EXPOSURE, RISKS THAT ARE COMING IN IN WHETHER IT BE YOUR FAMILY OR NOT.

THE NEXT QUESTION WE HAVE HERE IS FROM CO-OP RADIO.

PFIZER IS THE ONLY MAJOR DRUG COMPANY, A VACCINE THAT CHOSE NOT TO BE A PART OF OPERATION, WARP SPEED, SOME SUGGEST THIS WAS DONE IN ORDER TO AVOID FDA AND CDC OVERSIGHT, ESPECIALLY THAT OF DR.

FOWCHEE.

THIS IS A VACCINE THAT ALSO REQUIRES A NEGATIVE 80 DEGREES, CELSIUS STORAGE.

DO THESE IMPLICATIONS IMPACT YOUR OR OTHER HEALTHCARE OFFICIALS VIEW OF ITS EFFICACY SLASH AVAILABILITY SLASH HANDLING ISSUES? SO, YOU KNOW, MANY OF THE COVID-19 VACCINES, YOU REQUIRE ULTRA COLD STORAGE.

UH, THIS IS GOING TO BE A, A CHALLENGE, WHICH IS MUCH DIFFERENT FROM, FROM INFLUENZA AND OTHER VACCINES.

UH, THE FACT THAT, THAT IT REQUIRES TWO DOSES MAKES IT MORE COMPLICATED TO EFFECTIVELY VACCINATE THE COMMUNITY.

AND AS I SAID BEFORE, THE REGARDLESS OF THE VACCINE, WE WANT TO SEE THE DATA PUBLISHED IN PEER REVIEWED LITERATURE.

WE NEED THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW THE DATA AND DRAW ITS OWN CONCLUSIONS.

NOW, THIS IS CRITICAL FOR, FOR ANY DRUG OR ANY, ANY VACCINE DEVELOPMENT.

AND THAT CERTAINLY IS GOING TO BE THE CASE WITH THIS VACCINE.

NEXT QUESTION WE HAVE HERE IS FROM KSAN GIVEN TODAY'S NEWS ABOUT A POTENTIAL VACCINE, PLEASE EXPLAIN THE PROCESS IN PLACE FOR A VACCINE TO GET FROM A COMPANY LIKE PFIZER, TO APH, AND THEN TO CENTRAL CENTRAL TEXAS RESIDENTS.

I'LL JUST SAY THAT, UH, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE STILL A LOT OF UNKNOWNS AS FAR AS LOGISTICALLY, HOW THINGS WILL COME.

WE DO KNOW, UM, FROM THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT WHERE AGAIN, MEETING WITH THEM ALMOST WEEKLY, JUST TO GET, UH, SOME SITUATIONAL UPDATES ON HOW THIS VACCINE WILL ROLL OUT.

UH, BUT, UH, FROM WHAT OUR UNDERSTANDING, THE TEXAS DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT WILL BE PLACED, UH, IN A POSITION TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR, UH, THE DISTRIBUTION TO LOCAL PROVIDERS.

SO WE ANTICIPATE

[00:20:01]

THAT'S HOW WE'LL INITIALLY ROLL OUT.

UM, THERE STILL HAS TO BE A LOT OF UNKNOWNS, BUT WE'RE PREPARING FOR, UH, ALL THE DIFFERENT POSSIBILITIES OF RECEIVING IT.

OUR, UM, WITH OUR VACCINE, UH, COALITION THAT IS PROVIDING ON THE DISTRIBUTION, UM, UH, PART OF THAT GROUP IS WORKING ON PRIORITY POPULATIONS AND WITHIN THOSE PRIORITY POPULATIONS, ARE THERE SUB POPULATIONS THAT ARE MORE VULNERABLE THAN OTHERS.

AND SO WITH THE WORK THAT WE'VE DONE, AS, AS JANET SAID, UM, WEEKLY MEETING WITH THE, UM, DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES, UM, AS WELL AS, UM, CDC HAS SET UP SOME MEETINGS AS WELL.

AND SO THIS KEEPS US OUT OF THE LINE FROM THE FEDERAL AND THE STATE AND THE LOCAL LEVEL.

AND AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH OUR VACCINE COALITION IN ORDER TO DETERMINE HOW WE WILL DISTRIBUTE THE VACCINE.

ONCE IT'S APPROVED BOX SEVEN ASKS A COUPLE OF WEEKS BACK, YOU MENTIONED THAT BARS COULD REOPEN GIVEN THE LOW NUMBERS AT THE TIME THAT HAS SINCE CHANGED.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF BARBARY OPENINGS AT THIS TIME? WELL, WITH INCREASING CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS AND ICU ADMISSIONS, UH, NOW'S NOT A GOOD TIME TO TAKE ON MORE RISK.

IN FACT, THE, THE DISCUSSION THAT, THAT WE SHOULD BE ANTICIPATING IN THE COMING WEEKS IS, DO WE NEED TO SCALE BACK ON RISK? UH, DO WE NEED TO ASK RESTAURANTS TO, TO MOVE BACK TO 50% FROM 75% AND, YOU KNOW, AS WELL AS LOOKING AT OTHER MEASURES TO REDUCE RISKS, UH, WE ARE, WE ARE AT A PRECARIOUS SPOT RIGHT NOW WHERE CASES ARE RISING ACROSS THE COUNTRY CASES ARE RISING ACROSS TEXAS CITIES LIKE EL PASO, LUBBOCK AMARILLO, DALLAS ARE FACING SIGNIFICANT INCREASES IN CASES.

UH, WE REALLY HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO STAY IN WISE THINGS TO AVOID THAT SURGE, UH, YOU KNOW, WITH, WITH NEW PREDICTIONS THAT WE MAY HAVE ANOTHER A HUNDRED THOUSAND DEATHS IN THE COMING MONTHS FROM COVID-19.

WE SHOULD ALL BE A LOT MORE CAUTIOUS THAN WE, THAN WE HAVE BEEN.

UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT NOW THAT, THAT WE'RE, WE'RE IN THAT, THAT CALL TO OUR COMMUNITY TO REALLY DETERMINE WHAT THEY HAVE TO DO AND WHAT THEY'D LIKE TO DO.

AND TO START TO PHASE OUT SOME OF THE, THE, THE, THE RISK THAT'S BEING TAKEN.

THAT'S, THAT'S NOT NECESSARILY, UH, YOU KNOW, WE'RE NOT AT THE, AT THE STAGE OF RECOMMENDING A LOCKDOWN, UH, BUT CERTAINLY WE NEED PEOPLE TO TAKE LESS RISKS IN THE COMING WEEKS.

EDUCATION IS OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY.

SO WHEN WE ARE MARKETING WITH OUR PARTNERS, UM, INTERNALLY TO THE CITY AND EXTERNALLY, UM, WE HAVE COMMUNICATED THAT IT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US TO KEEP THE POSITIVITY RATE LOWER BECAUSE EDUCATION IS OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY.

AND, AND I'LL JUST ADD THAT, YOU KNOW, UH, BARS ARE PERFECT LOCATIONS WHERE, AND I'M GOING TO HARP ON THE, UH, PREVENTION MESSAGE AGAIN, UH, WHERE YOU CAN GO INTO A BAR, YOU PLACE YOURSELF BECAUSE YOU'RE EATING OR DRINKING AND YOU UNCOVER YOUR FACE.

UH, PEOPLE START LEANING IN AND, AND HAVING CONVERSATIONS BECAUSE THEY, IT COULD BE LOUD OR NOISY, OR, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE JUST LOSE SOME INHIBITION TO, TO, UM, TO BE SAFE, UH, IN THEIR INTERACTIONS.

SO AGAIN, UH, PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, MAKING SURE THAT YOU WEAR YOUR MASK AND KEEP YOUR DISTANCE, UH, AND KEEP HER FACE COVERED IS GOING TO BE A VERY IMPORTANT, YOU HAVE A QUESTION FROM UNIVISION, ACCORDING TO THE NEW YORK TIMES, TEXAS, AS A STATE WITH THE HIGHEST COVID-19 CASES, IF THE GOVERNOR DOESN'T IMPLEMENT NEW MEASURES TO STOP THE SPREAD, WHAT CAN WE, WHAT CAN WE DO HERE LOCALLY TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE SITUATION AGAIN? UH, YOU KNOW, I, I THINK AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY HAVE, HAVE DONE A GREAT JOB AS A COMMUNITY TO RESPOND TO, TO CHANGES IN, IN THIS SITUATION.

UH, TRAVIS COUNTY HAS LESS CASES PER CAPITA THAN ANY OTHER METROPOLITAN COUNTY IN THE STATE OF TEXAS, UM, WITH ABOUT 255 PER 10,000 CUMULATIVE CASES.

UH, THIS IS COMPARED TO PLACES LIKE EL PASO WITH MORE THAN 800 PER 10,000.

AND SO I THINK OUR COMMUNITY IS

[00:25:01]

ENGAGED.

I THINK OUR COMMUNITY IS INTERESTED IN KEEPING ITSELF PROTECTED, AND THAT'S, I THINK THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT WE CAN SAY RIGHT NOW IS WE NEED THE COMMUNITY TO BE MORE PROTECTIVE ONCE AGAIN, IF YOU'RE GOING TO GO OUT TO A RESTAURANT, GO OUT WITH YOUR FAMILY, THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD, NOT WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD, UM, YOU KNOW, START TO DECREASE THOSE, THOSE TRAVELS OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME THAT ARE NOT NECESSARY.

IF YOU GO TO A STORE, UH, YOU KNOW, GO BACK TO, YOU KNOW, ONE PERSON FROM THE HOUSEHOLD GO GOING RATHER THAN THE WHOLE HOUSEHOLD GOING.

UH, I THINK THESE ARE IMPORTANT STEPS THAT WE ALL NEED TO TAKE, UM, BECAUSE OF THE SIGNIFICANT SURGE ACROSS TEXAS AND ACROSS THE US.

UM, YOU KNOW, ONCE AGAIN, WE WERE AT A BETTER PLACE WHEN WE HAVE RESTAURANTS OPEN AT 50%.

UM, THIS MAY BE THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP IS TO SCALE BACK, REDUCE THE RISK A LITTLE BIT, UH, AND FOR THE GOVERNOR TO, TO RECOMMEND ROLLING BACK RESTAURANTS TO 50% NEXT, WE HAVE A QUESTION FROM COMMUNITY IMPACT.

WE'VE HEARD THAT AUSTIN AREA HOSPITALS HAVE ALREADY BEGUN, ACCEPTING SOME PATIENTS FROM EL PASO.

WHAT IS OUR CAPACITY TO DO THAT? AND WILL OUR HOSPITALS HAVE LESS CAPACITY FOR LOCAL PATIENTS IF AUSTIN EXPERIENCES ANOTHER SEARCH? SO WE'VE CURRENTLY ACCEPTED A HANDFUL OF CASES, UH, IN OUR TRAVIS COUNTY HOSPITALS.

UM, IT'S, IT'S A RELATIVELY SMALL NUMBER COMPARED TO THE CAPACITY THAT WE HAVE.

AND LUCKILY, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE OF THE WORK OF THIS COMMUNITY, WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO, TO OFFER THOSE TO OTHER JURISDICTIONS WHO ARE IN NEED.

UH, BUT WE HAVE TO PROTECT THAT CAPACITY.

I WOULD MUCH RATHER AS BE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCE WHERE OUR CASES AND OUR HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE LOW, AND THEN WE CAN OFFER AVAILABILITY TO OTHER JURISDICTIONS WHO ARE FACING A SURGE RATHER THAN US BEING IN SURGE OURSELVES.

THEY'RE NOT, AGAIN, WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT, THAT THE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN FOR THE STATE OF TEXAS INVOLVES SENDING TEAMS FROM OTHER JURISDICTIONS WHO ARE NOT IMPACTED TO SUPPORT JURISDICTIONS THAT ARE IMPACTED.

IF EL PASO IS IMPACTED AND AMARILLO AND LUBBOCK IN DALLAS, AND THEN HOUSTON AND SAN ANTONIO, THOSE REDUNDANCIES ARE EXHAUSTED AND THEN RESOURCES COME FROM OUTSIDE THE STATE OF TEXAS.

BUT IF IT'S, IF THERE'S SURGE EVERYWHERE ACROSS THE U S THE REDUNDANCIES ARE NOT GOING TO BE THERE.

AND THIS IS WHY IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US AS A COMMUNITY TO BAND TOGETHER.

AND ONCE AGAIN, AND, AND DECREASE THE TRANSMISSION OF DISEASE, THE STATESMAN ASKS WHEN MIGHT WE SEE THE IMPACT HALLOWEEN WEEKEND HAD, OR DIDN'T HAVE ON CORONAVIRUS CASES IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

I KNOW DR.

S SCOTT SAID A FEW WEEKS AGO THAT AUSTINITES DIDN'T SOCIALLY DISTANCE DURING HALLOWEEN THANKSGIVING QUOTE IS GOING TO BE UGLY.

UNQUOTE, DO YOU FORESEE A SURGE OF CASES DURING THANKSGIVING WEEK? UH, SO RIGHT NOW WE ARE SEEING AN INCREASE IN CASES.

UH, SOME OF THAT INCREASE STARTED BEFORE HALLOWEEN, UH, BUT CERTAINLY IT'S CERTAINLY CONTINUING, UH, WHICH WE SUSPECT IS, IS A RESULT OF NO GATHERINGS OF HALLOWEEN.

NOW, RIGHT NOW, THE PROJECTIONS, UH, ARE BEGINNING TO LOOK MORE UNFAVORABLE IN TERMS OF, OF HALLOWEEN WITH CASES INCREASING OUR, UH, IN CA CASES INCREASING THROUGH THANKSGIVING, AND THEN CONTINUING TO INCREASE AFTER THANKSGIVING.

UM, SO AGAIN, IT'S, IT'S NOT A FORECAST.

IT'S NOT WHAT WILL HAPPEN.

IT'S WHAT IS MOST LIKELY TO HAPPEN IF THAT TRANSMISSION STAYS THE WAY IT IS NOW? UM, SO WE CAN AFFECT THAT FORECAST.

WE CAN CHANGE IT IF WE WORK HARDER TO REDUCE TRANSMISSION IN OUR COMMUNITY.

I'LL JUST ADD THAT, UH, BASED ON OUR CASE INVESTIGATION OF CASES OVER THE LAST A WEEK OR TWO, WE HAVE SEEN SOME, UH, CASES THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH, UH, GATHERINGS RELATED TO HALLOWEEN.

SO I WOULD ANTICIPATE THAT THANKSGIVING WOULD HAVE A SIMILAR IMPACT.

UH, WE, AGAIN, WHICH IS THE REASON WHY WE'RE TRYING TO STRESS THESE PREVENTION MEASURES AND THAT, UM, YOU KNOW, WE WANT PEOPLE TO BE SAFE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

WE WANT TO KEEP OUR NUMBERS LOW.

[00:30:04]

THIS IS A QUESTION WE HAVE HERE AT ASKING CHRONICLE LAST WEEK, APH SAID MORE THAN HALF OF THOSE WHO RECENTLY TESTED POSITIVE THROUGH APH TEST SITES HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CLEAR THE AGES OF 20 AND 39.

WHY DO YOU THINK THIS PARTICULAR AGE BRACKET HAS SEEN THE BIGGEST UPTAKE IN TESTING POSITIVE? WELL, UNFORTUNATELY OUR TESTING OVER THE PAST SEVEN DAYS INDICATES THAT THAT SAME AGE GROUP IS STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE THAN 50% OF THE POSITIVE CASES DETECTED THROUGH OUR APH TESTING.

BUT I THINK IT GOES BACK TO THE FACT THAT THIS DISEASE IS TRANSMITTED FROM PERSON TO PERSON INTERACTIONS.

AND WHEN WE LOOK AT PERSON TO PERSON INTERACTIONS, THEY TEND TO BE MUCH HIGHER AMONGST THOSE WHO ARE BETWEEN 20 AND 40.

UH, SO I THINK THIS IS WHY WE'RE SEEING THE INCREASE IN THIS POPULATION.

IT'S IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE OF THOSE AGE GROUPS, AS WELL AS OTHER AGE GROUPS TO DECREASE THE DECREASE THAT PERSON TO PERSON INTERACTION.

UM, I THINK WE'VE ALL GOT A LITTLE TOO RELAXED OVER THE PAST MONTH OR TWO, AND WE NEED TO START ACTING IN A MORE PRODUCTIVE WAY TO DECREASE THAT TRANSMISSION.

IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT FOR, UM, FOLKS IN THAT AGE GROUP, UM, TO ALSO THINK ABOUT DOES NOT MEAN AS AN INDIVIDUAL, UM, THINKING ABOUT THE INDIVIDUALS THAT YOU MAY COME IN CONTACT WITH, WHETHER IT'S YOUR PARENTS OR YOUR GRANDPARENTS, UM, BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, AS YOU, UM, UH, TEST POSITIVE FOR COBY, IT, YOUR ABILITY TO SPRINT TO OTHERS IN YOUR FAMILY, UM, IS, IS, IS GREAT.

UM, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE LIVING IN A MULTI-GENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLD.

AND SO WE JUST ENCOURAGE INDIVIDUALS, UM, TO REALLY THINK ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WHAT IS THE NEW NORMAL, UM, NOT GOING BACK TO YOUR OLD WAYS, BECAUSE WHAT WE ARE SEEING IS THAT THERE ARE SO MANY GATHERINGS OF INDIVIDUALS THAT FALL IN THIS AGE CATEGORY.

AND SO ESTABLISH A NEW TRADITION OF HOW YOU CAN SAFELY INTERACT WITH OTHERS.

NOW, I WANT TO STRESS ONE OTHER THING.

THAT'S AN IMPORTANT REMINDER WITH COVID-19 AND THAT IS PEOPLE ARE MOST INFECTIOUS BEFORE THEY HAVE SYMPTOMS AND WHILE THEIR SYMPTOMS ARE MILD.

SO FEELING OKAY DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU'RE SAFE AROUND OTHER PEOPLE.

UH, SO IF YOU'RE INVOLVED IN SOCIAL ACTIVITIES, IF YOU'RE HAVING A MEAL WITH PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD, IF YOU'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN GATHERINGS OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD, YOU'RE PLACING YOUR FAMILY, YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR OTHER PEOPLE AT RISK, BUT WE FOCUS ON FAMILY AND FRIENDS BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE PEOPLE TEND TO TAKE THEIR MASK OFF AND THEY TEND TO CLOSE THE SIX-FOOT DISTANCE.

UH, YOU KNOW, THAT'S WHERE WE'RE SEEING THE TRANSMISSION HAPPEN.

AND WE REALLY HAVE TO ACT IN A MORE PROTECTIVE WAY TO PROTECT OUR FAMILY MEMBERS AND TO PROTECT THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY QUESTION WE HAVE HERE FROM CBS AUSTIN.

YOU SAID THERE WERE QUOTE LESSONS LEARNED DURING THE FLU VACCINATION CLINIC ON SATURDAY.

WHAT WERE THEY? I WOULD SAY SOME OF THE LESSONS LEARNED, UM, YOU KNOW, WHILE WE HAD THE EXPO AND THEY'VE USED THE EXPO IN THE PAST, UH, SOME OF THE LESSONS LEARNED COULD BE, UH, THE CHALLENGE OF VACCINATING CHILDREN IN A DRIVE'S DRIVE-THROUGH SETTING BECAUSE, UH, THEY'RE NOT VERY COOPERATIVE.

UH, THEY, UM, THE PARENT TENDS TO HAVE TO GET OUT OF THE CAR.

SO, UH, WE HAD A SEPARATE LANE SET UP FOR, UM, CHILDREN, A FAMILY MEMBER OR FAMILIES THAT WERE DRIVING THROUGH THAT HAD, UH, CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 10 YEARS OLD.

AND SO I THINK WE NEED TO REFINE THAT PROCESS A LITTLE MORE, UH, YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, WE USE, UH, CHARLES COUNTY EXPO CENTER BECAUSE IT DOES HAVE A SHOW BAR YOU CAN DRIVE THROUGH.

AND, UM, UM, YOU'RE AN OUT OF THE ELEMENTS, SO TO SPEAK, BUT IT MAY NOT BE A SUITABLE LOCATION.

WE NEED TO CONSIDER LOOKING AT OTHER ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS WHERE WE COULD POST SOMEWHERE THAT HAS A HUGE PARKING LOT, THAT WE CAN, UH, HAVE FOLKS COME IN THROUGH AN EXIT SAFELY.

UM, BUT FOR THE MOST PART, IT WENT FAIRLY WELL AS IT HAS IN THE PAST.

AGAIN, WE WERE EFFECTIVELY ABLE TO, UH, VACCINATE OVER 400 PEOPLE.

I THINK I AGREE WITH, WITH JANET.

UM, THE DAY WAS, WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL.

UM, WE WERE ABLE TO PROVIDE VACCINES FOR, UM, INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILY MEMBERS, UM, AS WELL

[00:35:01]

AS, UM, CHILDREN THAT WERE UNDER NINE YEARS, IF, OH, YOU KNOW, WE HAD A PROCESS WHERE THEY WERE ABLE TO, UM, KIND OF MOVE INTO A DIFFERENT LANE IN ORDER TO, UH, ADDRESS THAT.

I AGREE.

WE NEED TO LOOK AT MULTIPLE LOCATIONS.

UM, THAT LOCATION, UM, IS, IS NORTHEAST.

AND SO, UM, WE NEED TO LOOK AT MULTIPLE LOCATIONS ACROSS THE CITY, UM, WHETHER IT'S SOUTHEAST, UM, CENTRAL, ET CETERA.

UM, DEFINITELY LOOKING IN, UM, ZIP CODES WHERE WE MAY BE POTENTIALLY, UM, PROVIDING TESTING RIGHT NOW, UM, AND TRANSITIONING THOSE LOCATIONS TO PROVIDE THE VACCINE, UM, IN LIEU OF TESTING.

UM, THE OTHER THING THAT WE, UM, EXPERIENCES WE CAN AS AN INDIVIDUAL'S CAR OVERHEATED, UM, AND SO MAKING SURE THAT YOU ARE PREPARED AND HAVE A PROCESS IN PLACE IN THE EVENT AND THEN VEGETABLES CAR OVERHEATS, OR IT JUST DOESN'T START, UM, YOU KNOW, OUR PARTNERS WERE THERE.

THEY WERE ABLE TO, UM, HELP THAT INDIVIDUAL, UM, WITH HIS VEHICLE, BUT JUST BEING PREPARED FOR THE UNINTENTIONAL THINGS THAT MAY CAUSE A DELAY AND MAY CAUSE INDIVIDUALS TO HAVE TO BE THERE LONGER, UM, BECAUSE OF CAR TROUBLE OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

WE HAVE A QUESTION FROM , ARE WE SEEING MORE OR LESS WE RELATED HOSPITALIZATIONS IN THE LAST YEAR? UH, WE DON'T HAVE DATA AT THIS MOMENT ON OUR FLEET OR THAT A HOSPITALIZATIONS, BUT IN GENERAL, OUR, OUR FLU CASES HAVE, HAVE BEEN LOWER THAN THEY HAVE BEEN OVER THE PAST FOUR SEASONS.

UH, OUR POSITIVITY RATES ARE VERY LOW.

WE'LL HAVE AN UPDATE TOMORROW FOR THE CITY COUNCIL AND COMMISSIONER'S COURT FOR THE DATA FOR LAST WEEK.

UH, BUT WE ARE CERTAINLY ENCOURAGED BY THE, UH, THE DATA THAT WE'VE SEEN SO FAR.

AGAIN, WE CAN'T STRESS ENOUGH, THE IMPORTANCE OF FLU VACCINATIONS IN HELPING FAST HAVE A LOW FLU SEASON.

UM, WE ARE CERTAINLY WATCHING THOSE CASES AND LOOKING FOR OUTBREAKS OR FLU AS WELL AS COVID-19.

UM, WHAT IF THE COMMUNITY DOES THEIR PART GETS VACCINATED AND ADHERES TO THE SAME MESSAGING FOR COVID-19 THEY, THE MASKING, THE SOCIAL DISTANCING, THE PERSON HYGIENE.

WE SHOULD, WE SHOULD NOT HAVE A SIGNIFICANT FLU SEASON.

I AGREE, DR.

SCOTT, IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT FOR INDIVIDUALS TO GET THEIR FLU VACCINE.

UM, WE HAVE SEVERAL PARTNERS THAT ARE, UM, HOSTING, UM, FLU CLINICS.

UM, THERE IS A COUPLE OF FLU CLINICS THIS WEEKEND, IF YOU HAVE INSURANCE, UM, YOU CAN DEFINITELY, UM, GO THAT ROUTE.

IF YOU DON'T HAVE INSURANCE, WE DEFINITELY, UM, INVITE YOU TO, UM, DIAL THREE, ONE, ONE, AND, UM, REACH OUT TO OUR STAFF AND WE CAN PROVIDE A FLU VACCINE THROUGH OUR SHOTS FOR TOTS OR, UM, OUR, UH, OUR VACCINE CLINICS.

BUT IT'S JUST REALLY IMPORTANT AS A COMMUNITY.

THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE HAVE THAT WE CAN TAKE THIS POSITIVE STEP, GET THAT VACCINE.

UM, AND THEN ALSO, LET'S JUST NOT FORGET OUR OTHER PROTECTIONS THAT WE HAVEN'T FAKED IT IN PLACE, YOU KNOW, SOCIAL DISTANCING, YOU KNOW, WEARING YOUR MASK, UM, AND ALSO HAND HYGIENE AND STAYING AT HOME.

IF YOU'RE ILL, THOSE THINGS WILL ALSO HELP US, UM, IN THE MIDDLE OF FLU SEASON.

I THINK THE GOOD THING ABOUT TEXAS IS THAT WE DO HAVE SOME, SOME, SOME DIFFICULT WEATHER, YOU KNOW, BUT RIGHT NOW WE'RE IN A GOOD POINT, SO IT'S NOT COLD, SO PEOPLE CAN GET OUT OF THEIR HOMES, YOU KNOW, AND WALK AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD TO EXERCISE AND NOT JUST KIND OF BE IN DOORS AS MUCH.

BUT OUR HOPE IS, IS THAT EVERYONE TAKES ADVANTAGE OF GETTING A FLU VACCINE.

AND I'LL JUST ADD DURING THIS VERY DIFFICULT TIME WHERE WE HAVE COVID AND FLU, THE BEST WAY TO TAKE FLEW OUT OF THE MIX ALTOGETHER IS TO GET YOUR VACCINATION.

SO, UH, DEFINITELY GO GET YOUR SHOT.

UM, WE HA YOU KNOW, WE HAVE IT, IT COVERS MOST LIKELY FOR DIFFERENT STRAINS OF FLU, UH, TWO A AND TWO INFLUENZA B STRAINS.

UH, SO JUST, IT'S JUST ADDED PROTECTION FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

THE NEXT QUESTION WE HAVE HERE IS FROM CO-OP RADIO, REGARDLESS OF POLITICAL POSTURING, WE ARE IN A TRANSITION PERIOD JUST AS EVERY STATE

[00:40:01]

IS PREPARING FOR A BAXTON NATION DISTRIBUTION ON A HISTORIC AND UNPRECEDENTED SCALE.

HOW WILL YOU COORDINATE AND WITH WHOM OR THE NEXT TWO MONTHS ON DISTRIBUTION? WELL, WE, WE DEFINITELY WILL.

UM, WE ARE PART OF, PART OF OPERATIONS OF WARP STATE.

AND SO WE ARE WORKING WITH THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL.

WE ARE WORKING WITH THE STATE, UH, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES, BUT ON THE LOCAL LEVEL, WE HAVE SO MANY PARTNERS THAT WE HAVE WORKED WITH THUS FAR.

AND SO FROM OUR HEALTH CARE, UM, PARTNERS, AS WELL AS OTHER GOVERNMENT ENTITIES, UM, OUR COMMUNITY ADVOCATES, NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, IT'S GOING TO BE KEY FOR US TO CONTINUE TO WORK WITH ALL OF THOSE PARTNERS WITH SCHOOL DISTRICTS, ET CETERA.

UM, IN ORDER FOR US TO BE ABLE TO PLAN THE BEST WAY FOR US TO, UM, GET AS MUCH VACCINE AS WE HAD, WE ANTICIPATED THAT, YOU KNOW, INITIALLY, UM, IT WILL BE A SMALLER AMOUNT THAT WILL BE AVAILABLE, BUT AS WE MOVE INTO 2021, UM, OUR COALITION WILL ASSIST US WITH PROVIDING, UM, TWO PRIORITY POPULATIONS UNTIL IT IS WIDELY AVAILABLE.

AND THEN ONCE IT'S WIDELY AVAILABLE, UM, YOU KNOW, WE WILL BE ABLE TO ESTABLISH, UM, A BROADER WAY OF DISTRIBUTING K X, A N ASKS, WILL LOCAL GOVERNMENTS BE COMPETING AGAINST EACH OTHER TO GET A VACCINE.

DO YOU KNOW WHETHER APH WILL BE CLOSER TO THE FRONT OR THE BACK OF THE LINE WHEN IT COMES TO THE WORLDWIDE DISTRIBUTION OF A COVID-19 VACCINE? WELL, I THINK THAT, THAT OBVIOUSLY THERE'S, THERE'S A RACE FOR A VACCINE ACROSS THE WORLD.

UH, AND I EXPECT THAT IF, IF THAT VACCINE COMES FROM THE UNITED STATES, THAT, UH, THAT THE UNITED STATES WILL BE PRIORITIZED FOR DISTRIBUTION, UH, AFTER THAT, YOU KNOW, I EXPECT THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL ALLOCATE RESOURCES, UH, APPROPRIATELY TO ENSURE THAT THAT AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY RECEIVED ITS SHARE, UH, AS WELL AS, YOU KNOW, UH, OUR, OUR SURROUNDING JURISDICTIONS.

UH, WE ARE WORKING NOT ONLY WITH, WITH PARTNERS IN TRAVIS COUNTY, BUT OUR NEIGHBORS, WILLIAMSON, UH, BACKDROP, UH, HAYES COUNTY AS WELL NOT TO ENSURE THAT, THAT WE HAVE SOME UNIFORMITY ACROSS JURISDICTIONS.

UH, AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN SAID, THE SUPPLIES CAN BE VERY LIMITED.

UH, WE IMAGINE THAT THE INITIAL DISTRIBUTION WILL BE TO FIRST RESPONDERS TO HEALTHCARE WORKERS, UH, AND THEN WE'LL RECEIVE ADDITIONAL, NOT ALLOCATIONS OF VACCINE FOCUSING ON THOSE WHO ARE, OR ARE MORE VULNERABLE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

UM, YOU KNOW, PART OF THIS DISTRIBUTION PLAN IS NOT JUST AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, DELIVERING THE VACCINE, BUT ALSO OUR PARTNERS IN HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS, PHARMACIES, AND OTHER, UH, OTHER ENTITIES.

SO AGAIN, OUR HOPE IS THAT, THAT WE STAY RELATIVELY ON TRACK WITH, WITH VACCINE, UM, A TIMELINE, AND THEN WE CAN START DISTRIBUTING TO THE COMMUNITY IN THE EARLY PART OF 2021.

AGAIN, YOU KNOW, VACCINES ARE COMPLICATED AND, UH, WE HAVE NOT CROSSED THE FINISH LINE IN TERMS OF THE VACCINE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS AND TESTING PROCESS.

SO WE DO NEED TO BE PATIENT, UM, BUT WE ALSO NEED TO DO WHAT WE CAN AS A COMMUNITY TO PROTECT OURSELVES AND, AND MINIMIZE THE HOSPITALIZATIONS AND THE LOSS OF LIVES IN ADVANCE OF THAT VACCINE.

AND I WILL JUST ADD A PLUGIN FOR THE VACCINE COALITION THAT WE'VE CREATED IS THAT SIMILAR TO H ONE N ONE IN 2009, WE HAD A COALITION AS WELL, BUT, UH, W YOU KNOW, PART OF THE, PART OF THE ROLE OF THAT COALITION IS TO MAKE SOME HARD DECISIONS ABOUT TWO PRIORITY POPULATIONS ARE HOW WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO REACH THEM.

IF YOU DO HAVE, UH, FIRST RESPONDERS OR ESSENTIAL WORKERS THAT ARE IN THE ARE EXPECTED TO RECEIVE THE FIRST VACCINE, IT MAY BE A SMALL ENOUGH AMOUNT THAT WE HAVE TO EVEN PRIORITIZE WITHIN THOSE POPULATIONS.

SO THE COALITION WILL BEGIN TO LOOK AT THOSE DISCUSSIONS, YOU KNOW, THOSE HARD DECISIONS TO DETERMINE, UM, AND, AND, AND POINT OUT TO, TO US AT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, WHAT'S THE, THEIR RECOMMENDATION ON HOW TO REACH THOSE PRIORITY POPULATIONS.

THE QUESTION WE HAVE HERE IS FROM UNIVISION,

[00:45:01]

THE PANDEMIC FATIGUE CONTINUES.

WE'VE NOTICED PEOPLE ARE NOT MASKING WHEN THEY ARE OUTSIDE.

WHAT ARE YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE COMMUNITY? IF THEY NOTICED SUPERMARKETS OR SUCH PLACES AREN'T REQUIRING MASKS, WHEN GOING INSIDE, YOU NEED TO CALL THREE, ONE, ONE, AND REPORT THAT FACILITY, UH, SO THAT WE CAN, UH, FOLLOW UP WITH THEM.

I PERSONALLY WENT OUT AND DID MY GROCERY SHOPPING YESTERDAY AS I DO EVERY WEEK.

AND, YOU KNOW, NOT ONLY DID I SEE, UM, YOU KNOW, IN MY HOUSEHOLD, THERE'S ONE OF US THAT GOES OUT TO DO THE GROCERY SHOPPING.

WE DON'T MAKE IT A FAMILY EVENT, BUT I DID SEE, UH, FAMILIES WITH SMALL CHILDREN WHO WERE NOT, UH, MASSED UP.

AND, UM, I JUST FEEL LIKE IF YOU DO THAT, THE MORE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THAT ACTIVITY, THE GREATER RISK OF, UH, CONTRACTING COVID WILL BE ARE.

UM, I AGREE WITH JANET, YOU KNOW, ONCE THEY, UM, AN END, LET TELL AN INDIVIDUAL TO DIAL THREE, ONE, ONE, UM, WE HAVE OUR ENFORCEMENT TEAM THAT IS, UH, AVAILABLE.

OUR TEAMS WILL GO OUT TO THAT SITE AND HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH THE MANAGER, UM, AND WE HAVE A PROGRESSIVE SYSTEM.

AND SO IT INITIALLY STARTS WITH TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND A WARNING, BUT IT CAN ALSO MOVE FORWARD TO, UM, TO RECEIVING A CITATION.

AND SO JUST HAVE FOLKS TO CALL THREE, ONE, ONE, UM, IF THEY SEE THAT FOLKS ARE NOT ADHERING TO THE, THE SOCIAL, UH, WEARING A FACE MASK, UM, AND, OR NOT SOCIAL DISTANCING AS WELL.

THIS IS THE FINAL QUESTION.

AND IT'S FROM KVU.

WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO PRESIDENT ELECT BIDEN'S EXPECTED, AGGRESSIVE APPROACH TO COVID-19 AND HOW THAT WILL AFFECT LOCAL GUIDELINES, INCLUDING A POSSIBLE FEDERAL MASK MANDATE? WELL, YOU KNOW, I, I THINK THAT, THAT THIS COUNTRY DOES NEED A UNIFIED PLAN, UH, TO ADDRESS COVID-19, UH, WE NEED THE, THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF TO BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF MITIGATING THIS, THIS RISK SPREAD.

UM, BUT, YOU KNOW, I'LL HAVE TO SAY THAT IT'S, IT'S GOING TO BE A DIFFICULT TASK.

UH, IT'S GOING TO TAKE REALLY UNIFYING THE COUNTRY, UH, TO BELIEVE IN THE SCIENCE AND TO FEEL PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR MITIGATING THE SPREAD, UM, BECAUSE WE CAN'T ENFORCE OUR WAY OUT OF THAT WITH COVID-19.

THERE SIMPLY AREN'T ENOUGH RESOURCES TO ENSURE THAT EVERYBODY IS MASKING, THAT EVERYBODY IS SOCIAL DISTANCING.

UH, WE CAN'T ENSURE THAT EVERYBODY'S GONNA PARTICIPATE IN CONTACT TRACING.

UH, SO THERE'S, THERE'S GOING TO BE WORK TO BE DONE, UH, TO, TO ENSURE THAT THAT FOLKS DO NOT FEEL THAT, THAT THIS IS A, A POLITICAL ENDEAVOR THAT IT'S NOT, IT IS SCIENCE.

AND, AND WE'VE GOT TO CONTINUE TO WORK HARD TO CONVINCE THOSE WHO ARE, HAVE NOT BEEN CONVINCED SO FAR THAT THE THREAT IS REAL, UH, THAT IT IS, IS IT A DANGER TO OUR COMMUNITY? AND THAT WE STILL HAVE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, UH, WHO MAY LOSE THEIR LIVES BECAUSE OF COVID-19.

UH, BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE ECONOMIC IMPACT BECAUSE THOSE OF US IN PUBLIC HEALTH ARE ALL AWARE OF THE FACT THAT, THAT ECONOMIC IMPACT IN DECLINE, AS A COMPONENT OF THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH ACCESS, TO HEALTHCARE SERVICES, ACCESS TO FOOD, ACCESS, TO SHELTER, ALL OF WHICH ARE IMPORTANT IN MAINTAINING AN INDIVIDUAL'S HEALTH.

UH, SO IT WILL BE A DIFFICULT BALANCING ACT.

AND I THINK WE ALL HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER ON A COMMON GOAL IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE IT.

BEFORE WE WRAP UP, WOULD YOU ALL LIKE TO GIVE ANY CLOSING REMARKS? I WOULD LIKE JUST A REMINDER TO, UM, INDIVIDUAL ABOUT TESTING.

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT IF YOU HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS OR HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO, UM, AN INDIVIDUAL, UM, OR A GROUP OF FOLKS, PLEASE GO OUT AND HAVE A TEST.

THE TESTING IS FREE.

UM, PLEASE CALL THREE, ONE, ONE TO SCHEDULE IT OR GO TO OUR, UM, AUSTIN, TEXAS, UM, COBIA WEBSITE AND SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT.

UM, WE ALSO

[00:50:01]

HAVE A LOCAL TESTING WHERE YOU CAN DO WALK UP AT THOSE LOCATIONS.

AND IF YOU, UM, ARE A PERSON THAT HAS, UM, YOU KNOW, WHETHER IT'S THE MOBILITY CHALLENGES OR ANY OTHER TYPE OF CHALLENGES WHERE YOU REALLY FEEL MORE SAFELY BEING AT HOME, WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO COME TO YOUR HOME AND PROVIDE A TEST.

AND SO ALL OF THAT IS STILL AVAILABLE TO OUR COMMUNITY.

SO OUR HOPE IS THAT YOU WOULD UTILIZE THOSE SERVICES BECAUSE THEY ARE FREE.

UH, IT IS FLU SEASON, JUST AS A REMINDER.

UM, SO PLEASE DO, YOU CAN GO ONLINE TO AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV, BLACK SLASH FLU.

UM, AND YOU CAN SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH US, UM, OR YOU CAN CALL THREE, ONE, ONE, AND THEY WILL GET YOU CONNECTED TO OUR STAFF TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT.

UH, WE WILL CONTINUE TO PARTNER WITH, UM, THE COMMUNITY TO PROVIDE, UM, FLU VACCINE CLINICS, UM, WITH OUR PARTNERS.

UM, IF YOU HAVE INSURANCE, UM, PLEASE REACH OUT TO ONE OF YOUR PHARMACIES.

UM, THERE WAS A HUGE, UM, UH, VACCINE, UM, FLU CAMPAIGN THIS WEEKEND THAT WILL BE HAPPENING.

SO PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR, UM, YOUR FLU VACCINE.

AND THEN LASTLY, JUST A REMINDER, UM, THIS IS OPEN ENROLLMENT.

UM, IT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR, UM, INDIVIDUALS TO HAVE INSURANCE.

THAT WAY YOU CAN CONNECT WITH A PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN.

UM, AND IF YOU HAVE, UM, YOU KNOW, ANY KIND OF MEDICAL CHALLENGES, UM, YOU WILL HAVE THAT RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN TO, TO WORK WITH YOU ALONG THE WAY.

AND SO IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US.

UM, IF YOU DON'T HAVE INSURANCE, UM, REACH OUT TO FOUNDATION COMMUNITIES, UM, AND START THAT PROCESS FOR ENROLLMENT, IT ENDS DECEMBER 15TH.

LET ME JUST SAY AGAIN, THAT THE CASES ARE ON THE RISE ACROSS OUR JURISDICTION.

UH, IT'S RISING IN, IN AGE GROUPS ACROSS THE BOARD, UH, IN PARTICULAR ARE 20 TO 29 AND 30 TO 39 AGE GROUPS.

THAT'S IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE'RE AT A CRITICAL POINT AGAIN, WHERE CASES ARE RISING QUICKLY, HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE RISING QUICKLY.

AND IF WE ACT IN A MORE PROTECTIVE WAY, WE CAN LEAVE FLATTEN THE CURVE.

AGAIN, WE ARE NO LONGER FLAT.

THE PROJECTIONS ARE NO LONGER FLAT, UH, BUT WE CAN FIND IT AGAIN.

IF WE ALL WORK TOGETHER TO BE MORE PROTECTIVE, TO DECREASE OUR ACTIVITY OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.

AND IN PARTICULAR, TO ENSURE THAT WE'RE AVOIDING GATHERINGS, BOTH SMALL AND LARGE GATHERINGS WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE OUTSIDE OF OUR HOUSEHOLD, WE CAN HAVE, WE CAN HAVE AN EFFECTIVE STRATEGY TO, TO FLATTEN THE CURVE AND THAT TO HAVE A BETTER LOOKING THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS, AND I'LL JUST TAG ONTO WHAT DR.

S SCOTT HAS TO SAY, AND THAT IS, UH, YOU KNOW, PREVENTION IS GOING TO BE KEY IN FLATTENING THAT CURVE.

AND IF YOU ARE PLACED IN A SITUATION WHERE YOU NEED TO GO OUT TO DO YOUR GROCERY SHOPPING OR WHATNOT, UM, PLEASE BE MINDFUL AND WEAR YOUR MASK AND DO SOCIAL DISTANCING.

UH, IF SOMEONE ENCROACHES INTO YOUR SPACE BACK UP, UH, DON'T PLACE YOURSELF AT RISK, UH, BECAUSE YOU'VE GONE OUT TO DO SOMETHING, UH, FOR YOUR HOUSEHOLD.

UM, ALSO AS A REMINDER, IF YOU ARE HAVING SOCIAL GATHERINGS IN YOUR HOME, YOU NEED TO WEAR YOUR PROTECTIVE, UH, MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCE AS WELL.

BUT I WOULD JUST SAY, IF YOU HAVE ANYBODY THAT'S COMING TO YOUR HOME, WHETHER THEY ARE A FAMILY MEMBER OR CLOSE FRIEND, YOU HAVE NO CERTAINTY OF WHERE THEY'VE BEEN OR WHO THEY'VE BEEN EXPOSED TO.

SO IF YOU LIMIT THAT INTERACTION, YOU'RE GOING TO LIMIT YOUR CHANCE, YOUR ABILITY TO, UH, BE EXPOSED TO COVID-19.

UH, SO JUST LIMIT YOUR RISK ALTOGETHER.

THAT CONCLUDES OUR MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR TODAY.

THANK YOU TO APH DIRECTOR, STEPHANIE HAYDEN, DR.

MARK S. SCOTT AND SHE'S EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JANET TOUCHETTE AND POOR REPORTER BETH SULLIVAN FOR JOINING US TODAY.

THANK YOU.

.

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