AUSTIN (KXAN) – The city of Austin will remain in Stage 4, according to Austin’s interim health authority, Dr. Mark Escott.
Escott informed Travis County commissioners Tuesday. He says that while Austin has seen an aggressive decline in cases since mid-July, that has changed.
One week ago, the fall reached its trend and has now shifted to a slight upward trend in recent days with regard to new cases.
Hospital admissions and ICU capacity
Just four days ago, Escott said ICUs were on capacity and overvoltage protocols.
But as of Tuesday, Escott says hospitals in the area are reporting that ICUs are out of the “growth position,”; meaning there is a normal proportion of nurses with patients.
While ICUs are left out of overvoltage protocols, public health leaders say Austin stays in phase 4.
Although the city is seeing less than 40 hospital admissions a day, which puts it in Stage 3 territory, Escott says they want to stay in the Stage 3 kingdom for two weeks before officially going down to that level.
This could be difficult, as Escott says new hospital admissions have begun on the plateau when they first went down.
Trends among school-age children
According to Escott indices, positivity rates between the ages of 10 and 19 are rising, and the city is also increasing hospitalizations in this age group.
Escott says this age group accounts for about 6 to 6.5% of cases in Travis County.
Ideally, Escott would say they would like the city to be on stage 2 at least Sept. 8, when students plan to start face-to-face classes.
Escott says Austin Public Health has seen a decline in people enrolling in driving tests through the disease, as well as a decrease in people attending neighborhood tests.
Escott says there is enough evidence available, but Austin Public Health will likely change the requirements for testing to allow more people to access it.
Listen Escott says Austin Health Health is working with the county to prepare tens of thousands of masks for public distribution. They are currently formulating a distribution plan.
Compliance with health orders in Travis County
Travis County commissioners passed a resolution after the Escott briefing to allow enforcement of local county health orders.
This measure has already been implemented in the city of Austin, but from August 14 it will take effect in unincorporated areas of the county.
According to commissioners, anyone who does not follow local health orders on COVID-19 can be fined up to $ 500 or face a civil lawsuit.
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office and the Fire Department will have the authority to enforce health orders and commissioners plan to share the order with smaller Travis County towns so they can implement similar measures if necessary. they decide.