Austin health officials urge COVID-19 vigilance for Labor Day holiday

Talk 1370 Newsroom
September 04, 2020 - 4:41 pm
Coronavirus

AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- With the Labor Day holiday weekend upon us, Austin health officials are urging the community to continue to remain vigilant against COVID-19.

As of Thursday, the 7-day average of new cases in Travis County is 72, which officials say is at its lowest point since early June.

"Labor Day weekend is not the time to crowd bars, to have barbecues and to gather with family," said Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott. "Now is the time to stay the course because if we change our behaviors, three weeks from now we could be back where we were in June and July with increased cases and uncontrollable spread."

While the community stepped up to the challenge and made huge strides to reduce the spread of COVID-19 over the past several weeks, officials warn that now is not the time for anyone to let their guard down. Officials point to the Memorial Day holiday, which prompted a surge in new cases and hospitalizations due to social gatherings and re-opened businesses - taking nearly two months for the community to see a substantial decline in the 7-day moving average of new cases and hospital admissions.

The current positivity rate for Austin-Travis County is 6.2 percent. Officials say they hope to see the positivity rate below five percent across all racial and ethnic groups in order to continue the process of re-opening businesses.

"Everyone must follow all of the preventative actions we've done thus far. Be the example that you want others to see," APH Director Stephanie Hayden said. "Our hope is that this call to action will make everyone think about what they can do as an individual to make our community a safer place. We want to ensure that we have a safe environment when our students go back to school so that we can provide our children with the education they need in a healthy and safe way."

All of APH's testing services will be closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday, along with the Nurse's Hotline at 512-972-5560. Individuals who need a COVID-19 test can still complete the online assessment at www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19 and schedule an appointment for another day during the week.

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