Travis County seeing COVID-19 cases trend up slightly, while hospitalizations continue to fall

Talk 1370 Newsroom
September 23, 2020 - 6:20 pm
Coronavirus

AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- Austin Public Health officials say they're seeing a bit of a resurgence in new COVID-19 cases, but hospitalizations continue to drop across the area.

The moving average of new cases has gone up by 50 percent from September 1 to September 21, officials said, reaching a low of 69 just prior to the Labor Day weekend and reaching 117 on Monday.

As of Wednesday evening, there were a total of 734 active cases in Travis County - a number that has gone up by more than 100 in the last two weeks. Since the pandemic began, a total of 28,745 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the county, with 417 deaths and more than 27,500 recoveries.

Hospital admissions continue moving downward from their peak in July, with a total of 86 patients hospitalized across the five county metro area as of Wednesday evening. 28 of those patients are in intensive care units, with 19 on ventilators.

"Our hospitals are in a very good situation right now, there’s plenty of room for individuals who are in need of health care," said Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott.

With schools continuing to re-open, Escott says officials are continuing to see an increase in cases in the 10-19 and 20-29 age groups. He said that preventing large outbreaks remains the goal, with isolated cases being inevitable. So far, the cases are almost exclusively outside of the classroom.

"They’ve been in band, they’ve been in cheerleading, they’ve been in football, they’ve been in swim teams, they’ve been in a congregate setting," Escott said.

Officials are also warning of a possible "twindemic" coming later this fall - a dual epidemic of the flu and the coronavirus.

"Obviously, if we have a repeat of a bad flu season this year, that leaves little to no capacity for COVID-19," Escott said. Last year, hospitals across the five county metro area nearly ran out of capacity.

One way to prevent that from happening, Escott said, is for everyone to get a flu shot as soon as possible. "It’s critically important for us to manage the thing that we can manage very well, because we have a vaccine," Escott said.

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