Austin ramps up COVID-19 testing, health officials warn of large event cancelations

Bridget Spencer

Austin ramps up COVID-19 testing, health officials warn of large event cancelations

As for life as we know it, things might be different for a while. Dr. Escott said based on where we are now, large events like Longhorns football, and A.C.L. should be put on hold.

AUSTIN, Texas – The Department of State Health Services said since the COVID-19 pandemic started, Austin-Travis County has tested 22,973 people for the virus. Eleven percent of those tested, tested positive. Early on Austin Public Health stressed the need for testing, to identify clusters of cases.

“We’ve got CommUnity Care which has done around 4,000 tests, Austin Public Health which has done around 4,000 tests, Austin Regional Clinic has done more than 10,000 tests, and we’ve got tests being done in hospitals around the region,” said Dr. Mark Escott, interim health authority.

DOWNLOAD THE FOX 7 AUSTIN NEWS APP FOR YOUR MOBILE DEVICE

The Hispanic community is being hit hardest by COVID-19. The construction industry is also seeing clusters of cases. More reason why Austin Public Health wants to reach out to workers as well as immigrant families. 

“In our immigrant community there is some concern about them being detected and that information somehow will be shared with law enforcement. The other concern we are encountering is people’s concern that if they test positive, they’ll be out of work for an extended period of time,” said Escott.

Health officials said on Wednesday they plan to roll out an outreach task force to reach these communities. Based on a risk guidelines chart released by the city earlier this month, Austin sits in stage three of its coronavirus response, which means social distancing, and face-covering usage must continue. Only those with low health risks should travel.

SIGN UP FOR FOX 7 AUSTIN EMAIL ALERTS

“Our goal ultimately is to make sure our community is safe and we are protecting those most vulnerable,” said Janet Pichette, Chief Epidemiologist at Austin Public Health.

As for life as we know it, things might be different for a while. Dr. Escott said based on where we are now, large events like Longhorns football, and A.C.L. should be put on hold.

“Looking through the end of December, we don’t have any indications at this stage that we would be able to mitigate risk enough to have large events particularly ones over 2,500,” said Escott.

He said the only way these can carry on, is if the city identifies a successful treatment for the virus, and if they can rapid test people at the gates of these events.

COVID-19’s impact on the Hispanic community in Austin

Hispanics represent more than half of all cases in Austin, Travis County and almost 40% of all deaths. Leaders in the Hispanic community are calling for the creation of a coalition or task force to address this disparity. Co-founder of Hispanic Advocates Business Leaders of Austin or HABLA Paul Saldana talks more about this topic.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST INFO ON THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. Every weekday we’re live at 12 p.m. with a special show reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information.Y

ou can watch live in your FOX 7 Austin app or on the FOX 7 Austin Facebook page.

You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.


Source link

You May Also Like

About the Author: Bridget Spencer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 10 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.