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Covid in Austin Update (June 12)

I’ve been commenting on Austin’s daily report on Twitter; moving that to my site.

To catch up, this has been a week. We’re just far enough out from Memorial Day and the increased re-openings to see the impact from the additional human interaction.

This week, we saw new cases reported at relatively high numbers. Prior to this week, the largest single-day new case report was 94 back in early April. We had hit the 80s a few other times, but 80+ wasn’t regular. This week? 118, 161, 133, 129, and then a more “normal” 76.

The number of positive results alone isn’t a great indicator. We may have had more positive cases in a day that weren’t reported previously due to lack of access to testing, so I’ve been looking more at hospitalizations.

Austin/Travis County publicly shared the number of hospitalizations for a given day starting on April 9th. Until this week, the record high was 98 which we had hit a few times. We would seem to ramp up a bit over the course of the week and the numbers would go down over the weekend. This week, we saw hospitalizations at 89, 91, 104, 112, 134.

That increase is very concerning.

The officials with Austin Public Health reported that they are specifically looking at new hospitalizations per day. I like this statistic since it is looking at hospitalizations, which indicates seriousness of the infection, the potential rate of increased impact to the health care system, and since hospitalized cases are more likely to be tested and thus a more accurate assessment of a case.

APH has a 5 stage system to indicate the community’s reaction based on this new hospitalization per day metric.

For virtually the entire pandemic period, we’ve been in Stage 3, which is 5-19 new hospitalizations per day.

Before this week, looking at the 7-day rolling average, our high was 12.8 last week. Otherwise, we’d never been above 12. We’ve been overall under 11 for the most part.

This week, we started at 11.7, then dipped to 11.3. Starting Wednesday, we jumped to 13, 14.8, and now 17 new hospitalizations per day on average over the last seven days.

APH had not publicly released the raw number per day until recently and I didn’t start recording it individually. Why did the average go up so much? Wednesday set a reported record with 24 new hospitalizations, Thursday saw 23. Today, 29 new hospitalizations.

We’re far from being out of the woods. Wear a mask.

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

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