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COVID in Austin Update (July 6)

200k cases in Texas. 7 new deaths in Austin.

News

I haven’t seen that much come across my desk today.

The Texas High School Coaches Association’s conference slated for later in July, bringing together 5,000 high school coaches to San Antonio, decided to do a virtual conference. Meanwhile, the State GOP convention next week in Houston is still a go, with Houston’s mayor reminding the State GOP’s executive committee that health inspectors will be on-site with authority to shut down the conference if protocols are not followed.

While The University of Texas at Austin currently will offer in-person classes with the option for a fully-online course load, ICE announced that if those in the country on student visas are taking fully online course loads, they have to leave the United States. Harvard announced today they are going to be fully online next academic year.

Meanwhile, the Texas chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Texas Pediatric Society, released a statement today supporting re-opening of K-12 schools in the Fall. Basically, the mental health concerns of continued isolation and lack of the informal education that takes place in school points towards returning kids to a “normal” environment. Our family is really torn on this as I know many families are wrestling with this too.

Stats

State of Texas

The big one: Texas has officially confirmed over 200,000 cases.

We “only” had 5,318 new cases today, but we’ll see how things shake out post-holiday.

We did hit, yet again, a new record high for hospitalizations with 8,698.

I hadn’t reported on this, but we have a record number of ICU patients as well, with 2,517 throughout the state.

Harris County continues to see a higher percentage of their ICU census coming from COVID patients.

Looking at a breakdown of the state’s Trauma Service Areas, here’s how we looked on June 1st, June 15th, July 1, and July 6 for total hospitalizations:

TSAJune 1June 15July 1July 6
Amarillo47162531
Lubbock14157286
Wichita Falls001121
Abilene201033
DFW58070114111607
Paris14283851
Longview/Tyler495579121
Lufkin16283546
El Paso10994177218
Midland/Odessa18235990
San Angelo021528
Belton/Kileen23295452
Waco253131
Bryan/College Station23295452
Austin89141404485
San Antonio10516510911313
Houston48273021392656
Galveston111154318364
Victoria171162108
Laredo14118293
Corpus Christi615163249
Lower Rio Grande Valley3787588954
Statewide Total1756232669048698

Amarillo and El Paso were known hotspots early—Amarillo because of the meatpacking plants. Both areas were part of the delayed group of counties that reopened about a week later than the rest of the state.

From hospitalizations, it does appear there are areas of the state hit harder than others, which is probably part of the hesitancy from some on the state level to act. I guess that’s fine (it isn’t), but not giving local officials any ability to act either doesn’t jive with me.

Of course, areas like Brewster County, TX has a population of ~9800 and now has 140 cases. That per capita… Anyhow.

Williamson County (Round Rock/Georgetown)

I wanted to highlight Williamson County since they didn’t report numbers over the weekend.

A good jump there.

Travis County (Austin)

Since yesterday’s report, we had a record seven deaths reported, putting us at 144 total. My hope has been that we wouldn’t see this number rise. Even if the ratios look better, as our counts continue to increase, it only makes sense that deaths will too, sadly.

Seven deaths today increases our 7-day rolling average to 3.29 deaths/day, which obviously is an increase from the previous highs.

With cases, “only” 247 reported. Testing is back to regular schedule, so let’s see what happens.

Hospitalizations topped a new high again at 466. ICU census still under the high from last week—140 vs 156 on the 4th of July. Our ventilator use jumped a bit to 83. Up 11 from yesterday and 250% what it was two weeks ago.

New hospitalizations were 69, which isn’t itself a record, but does push our 7-day average to a new high of 64.6 admits/day.

So yup, we’re still on the upswing.

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

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