COVID in Austin Update (July 18)

New Study Regarding Child Transmission

I usually avoid the national news or politics in these posts, but wanted to share a new study. The New York Times wrote about it, but the CDC has the technical scoop.

The summary is a study out of South Korea indicate that children 10-19 can spread the virus at least as well as adults. It suggests that children in that age group there actually spread it more than adults, but there may be behavioral things in play (e.g. they spread as much as adults plus less likely to comply with behavioral rules regarding spacing, hand-washing, as adults… at least Korean adults. Their kids might be on-par with some Americans, but I digress.)

Meanwhile, a group of Texas teachers protested via caravan at the Capitol today.

Around the State

  • 10,158 new cases (5th day in a row of 10k)
  • 130 new deaths (2nd highest after yesterday)
  • 10,658 hospitalized (new record)
  • 16.05% positivity.

The national news outlets have started paying attention to Corpus Christi. The particular headlines are about the 85 babies who have tested positive. I’ve mentioned Corpus before as having virtually no ICU room left (currently 4, but they went as low as 2 a couple of days ago) and their county’s rate of infection is at the top of the list for the state.

Travis County

  • 239 new cases.
  • 7 new deaths — this puts our 7-day rolling average to a new high of an even 5 per day. This also puts us at over 200 deaths for Travis County.
  • 466 hospitalized.
  • 77 new hospital admits (70.8 7day-avg).
  • 151 in the ICU.
  • 105 on ventilators (new record).

I learned today that The University of Texas at Austin has their own dashboard for specifically tracking the university community. The UT community has had 500 cases via self-reports (I presume people who were tested off-campus and reporting it to the university) or students/staff who were tested at UT Health (the clinical arm of the med school) or University Health Services (student clinic). Per Megan Menchaca, the managing editor of the student The Daily Texan, in the last 10 days, there are 120 new student reports and 45 new staff/faculty reports.

Considering in-person classes aren’t meeting, that’s interesting. Dorms open August 20th.

Other Things

This is a Twitter thread worth reading by Andy Slavitt, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2015-2017.





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