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COVID in Austin Update (July 22)

Schooling, Athletics, and no more evictions.

Sports

To catch up with links from yesterday, UIL released updated calendars for the fall activities. Gov. Abbott during his nightly television interviews also said that if districts/health officials wanted to delay activities further, that is fine by him. Basically, he said it should be a local decision.

When Gov. Abbott isn’t treating the virus like a political football, he’s actually not horrible at this.

In other news, the Southwestern Athletic Conference, which includes Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern, has announced they are moving football to the spring this year. The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, which includes Texas Lutheran, announced it won’t hold Fall sports this year.

Education

While Travis County schools are physically closed until after Labor Day, Tarrant County (Fort Worth) will keep schools physically closed until September 28th. Harris County (Houston), one of the harder hit areas, only suggested schools take advantage of TEA’s 8-week allowed phase-in (four week automatically allowed + four additional weeks allowed via school board vote), but is not mandating it. (Houston ISD had already announced they will waiting six weeks at this point.)

Rental Assistance

The City of Austin is making $13 million available to help with rental assistance and Travis County will extend the ban on evictions through September 30th.

Travis County won’t let new notices to vacate—the first step of the eviction process—be filed until then. The various JP courts have also paused existing eviction processes until the end of September.

State of Texas

  • 9,879 new cases today.
  • 197 new deaths—a new record (previous 174 on the 17th).
  • 10,892 hospitalized—a new record.
  • 14.18% positivity.

Sharing a few graphs now.

New Cases
Deaths
Positivity

All in all, I’m encouraged. We are still very far from over, but masks work. Hopefully it is enough and we won’t need additional orders.

Travis County (Austin)

Since I missed a full report yesterday, I’ll report both days’ numbers:

MetricJuly 21July 22
New Cases603302
Deaths9 (record)4
Hospitalized459453
ICU153160 (record)
Ventilators106111 (record)
Hospital Admits5758
7 day rolling avg63.460.6

How to break this down? In short, we are trending better, but we aren’t out of the woods.

Our new cases, based on 7-day rolling average:

Hospitalizations have flat-lined, but new admissions have been slowly dropping. Deaths are still rising, but I’d expect that to lag just a bit behind the others.

We’re still far from being out of the woods. Not at all time to back off yet, but what we’re doing does seem to be making some difference.

I don’t want to minimize things. They’re still bad. Hospitals are still strained. The Austin Convention Center Field Hospital hasn’t opened because, in part, staffing concerns. with the City’s medical professionals overtaxed.

But, maybe there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

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