There is a 64% chance that the COVID-19 peak has already passed in Texas, and a 99% chance it has passed across the U.S., according to the University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium. In a week, the chance that the peak has passed in Texas will increase to 89%.
The consortium used local caseload and death data, as well as cell phone GPS data, to develop its projections. The peak is defined as the day on which the model predicts the average daily death rate stops increasing.
The consortium's findings track with the projections of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. The national peak in daily deaths from COVID-19 was a week ago, per the IHME, and in Texas it was six days ago.
Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott told Austin City Council at a work session yesterday that while Austin is flattening the curve it remains unclear when the local peak will occur—or a second wave will arise.
"We've had factors change over the past two weeks that may impact or stretch out that peak, namely the reactivation of construction as well as the Easter holiday," he said. "We've heard anecdotally from a number of sources that a number of families have gotten together, there was still some activity that brought people together, so we're a bit concerned that we may see a little increase based upon that yet."
As of yesterday evening, Travis County has confirmed 1,232 COVID-19 cases and 27 deaths. Seventy-nine people in the 5-county region are hospitalized, with 34 in intensive care and 18 on ventilators.
Amid these projections and efforts by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to reopen businesses across the state, Dr. Escott urged continued vigilance.
"As we start to roll things out and look to roll out additional business in the future as far as reopening [the economy] is concerned, the public has got to understand this should not at all be seen as an indication that we're over this," he said during the work session. "The peak is generated by us, by our decisions as individuals, as a community."
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As widespread protests against police violence continue in Austin and around the country, local activist groups are pushing for what they've wanted for years but didn't feel they could successfully demand: defunding the Austin Police Department. And people seem to be paying attention.
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- The hacker group Anonymous briefly took down the city of Austin website this morning.
- The Texas Tribune looks at the history of racism and discrimination in Austin.
- The Austin Police Department has its own history with bias, the Statesman recounts.
- More protests are planned for this weekend.
- One of the things back on under the new phase of reopening: July 4 celebrations.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced today he is moving the state to Phase III of reopening the economy after the coronavirus shutdown.
From the release:
University of Texas at Austin will limit class size to 40% capacity this fall, offer 2,100 classes online
About 20% of classes at the University of Texas at Austin will be taught exclusively online this fall, The Texas Tribune reports, and in-person classes will be limited to 40% of classroom capacity.
A member of the security team who was temporarily assigned to guard the Texas State Capitol has tested positive for COVID-19, the Austin American-Statesman reports:
Travis County reports two suspected cases in children of inflammatory disease associated with COVID-19
There are two suspected cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children—a rare but serious condition believed to be associated with COVID-19—in Travis County, Austin Public Health Chief Epidemiologist Janet Pichette said during a virtual press conference earlier today.
- Despite the governor's statements about outside agitators, most people arrested in the protests here were from here, KUT reports.
- Protests continued peacefully in Austin last night.
- KXAN speaks to black police officers in Austin about what it's been like to patrol the protests.
- A GoFundMe campaign was set up to help black-owned businesses in Austin affected by COVID-19 and the recent protests.
- Masks, reservations, deep cleaning: Barton Springs has a reopening plan.