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(Bobboz/Adobe)

Austin Public Health and Central Health will now share full names and addresses of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in addition to demographic information, contact information and applicable treatment and testing details.


The change follows a vote by Austin City Council Thursday and is meant to help the city and county work together to gather and study data about the spread of COVID-19.

Austin Public Health said this week that they are growing their contact-tracing team by 10 new staffers each week.

The consent agenda vote came as the county has seen a spike in new confirmed coronavirus cases this week, including a record 161 new cases on Tuesday, according to Travis County officials. As of last night, the total number of confirmed cases stands at 4,238 with 101 deaths.

The data sharing between Central Health and the city of Austin comes at no cost to the city, but will allow them to "manage and monitor individuals, trace contacts, model data and make recommendations for the purpose of understanding, responding to, and mitigating the spread of COVID-19," according to City Council documents.

In response to questions from Austonia, Austin Public Health did not say why the two authorities were not already sharing data. The officials confirmed the first cases in the county—three—on March 13. The first death came two weeks later on March 27.

The city has a similar agreement with the University of Texas at Austin's Dell Medical School, and the new agreement will allow data sharing between all three.

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