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City, county agencies to share data related to positive COVID-19 tests in contract tracing effort
(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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A mortgage banker walks us through the math on purchasing a 'mid-price' Austin home
Shutterstock

So you want to buy a house?

To anyone trying to get on the "housing ladder," it's been a discouraging couple of years as prices skyrocketed in a market crowded with buyers bidding against each other for just about any available home.

Things may be calming down, with the Austin Board of REALTORS reporting fewer sales and more available homes this summer.

Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the last year, from around 3% to well over 6% on a 30-year fixed rate loan, getting even more of a bump this week after the Federal Reserve raised bank rates on Wednesday.

So how affordable are homes right now? That, of course, depends on what you want and how much you're able or willing to pay, but here are some rough estimates of what a typical buyer would pay to buy a $650,000 home, which would be considered "mid-price" in today's market.

Mortgage banker Chris Holland (NMLS 211033) of Austin's Sente Mortgage ran some numbers for Austonia to illustrate a typical purchase.

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Fall camping: Camp Fimfo Waco offers one-of-a-kind experiences in the heart of Texas
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Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!

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