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Austin's positive COVID-19 rate remains steady despite spike in cases, number of tests
(Austin Public Health)

Travis County residents are taking advantage of Austin Public Health's free COVID-19 testing service as reported cases continue to spike—even though they may have to wait in a long car line before reaching the drive-thru station.


Between June 8 and June 15, APH conducted nearly 2,500 tests—more than double its previous weekly count, Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said this week.



Wednesday evening, Travis County reported its largest daily increase—220—in confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started. The previous record was 161 new cases reported on June 9. (Due to maintenance on the Travis County COVID-19 dashboard, Wednesday is the most recent data available.)

But Dr. Escott has explained that the spike is not merely reflective of increased testing but also of the virus' quickening spread.

"We have widespread community transmission in Austin, in Travis County, across Texas, across the United States," he said. "And we're seeing that demonstrated in the new cases that we're experiencing and the rapid growth of those new cases."

A key indicator of a surge is an increasing rate of hospitalizations. The seven-day rolling average of new daily hospital admissions as of Wednesday was 24.3, up from 13 a week ago.

This change led APH to advance the local threat level from stage 3 to 4, according to the five-stage system its staff developed with the COVID-19 Modeling Consortium at the University of Texas.

Although the number of confirmed cases and COVID-related hospitalizations are rising, the rate of positive test results has largely remained steady, APH data shows. Between late April and early June, the positive rate was 5.83%. Since June 8, 5.72% of tests have returned a positive result. This positive rate, however, varies widely across race and ethnic groups. Dr. Escott said Wednesday that the positive rate for Hispanic residents tested by APH between June 8-15 was 23.5%. The rate among black residents was 7% and among white residents 3.1%.

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1923 Lake Austin mansion demolition request pitting preservationists and some neighbors against owner and city preservation office
Austin Monitor

By Jonathan Lee

The Planning Commission was split Tuesday on whether to help save an eclectic lakefront estate from demolition by zoning it historic amid concerns over tax breaks and the likelihood that a previous owner participated in segregation as a business owner.

The property in question, known as the Delisle House, is located at 2002 Scenic Drive in Tarrytown. The main house, with Spanish and Modern influences, was built in 1923 by Raymond Delisle, an optician. A Gothic Revival accessory apartment was built in 1946. The current owner applied to demolish the structures in order to build a new home.'

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Freaky Floats and other Austin food & drink news
Austin Motel

What's new in Austin food & drink this week:

  • Nau's Enfield Drug closing after losing their lease. Did McGuire Moorman Lambert buy the building, with its vintage soda fountain?
  • Nixta Taqueria Chef Edgar Rico named to Time Magazine's Time 100 Next influencer list, after winning a James Beard Award earlier this year.
  • Question: From what BBQ joint did pescatarian Harry Styles order food this week?
  • Austin Motel is opening the pool and pool bar Wednesday nights in October for Freaky Floats.
  • Vincent's on the Lake closing due to "economic conditions and low water levels [at Lake Travis]."
  • Cenote has closed its Windsor Park location. The East Cesar Chavez location remains open.
  • The Steeping Room on N. Lamar has closed.
  • Local startup It's Skinnyscored new financing for its gluten-free pasta business.
  • P. Terry's opened a new location in Kyle, at 18940 IH-35.