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The week in COVID: Austin's decline in new cases, hospitalizations now a plateau

Austin's COVID-19 cases remain most concentrated in East side ZIP codes.

The mountain of COVID-19 data released every day in Austin is easier to understand with visual aids.

Once a week, Austonia is taking a look at the previous seven days of COVID-19 statistics, all with the very helpful graphics of Austin resident and Reddit user Rational Anarchy, who has been producing daily visuals and posting them in the forum.



(Updated Aug. 7. All graphics: Rational Anarchy/Reddit)

Travis County’s daily confirmed new COVID-19 cases stop decline, hit plateau

After two weeks of steady decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases and daily hospital admissions, both trend lines now appear to be in a plateau.

"That's better than a surge - but still dangerous," Austin Mayor Steve Adler said during his State of the City address on Wednesday.

The seven-day moving average of daily new confirmed cases has risen slightly, to 262 as of Thursday evening compared to 218 last week. The moving average of daily new hospital admissions is now 38, up slightly from 37.7 last week.

Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott is concerned the plateau could reverse track, especially if schools reopen and sports stadiums welcome back fans.

"We've seen over and over again, across the country and across the globe, that when communities relax too soon, it results in a bounce of cases and a repeat surge," he told county commissioners on Tuesday.

Travis County’s reported COVID-19 deaths hold steady

As of Thursday evening, Travis County reported 288 deaths, up from 266 deaths a week ago.

The local case fatality rate—defined as the number of reported deaths per confirmed cases—remains around 1.3%, compared to 1.1% on July 9. But the 14-day moving average number of daily reported deaths has declined slightly, to four from around six last week.

Dr. Escott has attributed the increase to the fact that most of the patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in late July were over 60—and at much higher risk of death.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Austin metro continue to decline

The total number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 is also declining. As of Thursday evening, 297 people were hospitalized with the virus in the five-county metro area, compared to 388 a week ago.

And ICU occupancy improved incrementally—only to bounce back

After six weeks of the ICU occupancy at more than 80%, it finally dipped to 78% on Tuesday evening, according to a joint update from Austin's three major hospital systems.

But on Friday, the three systems—Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White and St. David's HealthCare—reported an updated ICU occupancy rate of 82%.

Ventilator use is declining, however, with 73 people using them as of Thursday evening, compared to 97 a week ago.

Austin’s COVID-19 cases remain most concentrated on the East Side

New COVID-19 cases in Austin remain most densely concentrated on the city's East Side—and specifically in the ZIP codes 78744, 78753 and 78660.

Austin Public Health has opened testing sites in these areas to serve those most in need and has also targeted outreach to the city's Latino and Black populations, who are at the highest risk of being hospitalized with and dying from COVID-19.

Austin’s older residents remain most at risk of dying from COVID-19—amid other disparities

While young people age 20-39 make up nearly half of the total confirmed COVID-19 cases, they are much more likely to avoid hospitalization and recover.

In sharp contrast, people 60 years and older make up only 12% of confirmed COVID-19 cases but account for 80% of reported deaths, according to Austin Public Health.

Want to read more stories like this one? Start every day with a quick look at what's happening in Austin. Sign up for Austonia.com's free daily morning email.
 

Popular

Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation


🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway