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Some aren't getting ICU care as Austin ICUs continue to exceed capacity

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Even as positive COVID cases and new hospital admissions are on a downward trend, ICU capacity is at dire levels.


At a press conference Friday, Austin Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said Austin ICUs are over capacity with 229 ICU patients for 200 beds. ICU patients are also being cared for longer. While hospitals are "stretching themselves thin" to provide for more patients, there are patients that should be getting ICU care that are unable to due to capacity.

Additionally, routine medical care is being impacted, Walkes said. At one point this week, 20 patients were looking to be transferred to get care—five were for COVID, the other 15 were for strokes and other illnesses, according to Walkes.

Austin Public Health Director Dr. Adrienne Stirrup told a story of a veteran with appendicitis who lost his life as hospitals were forced to turn him away.

"That is sad that in this day and age that someone could pass from something that could be resolved relatively quickly because our hospitals are full of folks that don't necessarily have to be there," Stirrup said, referring to people that could choose to get the vaccine to prevent hospitalization.

Austin health officials are asking the remaining 31% who aren't fully vaccinated to get the shot to help relieve hospitals and to prevent potential cancellations of major events like Austin City Limits. The department says that those unvaccinated are 10 times more likely to require hospitalization and 10 times more likely to die from it.

On the positive side, new hospital admissions are declining and the COVID test positivity rate is down to about 10%.

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A mortgage banker walks us through the math on purchasing a 'mid-price' Austin home
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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
Camp Fimfo Waco

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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