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(Christa McWhirter)

Mourners laid flowers at the Children's Medical Group office in Central Austin after Dr. Lindley Dodson was killed in a hostage situation.

The Austin community is still reeling from a hostage incident at a local pediatric practice late last month, in which Dr. Katherine Lindley Dodson was killed in a murder-suicide. The crime remains under investigation, and it is unclear what role the pandemic may have played in the suspect's motives. However, recent studies have found a dramatic increase in suicidal ideation over the course of the pandemic, as many people contend with social isolation and financial stress.

Local mental health providers say that demand for services—whether in the form of client referrals or hotline calls—are up. State and federal emergency orders have improved access to telemedicine, which enables some people with insurance to access therapy virtually, but in-person outreach and other suicide prevention efforts may be affected by the pandemic.

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(Oles kanebckuu/Pexels)

Several Reddit users identifying themselves as Austin-area health care workers took to the popular social media platform Thursday and Friday to post observations about dire situations at some facilities treating COVID-19 patients.

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(Charlie L. Harper III)

There are two suspected cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children—a rare but serious condition believed to be associated with COVID-19—in Travis County, Austin Public Health Chief Epidemiologist Janet Pichette said during a virtual press conference earlier today.

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Beansprout Pediatrics was prepared for the pandemic. Its team—five pediatricians, four pediatric nurse practitioners and 25 ancillary staff—was following the coronavirus news out of China and had stocked up on personal protective equipment.

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