A few quarter of adults in Travis County have gotten no less than one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and the Austin space is seeing record-low numbers of coronavirus circumstances. However well being officers have been clear at a information convention Friday morning: “We’re not out of the woods but.”
There are no less than two Covid-19 variants now spreading in Austin, and college students and households are getting back from spring break subsequent week. Dr. Mark Escott, interim well being authority for Austin Public Well being, mentioned individuals who traveled over the break and have been in locations the place social distancing and masking weren’t adhered to ought to quarantine and get examined.
“Please keep residence subsequent week, please get a take a look at on the finish of the week earlier than you come back to work or faculty,” he mentioned. “That’s going to assist restrict the unfold to different members of the group and assist us to keep away from a surge.”
The Austin space has seen a slight improve in Covid-19 hospital admissions over the past couple of days. Escott mentioned that’s a reminder the group must hold following precautions: social distancing, masking and staying residence when sick.
“If we will do this and we will preserve these protections over the following six weeks, our danger of a surge goes to dissipate in a short time as we method Could,” he mentioned. “And God prepared, we will have a extra regular summer season and fall … if we will all proceed to work collectively within the quick time period.”
Now in its third month of administering vaccines to the general public, Austin Public Well being is ramping up vaccination efforts – a course of that’s been hindered by the very fact the company has been getting solely 12,000 doses every week. APH is getting ready to begin up its first drive-thru vaccine distribution at Toney Burger Stadium on Saturday. It expects 1,500 first doses to be administered on the pilot occasion – by appointment solely – however says the positioning has the capability to serve 3,000 individuals per day.
APH Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard mentioned APH can also be wanting into establishing extra vaccine distributions in neighborhoods across the metropolis. That might embody leisure facilities, church buildings and even house complexes.
“The big websites are nice as a result of we undoubtedly must get a lot of vaccine out to the general public and guarantee we’re doing that in a brief period of time,” she mentioned. “However we’ve heard from the general public that there’s a concern that we must always have extra places which can be in your neighborhood, one you could simply entry.”
The company says it has the power to vaccinate 37,000 individuals every week in any respect of its distribution websites mixed; it simply wants extra vaccines. APH has been getting 12,000 first doses every week from the state, with the accompanying second doses coming 4 weeks later.
Hayden-Howard mentioned APH has requested 12,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires just one dose, nevertheless it hasn’t obtained any but.
Escott mentioned the general provide of vaccines will not be anticipated to alter a lot within the subsequent week, however starting in April, APH has been advised to count on a big improve in allocation.
APH’s Covid-19 vaccine appointment scheduling system got here beneath fireplace this week, after technical glitches Monday left many people frustrated and without an appointment. The company made updates to the system and launched appointments once more Thursday night.
Hayden-Howard mentioned the registration labored “very properly” Thursday and about 4,600 individuals have been in a position to schedule appointments for Friday and Saturday.
“We’re very assured within the modifications which have been made,” she mentioned. “We additionally know that as we transfer alongside and make different updates to our system, our purpose is to make our system as user-friendly as we will.”
This story was produced as a part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT.
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