COVID-19 News

Austin likely to hit another grim COVID-19 milestone today, says health authority

Austin on track to hit grim COVID-19 milestone, says health authority

Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas at Austin hospital
Austin's top doc says Austin is likely to break hospital admission records today, another grim milestone in the pandemic. Photo courtesy of Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin

KVUE — In his weekly briefing with the Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, Dr. Mark Escott with Austin Public Health said he expects the Austin area is likely to exceed its 200 ICU hospital bed capacity before January 15.

Dr. Escott said now is the time the area is seeing the effects of people gathering around Christmas, with even more expected to be felt from the New Year's holiday in coming days.

As a result, he said the area has seen steep and aggressive increases in ICU admissions and ventilator use.

On Monday, Dr. Escott said 522 new hospitalizations were reported for the Austin MSA, marking a 145 percent increase in the moving average since December 4 and setting a new record since the beginning of the pandemic. The moving average is now at 459.

The doctor said 156 ICU admissions were reported Monday, marking a 105 percent increase since December 4. The moving average is now at 142.

He also said 84 new hospital admissions were reported Monday, marking a 140 percent increase since Dec. 4. The moving average is now at 77.

“The data that we have so far for today indicates that we will likely break a new record today, and I expect that we will make many new records over the coming two weeks in terms of new admissions to the hospital, unfortunately,” he said.

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