As the country waits to see the results of the presidential election, we've been distracted from 2020's other big story: the novel coronavirus. Election season is winding down (hopefully), but the virus has kicked back up in the Austin region, which is now seeing its highest active case numbers since this summer.
Austin's active COVID-19 cases hit 1,034 as of press time. In a release dated November 5, Austin Public Health notes that this is the highest report of active cases since August 15. Of those cases, more than half who have tested positive through APH have been adults between 20 and 39 years old.
APH also urges anyone who was involved in gatherings over the past few days (Halloween celebrations, election watch parties, etc.) to get tested as soon as possible, to self-isolate, and to refrain from visiting at-risk loved ones.
"APH cannot prevent a spike in cases ahead of the winter holidays without the support and cooperation of our entire community," said APH. "An increase in case numbers will lead to needless hospitalizations and deaths."
According to the COVID-19 dashboard, 132 patients are currently hospitalized in Austin-area hospitals with COVID-19. Of those, 52 are in the ICU and 20 are on ventilators.
Austin's recent COVID-19 caseload mimics the nation, which hit a record-breaking 100,000 positive COVID-19 cases this week — a grim milestone was largely overshadowed by the slow-moving ballot count. As the northern part of the country heads inside for winter, Colorado, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, and Nebraska set single-day case records on November 4, according to data from the New York Times.
In temperate Texas, coronavirus cases are still rising, though at a slower rate than most of the U.S. According to the NYT, positive cases in the Lone Star State hit 10,631 on November 4. The last time Texas surpassed 10,000 new cases was July 31.
Here in Austin, 32,605 cases of COVID-19 have been reported since March with 456 deaths.