AUSTIN, TX — A total of 119 cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed in Travis County as of Wednesday evening, according to Austin Public Health.
The cases represent an increase of 21 from the previous day when 98 cases had been confirmed in the county.
On Tuesday, a shelter-in-place order went into effect for Austin and Travis County that only allows residents to leave their homes for essential purposes like getting groceries or medicines. The order is in effect until April 13 unless it is modified. The measures were enacted in an effort to slow the spread of the respiratory illness.
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In neighboring Williamson County, 22 cases of the illness have been confirmed. The county is also under a "shelter-in-place" order.
Initially named new coronavirus, COVID-19 is caused by a member of the coronavirus family that's a close cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses that have sparked outbreaks in the past. Health officials say the disease is spread through respiratory droplets.
Social distancing guidelines put into effect in the Austin area and nationwide recommend that people stay at least 6 feet away from each other to prevent the virus from spreading.
On Wednesday, city officials also confirmed that a paramedic with Austin EMS had tested positive for the virus.
Austin Public Health continues to stress the importance of practicing good personal hygiene and maintaining social distance during essential activities to disrupt the spread of the virus.
Proper hygiene practices include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.