Travis County Gains 191 New Coronavirus Cases, No New Deaths

Tony Cantu
·6 min read

AUSTIN, TX — Travis County reported 191 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in bringing the cumulative total to 36,175, health district officials said on Saturday. No new deaths were reported since the previous day, keeping the historical count of fatalities at 476 since the start of the pandemic.

The data are input into a statistical dashboard maintained by Austin Public Health. Currently, there are 2,429 active cases of coronavirus in the county as seen on the dashboard. The two-day total of new coronavirus cases well exceeds 500 after 368 additional cases were reported on Friday. All told, the data show, 559 new cases emerged on Friday and Saturday.

The stats for Sunday were scheduled to be available by early evening.

Hispanics continue to be disproportionately affected with the respiratory illness, the population segment representing 48 percent of all diagnoses despite representing less than 34 percent of the Travis County population as the dashboard shows. Women have been slightly more impacted than men, with 49 percent and 51 percent representation of cases, respectively, as shown on the dashboard.

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The data show there are 205 residents currently hospitalized for treatment of coronavirus, including 74 being treated at intensive care units and 44 placed on ventilators. The number of people hospitalized on Saturday is six less than the previous day, but three more among those at intensive care units than on Friday. The number of those on ventilators as of Saturday was one less than the previous day.

The latest cases to emerge come three days after health district officials' moving the region to the orange-coded Stage 4 alert level. Under that level of preparedness, those at higher risk of getting sick — those over 65 and others with chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems — are urged to limit their gatherings to no more than two individuals.

The move from Stage 3 to Stage 4 was based on Austin Public Health’s (APH) Risk-Based Guidelines, city officials explained, and was spurred by key indicators for stage changes trending upwards. The need for the upgraded alert level was buttressed by concerns related to gatherings outside households for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, health officials added.

"The virus is especially dangerous to older adults and those with underlying medical conditions," health district officials wrote in an update. "As people are making holiday plans, we ask that they remember their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other loved ones who could face serious complications if they get COVID-19."

Graphic provided by Austin Public Health.

Health district officials stressed that the risk-based guidelines are not changes to local orders and rules or regulations for businesses. Rather, officials noted, the upgraded alert level represents guidelines for individual actions and behaviors based on various risk levels.

The following guidelines are issued under the Stage 4 alert level:

  • Higher-risk individuals (those over the age of 65 and those who have chronic medical conditions) should stay home, except for essential trips such as buying groceries or seeking medical care.

  • Lower-risk individuals should avoid social gatherings, any gatherings greater than 10 people, and non-essential travel.

  • Recommend businesses and restaurants voluntarily reduce capacity to 25 percent or 50 percent.

  • Recommend schools limit attendance at sporting events to players, coaches, and parents.

"Due to COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths increasing across Texas and the United States, it is time to sound the alarm and consider our personal behaviors and their impact on the community," health district officials wrote in elevating the risk alert level. "The actions we take in the coming days and weeks can either move us in the right or the wrong direction. We are asking the public to continue to be vigilant and practice good hygiene, physical and social distancing, and wear face coverings to prevent the disease from spreading and help keep each other safe."

Key to such precautions is avoidance of gatherings outside one's household, city officials said. To that end, the city assembled holiday safety recommendations that can be found at AustinTexas.gov/HolidaySafety.

"Without immediate actions, residents in Austin-Travis County could be facing a rapidly growing surge between Thanksgiving and Christmas," city officials wrote.

For more information and updates, visit AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.


En español:


A la fecha del 19 de noviembre, Austin-Condado de Travis ha pasado de la Etapa 3 a la Etapa 4 de las Guías basadas en los riesgos publicadas por Salud Pública de Austin (APH, en inglés) debido al aumento en los indicadores clave de cambio de etapa. Esto, combinado con la preocupación de que las personas se reúnan fuera de sus hogares para las festividades del Día de Acción de Gracias, provocó que Austin Public Health elevara el nivel de riesgo.

El virus es particularmente peligroso para los adultos mayores y los que tienen condiciones médicas subyacentes. Ahora que las personas hacen sus planes para la época de fiesta, les pedimos que piensen en sus padres, abuelos, tíos y otros seres queridos que pudieran presentar complicaciones graves si contraen COVID-19. Las guías basadas en los riesgos no son cambios a las órdenes y reglas locales ni a las regulaciones para los negocios, sino que son guías para acciones y comportamientos individuales basados en varios niveles de riesgo. En la Etapa 4:

  • Las personas en mayor riesgo (los mayores de 65 años y los que tienen condiciones médicas crónicas) deben quedarse en casa, excepto si tienen que salir para hacer algo esencial, como ir al supermercado o al médico.

  • Las personas con un nivel de riesgo menor deben evitar las reuniones sociales, cualquier reunión con más de 10 personas y viajes no esenciales.

  • Se recomienda que los negocios y restaurantes reduzcan voluntariamente su capacidad a 25 - 50 por ciento.

  • Se recomienda que las escuelas limiten la asistencia a eventos deportivos a solo los jugadores, entrenadores y padres.

Debido a que los casos, hospitalizaciones y muertes por COVID-19 están aumentando por todo Texas y los Estados Unidos, es hora de emitir una señal de alerta para que consideremos nuestros comportamientos personales y su impacto en la comunidad. Las acciones que tomemos en los próximos días y semanas pueden movernos en la dirección correcta o incorrecta.

Le pedimos al público que continúe alerta y que practiquen la buena higiene, el distanciamiento físico y social y que usen mascarillas para evitar que la enfermedad se siga propagando y para protegernos a todos. Evitar las reuniones fuera de su casa es crucial en esta época de fiesta. Puede encontrar las recomendaciones para protegerse contra el COVID-19 durante esta época festiva en AustinTexas.gov/HolidaySafety.

Si no toman acción inmediatamente, los residentes de Austin-Condado de Travis podrían enfrentarse a un aumento repentino de casos entre el Día de Acción de Gracias y Navidad. Para información adicional y actualizada, visite AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.

This article originally appeared on the Austin Patch