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Dr. Escott: Austin could see curfew by the end of the week

The doctor said we don't have much capacity left in our hospitals.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Public Health hosted its weekly COVID-19 update Monday, and Dr. Mark Escott had some bleak predictions as cases continue to climb in Austin-Travis County in the midst of the holiday season.

Among those predictions included the potential of a curfew by the end of the week.

During the Dec. 28 press conference, Dr. Escott said Austin could run out of hospital and ICU beds in one to two weeks, adding that "we're going to enter 2021 in a state of emergency." 

RELATED: Austin could run out of hospital and ICU beds in 1-2 weeks, Dr. Escott says

"When I say a 'state of emergency,' I mean we will start 2021 with our hospitals full or nearly full," he said.

If we continue to see an upward trend, "we are going to have further discussions about the possibility of a curfew now towards the end of this week to try to help mitigate that risk," Dr. Escott explained. "We don't have much capacity left in our hospitals."

You can watch the press conference in full in the video below.

We're still working to learn more about what this possible curfew would look like. KVUE asked the City about when the curfew could begin, and what data they have to show that curfews, in fact, help slow the spread. The City couldn't give any answers.

A curfew was first discussed in a briefing two weeks after the Thanksgiving holiday. Dr. Escott said on Dec. 11 that he might recommend imposing a city curfew if Stage 5 is deemed necessary. 

RELATED: Austin enters final Stage 5 in risk-based coronavirus guidelines

More than a week later on Dec. 23, Austin entered Stage 5 of its COVID-19 risked-based guidelines for the first time since the pandemic began.

With just a few days until New Year's Eve, APH said their hope is that the community will "make a better choice and not go out." 

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