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Austin Public Health investigating 8 senior living communities, downtown Salvation Army facility as coronavirus clusters

Austin Public Health defines a cluster as three or more positive cases of COVID-19 at a single location.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The video published above is a KVUE report about The Salvation Army facility in Downtown Austin closing for cleaning.

Austin Public Health (APH) epidemiologists said they are investigating nine clusters of COVID-19 cases in Austin-Travis County as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
 
APH defines a cluster as three or more positive cases of COVID-19 at a single location. Clusters do not present a significant risk to the local community as there is significant community spread of COVID-19 across Austin, according to APH.
 
One cluster recognized last week was The Salvation Army, located at 501 East Eighth St., APH said. 

APH also said it is investigating eight senior living communities or long-term care facilities as COVID-19 clusters. 

Senior living communities include nursing homes, hospices, assisted living facilities, independent living centers, skilled nursing centers and intermediate care facilities, according to APH.

The City did not release the exact locations of the eight senior living communities, but did provide the regions they are in:

  • 1 in North Austin
  • 2 in Central Austin
  • 2 in South Austin
  • 1 in southeast Austin
  • 2 in southwest Austin

"We believe there is more the community can do to eliminate the transmission of COVID-19, and this includes cocooning the locations of the most vulnerable populations," said Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott. “The community is helping us fight the spread and a good fight has a good defense."

According to APH, 14 of the 25 individuals who have died from COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County since the start of the outbreak were residents of senior living communities, which underlines the importance of the health authority’s extensive proactive efforts to protect vulnerable populations. 

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