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Austin-Travis County health officials alarmed at growing number of COVID-19 hospitalizations

More hospitalizations in Travis County have pushed officials to move the area into a more-restrictive Stage 4.

AUSTIN, Texas — The number of new coronavirus cases in Travis County and the number of hospitalizations are continuing their upward trends based on new data released Monday.

Austin has now surpassed 20 new hospital admissions a day based on a seven-day moving average. Of equal concern is the increase in confirmed new cases that far exceeds the amount of new testing for the virus.

A KVUE analysis of case numbers and tests in Austin indicates that while tests for COVID-19 have increased 18% since June 1, new cases are up 90%.


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Austin enters Stage 4 COVID-19 risk-based level after spike in hospitalizations

On Monday, Austin moved to Stage 4 of its risk-based plan to help decrease the spread of the virus. Under the new guidelines, which will be in effect until Aug. 15, people over the age of 65 and those who have chronic medical conditions should avoid social gatherings and any gatherings with more than two people. Those at lower risk are advised to avoid social gatherings and any gatherings with more than 10 people. Both groups are advised to avoid dining and shopping unless necessary.

Travis County is not alone in the uptick in cases. Hays County is also seeing a dramatic rise in new cases, with 270 more reported between Saturday and Monday, almost all among people ages 20 to 29.

Meanwhile, data from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows a continuing spike in hospitalizations across Texas. Hospital admissions have increased 19% since June 1, a trend that is showing no sign of changing soon.

Gov. Greg Abbott is set to provide an update on the state's hospital capacity on Tuesday at 1 p.m. 

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