AUSTIN, Texas — There was more good news on Tuesday from UT Health, as the number of new cases of the coronavirus shows another week-to-week decrease in most of the counties in the Central Texas KVUE viewing area. The data is based on comparing the number of new cases on July 20 to cases one week later on July 27.
That data shows a 36% drop in new cases from a week ago in Travis County, a 48% drop in Williamson County and 14% fewer new cases in Hays County.
However, local health officials are quick to note that no one should let their guard down since the coronavirus continues to put virtually everyone at risk. They continue to urge social distancing, wearing a face covering outside the home and washing hands frequently.
Regarding the decline in new cases, an unusual study of how mobile we are may hold a clue about how much we’re social distancing. Residents of Travis, Williamson and Hays County rank among a top percentage of the most people who are staying home and not getting out as much as their counterparts in other parts of Texas.
According to data from Facebook through its participation in the nonprofit COVID-19 Mobility Data Network – a group that tracks how mobile we’ve been since the COVID-19 outbreak began – Williamson County residents have ranked near the top of the list in traveling less and staying home more. Around 21% of that county’s population has stayed home, rarely venturing out. In Travis County the number is 19% and in Hays County 17%. And, according to the mobility data, when we do go out we’re making about 20% fewer trips in the three counties than before the pandemic began.
However, not all Texans are staying home. The mobility data shows that in a number of Panhandle counties, people are actually leaving home more than before the pandemic began, perhaps one reason that the number of new cases in that region has been increasing.
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