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COVID-19 clusters in Austin: How the city is handling them

The mayor told KVUE in an interview April 20 that officials must isolate and "contract trace" the virus in those clusters.

AUSTIN, Texas — As Austin Public Health investigates nine clusters of COVID-19 cases in Austin-Travis County, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said city health officials are working to isolate the virus in those communities.

APH confirmed April 19 that they are investigating eight clusters at senior living communities and one cluster at a Downtown Austin Salvation Army facility.

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

  • One in North Austin
  • Two in Central Austin
  • Two in South Austin
  • One in southeast Austin
  • Two in southwest Austin

One cluster recognized last week was The Salvation Army, located at 501 East Eighth St., APH said. 

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

More than half of the COVID-19-related deaths in Austin are connected to clusters, which is defined as three or more positive cases of the coronavirus in a single location. Adler told KVUE in an interview April 20 that officials must isolate and "contract trace" the virus in those clusters.

"... If it spreads to two or three or four people, then you need to need to isolate those two, three or four people so they have a chance to recover," Adler said. "You also have to make sure that you can determine and find who it is that those two, three or four people came into close contact with so that you can tell those people to isolate in case they have the virus so that they don't spread it. But you want to get testing to those people just as quickly as you can so that you can determine whether or not they have the virus and whether or not they can give the virus to someone else."

The mayor said this illustrates the importance of limiting the number of additional physical interactions every member of the public has at this time. If you're ever confirmed to have the virus, you will need to be able to tell officials who you came into contact with in the past several days.

"... Probably most people today, if you got asked who you had a physical interaction with in the last three, four, five days, they couldn't answer that question," he said.

WATCH: Mayor Adler discusses Austin coronavirus clusters on KVUE

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