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Non-essential activity in Austin down 64%, Travis County judge says

Mayor Steve Adler joined local officials to provide an update to COVID-19 in the Austin-Travis County area.

AUSTIN, Texas — Non-essential activity has dropped by 64% in the Austin-Travis County areaTravis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt and local health officials announced at a press conference at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler said at a 50% reduction, the city would see a dramatic decrease in hospitalizations at the virus' peak.

According to Mayor Adler, if the city reduces activity by 75%, some surge capacity would be needed, but it would be manageable. Additionally, if the city can reach an 82% reduction in essential activity, the current hospital capacity will likely be enough for the peak of the virus, according to University of Texas projections.

RELATED: UT models show importance of social distancing in mitigating spread of COVID-19, City leaders say

Judge Eckhardt said that while this number is a good sign, she believes the city could still be doing better.

Mayor Adler said if construction site mitigation does not occur, there could be nearly three times as many COVID-19 related hospitalizations.

According to Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott, there are approximately 4,300 hospital beds available for COVID-19 in the Austin-Travis County hospital systems. Dr. Escott said a site has been identified to be a site that could potentially be converted to a COVID-19 healthcare facility if needed.


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Dr. Escott Said there are 554 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Austin-Travis County area, and of those cases, 77 people have been hospitalized and 28 are on ventilators.

Dr. Escott said the city has an additional two types of facilities: Isolation facilities for those who have tested positive and don't want to infect their families and protective lodges to help protect those who are at high risk for COVID-19.

WATCH: Coronavirus in Austin: Mayor, health officials give update on how city is handling COVID-19

This announcement follows a press conference in which Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that some Walgreens locations would soon be offering drive-thru testing for COVID-19 that would get results in approximately 15 minutes.


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