Austin-Travis County health officials on Wednesday said 280 more people in the area tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total case count in the county to 39,037.
On Tuesday the county reported 380 new coronavirus cases — the largest single-day increase in cases since July 21, when the county reported 603 cases.
According to data provided on the Austin-Travis County online coronavirus dashboard, the county saw more new cases in November than in the two previous months combined.
On Wednesday, Mayor Steve Adler said he regretted a social gathering he participated in November, following an American-Statesman report that revealed that he participated in a wedding for his daughter early last month.
Local health authorities also reported two new coronavirus-related fatalities on Wednesday, and the county’s pandemic death toll is now 486.
The county’s number of active cases on Wednesday was 2,646, marking a slight decrease from Tuesday.
As of Wednesday, the number of estimated recoveries in the county was 35,905, according to local health officials.
Of the 222 people in Austin-area hospitals on Wednesday, 73 were in intensive care and 41 were on ventilators.
County health officials on Wednesday also reported that 29 more people with COVID-19 have been admitted to Austin-area hospitals. The area’s seven-day rolling average of new hospitalizations did not change from the Tuesday and remained at 30.
The record for the highest seven-day average number of new hospitalizations for the Austin-Travis County area stands at 75.1, reported on July 8.
The seven-day rolling average of new hospital admissions is one of the main factors health officials look at when considering coronavirus-related restrictions in the city.
Of those who have tested positive for the coronavirus in the pandemic, 47% were Hispanic, according to recent Austin data. Non-Hispanic whites made up about 34% of cases; 7% are Black and 3% are Asian.
According to the 2019 census estimates, the county is about 49% non-Hispanic white, 9% Black and 7.4% Asian, and 33.6% of the population is Hispanic.
Local health officials have released pandemic-related safety guidelines for holiday gatherings and activities. The area has also entered into Stage 4 of Austin Public Health’s risk-based guidelines.
Under renewed Stage 4 guidelines:
– Higher-risk individuals (those older than 65 and those who have chronic medical conditions) should limit social gatherings to no more than two people outside their household. They should stay home, except for essential trips such as buying groceries or receiving medical care.
– Lower-risk individuals should avoid social gatherings with more than 10 people and non-essential travel.
– Business and restaurant owners are encouraged to voluntarily reduce capacity by 25% to 50%.
– Schools are encouraged to limit attendance at sporting events to players, coaches and parents.
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