Austin Public Health

A sign in front of the reopened Revelry Kitchen + Bar says, "No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service."
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin Public Health said it can administer 1,750 COVID-19 tests per day at its drive-thru testing site, but only 200 to 350 people are being tested each day.

CommUnityCare conducts drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the Hancock Center.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Latinx communities in Austin have been hard-hit by the coronavirus. Latinx patients account for nearly two-thirds of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Austin area, and at some sites they are nearly four times more likely to test positive for the coronavirus. 

Officials said Wednesday they're forming a task force to address that disparity, which was news to the Latinx advocates who called for one in the first place.

Texas has deemed construction work as essential and allowed it to continue during the coronavirus pandemic. Austin Public Health requires workers to wear face coverings, practice good hygiene and have their temperature screened daily at constructon sites.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin Public Health officials say they’re still crunching the numbers, but their investigations so far show construction joins long-term care facilities, health care and grocery stores as the industries hit hardest locally by COVID-19. The officials say they are still working to determine exactly how many cases have originated and spread from construction sites.

But they claim that number may be hard to pin down.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations is nearly double among the Latinx population in Austin and Travis County, health officials say.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

At least 335 positive COVID-19 cases and 30 deaths have been reported among staff and residents of Austin-area nursing homes and long-term care facilities. But testing levels remain low, and health officials say they don't have a good estimate of how many tests would be needed for that entire population.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that some Texas businesses like restaurants can reopen with limited capacity Friday. Austin Public Health had been thinking about making a similar move – just not so fast.

An employee takes down information at a drive-thru coronavirus clinic at the CommUNITYCare at the Hancock Center.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

More than 500 of the 1,800 people who’ve signed up for Austin Public Health’s testing enrollment form met the criteria needed to warrant a COVID-19 test.

The Austin skyline during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin Public Health says it’s investigating nine clusters of COVID-19 in the Austin-Travis County area. One was recognized last week at The Salvation Army's downtown Austin shelter, and the others are among eight senior living communities or long-term care facilities, the city said in a press release Sunday evening. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

City officials say they are preparing to increase the number of hospital beds in the area in case there is a surge of COVID-19 patients overwhelming existing hospitals.

Workers handle paperwork at a drive-thru coronavirus screening site at CommUNITYCare Clinic at the Hancock Center in Austin last month.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

As Austin tries to track down those who’ve come in contact with the 502 people who have tested positive for the coronavirus, the interim health authority and public health medical director said it’s hard to draw a clear line between many of the cases.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The interim health authority for Austin-Travis County says he expects a recommendation for Austinites to wear fabric face coverings when they're outside the home to become a requirement.

An Austin Public Health sign explains ways to prevent the spread of disease.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin Public Health announced Monday that its new nursing home task force is setting up sites to house nursing home residents who test positive for COVID-19. The city says these isolation facilities will give COVID-19 patients who don’t need hospitalization a safe place to recover while staying away from other nursing home residents and staff.

 A line of shoppers waits to enter Costco in South Austin during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez C. Pérez / KUT

New rules went into effect in Austin on Saturday night to enforce social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Families sit on blankets during KUTX's Rock the Park at Mueller Lake Park last fall.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The City of Austin has banned events with more than 250 attendees in an effort to stave off the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

City and health officials gather at City Hall on March 6 to announce South by Southwest's closure.
Julia Reihs / KUT

The city is sharing additional details on the first confirmed coronavirus cases in Central Texas, Friday morning. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Three presumptive positive cases of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 were confirmed in Austin on Friday, city health officials said. The cases are the first confirmed in Central Texas.

Dr. Mark Escott, interim medical director of Austin Public Health
Julia Reihs / KUT

Austin Public Health is mandating that nursing homes, assisted living and long-term care facilities in Austin-Travis County secure building access and screen all individuals – including employees, volunteers and visitors – for fevers before allowing them to enter.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Health officials are testing "one or more" individuals for COVID-19 in the Austin-Travis County area, Austin Public Health's interim health director said.  

The tower at the University of Texas Austin
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Incoming UT Austin students will need to show proof they’ve been vaccinated against measles starting this fall, according to University Health Services.

The new requirement does not apply to students currently in classes or those enrolling this spring or summer. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Public health officials confirmed Thursday morning the first case of rubella in Travis County since 1999. The confirmation comes roughly a month after the first diagnosis of measles, which was last seen in the Austin area in 1999, too.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Nationwide, 32 children have died of flu this season, including eight in Texas. The figure is up from 16 last year – a jump that may be partially due to the strain of virus.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin public health officials say there's no longer any risk of a measles outbreak associated with a Travis County case reported in December.

Late last month, Travis County recorded its first measles case in two decades. It stemmed from an individual who had traveled abroad. Austin Public Health says the incubation period, which lasts from 10 to 14 days, is now over and there have been no new cases.

An examing room
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Public health officials say the first case of measles in Austin in more than 20 years was contracted by a person who is now in Virginia.