Austin now has better control of COVID-19 than any other large Texas city

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A woman on a scooter passes a coronavirus-related mural that has been painted on closed businesses in Austin, Texas, Friday, April 17, 2020. Austin remains under stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 outbreak except for essential personal. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin appears to be making progress in its fight to better handle the coronavirus pandemic. Travis County is the fifth largest county in Texas but currently has just the 15th most active cases. It even has fewer cases locally than Hays County.

Texas counties with the most active cases of COVID-19 as of July 26

COUNTYACTIVE CASES
1. Harris40,816
2. Dallas15,900
3. Tarrant12,277
4. Bexar8,008
5. Hidalgo7,423
6. Galveston5,070
7. Nueces4,859
8. Cameron4,454
9. Webb3,599
10. Fort Bend3,565
11. El Paso3,274
12. Hays2,977
13. Montgomery2,797
14. Denton2,592
15. Travis2,435

As of July 26, Travis County has 2,435 active cases. According to data from Austin Public Health, that’s the fewest number of sustained active cases since June 28. That was one day after Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, warned that the Austin metro had the highest 7-day positivity rate of any metro area in the country.

Cases soon soared. So did hospitalizations and deaths.

But since July 15, the 7-day average for new cases has steadily fallen, and so too has the number of active cases. Sunday, Travis County had its lowest daily total of new COVID-19 cases since June 12.

The rest of the state has not been as fortunate.

Harris County has 16 times as many cases as Travis County. Dallas (six times), Tarrant (five times), and Bexar (three times) counties also have exponentially more cases than the Austin area.

And the Rio Grande Valley has seen a surge so significant, its four-county area has more than 25,000 cases, and its hospitals are running out of room.

A University of North Texas study found that the mandatory face mask order by Gov. Greg Abbott has helped slow the spread of COVID-19, a study Abbott cited in a TV interview last week.

“A study came out showing that in areas where people do adopt the practice of wearing a face mask, it does reduce the transmission, it does reduce the people who are contracting COVID-19,” Abbott said.

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