AUSTIN (KXAN) — “Coronavirus is spreading rapidly in Austin-Travis County.”
On Wednesday, Austin-Travis County sent out an emergency alert to residents warning them to stay home, practice social distancing and wear face coverings.
The text alert comes ahead of this weekend’s July 4 weekend, as both local and statewide COVID-19 cases climb.
In the City of Austin’s announcement, Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Health Authority for Austin Public Health said:
“I know we want to celebrate. I know we want to get together with our families. I know we want to have firework shows and barbecue and do the things we normally do, but now is not the time for that. Now is the time we have to be strong together by staying home, by doing things within our own household, by watching the fireworks on TV.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, Travis County has 2,967 active cases of COVID-19. There have been a total of 9,527 cases in total. There are 369 people hospitalized in Austin-Metro area as of Wednesday afternoon.
On Wednesday, the state of Texas reported a record number of 8,076 new cases. There are currently 168,062 total cases statewide and have been 2,495 deaths.
In an effort to slow spread, the City of Austin will also close all parks and recreational facilities from July 3 through July 5. The closure includes all city parks, in addition to recreational facilities like boat ramps, golf courses and tennis courses. Additionally, all city pools will be closed through Monday, July 6.
“The public needs to stay home as much as possible, wash their hands, and when in public wear a face covering and remain six feet apart from others. It is also important that all residents celebrate the 4th of July safely. Austin Public Health is asking that everyone avoid gathering with anyone outside their household this weekend,” the City said in its message.
Austin Public Health is offering free COVID-19 testing.