AUSTIN (KXAN) — The threat of COVID-19 remains high in Central Texas — especially compared to where we were in in April and early May.
That was before Gov. Greg Abbott reopened bars, before the death of George Floyd sparked racial justice protests nationwide, and before people mostly ignored mask and social distancing recommendations over Memorial Day weekend.
But the massive increase we saw in cases over June and early July seems to have peaked in a majority of Central Texas, although active cases continue to rise in some of the more rural counties in our area.
Looking at the change in active cases from July 20-27, they fell in 10 of our 15 counties. Burnet County by far had the most new cases — 92 new cases in the past week. Fayette and Blanco counties also had more than 20 new cases since July 20.
Austin and Travis County — which at one point had the highest positivity rate for any metro area in the entire country — has made significant progress. Active cases fell by 657 in just seven days. Williamson, Bastrop, Caldwell, and Lee counties all saw active cases fall by more than 100.
Cases are still high in Hays County, but it too saw a decrease by 80 active cases over the past week.
The decline in active cases comes as new cases in Central Texas continue to drop — from a high of 1,175 new cases on July 13 to 552 cases on Monday. Those 552 cases are still higher than any day prior to June 20, but it is a marked improvement from most of late June and early July.
During a Facebook Live Monday night discussing KXAN’s coverage, Austin Mayor Steve Adler warned that people must keep wearing their masks and social distancing, or the curve will once again start heading higher.
“Again if we go back to where we were the first week in May and do what we did again, we would be exactly on this same path one more time,” Adler said.