Young people should more careful in protecting themselves from COVID-19, Austin’s top doctor says

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin’s top doctor continues to urge young people to be more careful in protecting themselves against COVID-19.

Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott gave a briefing on the current COVID-19 trends in the area to Travis County commissioners Tuesday.

He said although the 10-19 age group previously made up 7.1% of all hospitalizations and has now dropped to 2.1%, that trend is not the same for all age groups.

Dr. Escott said the 20-29 age group has increased from making up 13.3% of all hospitalizations to 15.9%.

Over the past week, those two groups together, the 10-29 age range, account for about 1 in 5 COVID-19 hospitalizations across a five-county MSA that includes Austin and Travis County, according to Dr. Escott.

He stressed these groups need to be more careful.

COVID-19 in Austin and Travis County schools

With in-person learning underway for some school districts, Dr. Escott said he is still seeing student to student transmission in extracurricular activities rather than in the classroom.

Members of the Austin Independent School District community continued to voice their concerns in commissioners court over reopening campuses Oct. 5. Their main concern was accommodations not being made for all teachers, especially those who are caretakers for high-risk family members.

AISD Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Elizalde addressed some of those concerns in a board meeting Monday night, after some teachers said they would resign or pledge not to return to campus.

She plans on creating a teacher group to give feedback about working on campus. Dr. Escott also said he supports AISD’s reopening plan.

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