AUSTIN (KXAN) — In an interview on KXAN News Today’s 6 a.m. broadcast Friday, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said he is “concerned” about hospitals being potentially overwhelmed if COVID-19 cases keep increasing like they have been recently.
For four consecutive days, more than 100 cases of COVID-19 cases have been reported each day, and if that continues to happen, and it pushes the 7-day average of hospitalizations over 20, then that’s cause for concern, Adler said.
Currently, the 7-day average of hospitalizations in Austin-Travis County is 14.8 per day, but a couple more days of more than 20 hospitalizations could push the average over the mark, Adler said.
“This is not over,” Adler said of the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is something that’s still very much with us.”
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With restaurants able to serve up to 75% occupancy in dine-in areas starting Friday, and bars going up to 50%, Adler said he was concerned about that potentially contributing to more cases and hospitalizations, too.
“We have a lot of people out there living their lives like the virus is over,” Adler said. “It would be less of a concern if people were wearing face coverings and maintain that 6-foot distancing.”
When asked about the Austin City Council unanimously voting to say they had “no confidence” in Austin Police Department leadership, Adler said council members are speaking publicly differently.
“The resolution we passed said there was no confidence that the leadership was going to be able to move toward the cultural change that we need, absent the kind of action the city council took yesterday,” Adler said.
Multiple city council members have called for Austin Police Chief Brian Manley to resign after the department’s response to protests, and Adler said that’s not their decision to make.
“That’s ultimately a decision the city manager has to make,” Adler said. “Our city charter has real clear rules about whose responsibility that is and whether or not city council members should comment on it.”