People in Austin ‘three times as likely to catch COVID-19 than they were two weeks ago,’ mayor warns

Mayor Adler at Austin rally 6-7-20

Austin Mayor Steve Adler attended the Austin Black Voices rally in downtown Austin Sunday, June 7 (Todd Bailey/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — People in Austin are three times as likely to catch COVID-19 when they go out than they were just two weeks ago, Mayor Adler has warned.

The mayor made the claim, which he attributed to “experts,” in a newsletter released Saturday morning. The mayor’s office later attributed the statement to Dr. Lauren Meyers of the University of Texas, who has produced various studies about the impact of COVID-19 locally.

Travis County has reported more than 100 new cases of COVID-19 on nine different days within the last two weeks, with the seven-day average of new cases hitting a record high.

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Prior to that time period, the largest number of new cases reported in a single day was 88 on June 1.

In the newsletter, Mayor Adler said Austin has “experienced a major uptick” in new cases of the coronavirus in the last week.

“With increased infections in our city, the experts say that when you go out, you’re three times as likely to catch the virus today as you were two weeks ago,” he wrote.

Earlier this week, the City of Austin’s Stay-at-Home order was extended through August 15, while Austin Public Health officials announced the City has hit Stage 4 of its risk-based guidelines following a spike in hospitalizations.

Mayor Adler has stressed the importance of wearing masks and face coverings in public to prevent the spread of the virus.

“On our current trajectory, we could reach a point in about four weeks where we have to choose between returning to sheltering at home or watching as our hospitals get overwhelmed and we suffer many preventable deaths,” he wrote in the newsletter.

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