CDC predicts late summer COVID wave. How are the levels in Austin?

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning of a possible late summer wave of new COVID-19 cases, according to reporting from NPR. Here at the local level, Austin Public Health officials are also preparing in case of possible increases.

Dr. Desmar Walkes, medical director with APH, told KXAN last week that the regional health department is tracking any trends that might emerge. Walkes said many people have relaxed social distancing and masking practices, especially during the warmer summer months.

“We just want to remind people as we transition to this new normal that we still need to do the things that we know work to prevent ourselves from getting sick and to prevent us from spreading disease in the community,” said Walks. “Get vaccinated, mask, distance, that sort of thing.”

Walkes said APH has noticed a slight increase in hospitalizations, but added it’s nothing significant that’s overwhelming Austin’s health care system.

In addition to tracking raw case numbers and hospitalization numbers, the health department said it collected samples of raw sewage to help detect the virus load in the Austin community.

In terms of vaccinations, anyone over the age of 6 who has received a bivalent shot is classified as up-to-date on their vaccinations. People over the age of 65 have the option of receiving an additional booster when at least four months have passed since the first booster shot. Those who are immunocompromised or at a higher risk of developing COVID-19 are eligible for an additional booster at least two months after receiving their first booster.

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