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CDC predicts late summer COVID wave. What are levels like in Austin?

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are forewarning 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 prepping in the event of possible upticks.

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

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

Walkes said APH had noted a slight increase in hospitalizations, but added it’s nothing substantial that’s overwhelming Austin’s healthcare system.

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

As for vaccinations, anyone over the age of 6 who’s received a bivalent shot is classified as up-to-date on their vaccination. People over the age of 65 have the option to receive an additional booster, once at least four months have passed since that first booster shot. Those who are immunocompromised or have 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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