Austin-Area Coronavirus Count Exceeds 30K As Flu Threat Emerges

AUSTIN, TX — The number of cases of the coronavirus is now well past 30,000 since the onset of respiratory illness across Travis County, heightening city officials’ pleas for residents to mask up as a way of mitigating further spread of the respiratory illness.

To that end, Austin Mayor Steve Adler points to a number of locations across the city offering free PPE — the acronym for “personal protective equipment” that is now an often=repeated part of our lexicon in an age of pandemic — that is key in blunting the spread of further illness. These centers offer the range of PPE — masks, hand sanitizers and educational material — those those in need.

“We’ve passed 30,700 total positive cases in our city,” Adler wrote in an email. “Our number of hospitalizations is now at 15 for our seven-day moving average. It’s a difficult reality, but we know that masking works.”

The wearing of protective face coverings has implausibly metamorphosed into a political issue creating an ideological fissure between conservative and progressive people in many cases — despite scientific evidence of the effectiveness of masks in blunting the spread of illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stresses the wearing masks is the most effective tactic in combating spread of respiratory illness that is transmitted by respiratory droplest through the air.

Adler agrees, urging people to wear masks while practicing other CDC recommendations: “What we can control is making sure we continue to abide by CDC guidelines and do our part to drive down the numbers consistently by wearing a mask, washing our hands, keeping a distance of 6 ft between us, and taking care of each other,” the mayor wrote. “Most Texans are still susceptible to the virus, so we must remain vigilant to protect our students, teachers, and the general population.”

The latest round of community distribution points for PPE has yet to be announced by the city. In the meantime, a number of health centers offer PPE to those in need:

CommUnityCare patients can request PPE at the following sites.

  • CommUnityCare – Hornsby Bend Health Center, 14312 Hunter’s Bend Rd.

  • CommUnityCare – Southeast Health and Wellness Center, 2901 Montopolis Dr.

  • CommUnityCare – Del Valle Health Center, 3518-A FM 973 Del Valle, Texas.

  • CommUnityCare – Manor Health Center, 600 W. Carrie-Manor St., Manor, Texas

  • CommUnityCare – Rundberg Health Center, 825 E. Rundberg #B1.

  • CommUnityCare – North Central Health Center, 1210 W. Braker Lane.

  • CommUnityCare – Pflugerville Health Center, 15822 Foothill Farms Loop, Pflugerville, Texas.

  • CommUnityCare – Ben White Dental Clinic, 1221 W. Ben White, #112B.

  • CommUnityCare – William Cannon Health Center, 6801 S. Interstate 35, #1.

Prenatal Care Sites

Carousel Sites

  • Carousel Pediatrics – Round Rock, 1201 S. 1-35, Suite 303, Round Rock, Texas.

  • Carousel Pediatrics – North Lamar, 9411 North Lamar Blvd., Suite 120.

  • Carousel Pediatrics – Riverside Plaza, 2237 East Riverside Dr., Suite 101-C.

  • Carousel Pediatrics – Southbrook, 6425 S. 1nterstate 35 Ste 100.

  • Carousel Pediatrics – Springdale, 7112 Ed Bluestein Blvd., Suite 100.

In a disease double-whopper this year, the advent of the flu season is upon us as well. The double threat is particularly worrisome for health officials given the potential shortfall of intensive care unit (ICU) beds that could be needed for influenza patients that have been all but reserved for coronavirus patients amid the pandemic.

“For people that have never gotten a flu shot before, this is the year to start something new,” Mayor Adler urged. “Last year, our hospitals and ICUs filled up just with flu patients. We can’t let that happen this year. It would be devastating to have both flu and COVID-19 patients at the same time.”

And yet, the mayor noted, residents have some control in preventing the scenario simply by getting a flu shot. To facilitate this, the city points to places offering vaccinations.

  • Flu shots are available at Shots for Tots/Big Shots clinics for children who are uninsured or Medicaid recipients and for uninsured adults. The flu vaccine costs $25 for adults, $10 for children, and is free for children with Medicaid. No one will be denied services if they are unable to pay. For an appointment, please call (512) 972-5520.

  • For those who are insured, visit to find a location with flu shots near you.

For more information on coronavirus in the county, visit the COVID-19 Information portal of the City of Austin.

This article originally appeared on the Austin Patch

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