Saturday, January 30, 2021

Governor’s Order Restrictions Cancelled for Trauma Service Area that Includes Austin-Travis County


For immediate release:
January 30, 2021
Contact:  Austin-Travis County Joint Information System, 512-974-0699, hsempio@austintexas.gov


Governor's Order GA 32 Restrictions Cancelled for Trauma Service Area that Includes Austin-Travis County

Austin, Texas – Today, Jan. 30, the Department of State Health Services announced that previous COVID-19 restrictions related to occupancy requirements and restrictions have been cancelled.
 
Under Governor's Order GA 32, after a state Trauma Service Area has COVID-19 hospitalizations that represent 15% of all hospitalizations for seven consecutive days, additional restrictions on businesses and hospitals must occur. Austin-Travis County is part of Trauma Service Area O, which encompasses 11 counties in Central Texas crossed that threshold on Jan. 10.
 
Today, Trauma Service Area O has been below 15% COVID-19 hospitalizations for seven consecutive days.
 
The restrictions outlined in GA 32 are required by the Governor's Order and were not optional for local jurisdictions. Businesses, including restaurants and retail, are now permitted to move to 75% occupancy from 50% occupancy, and hospitals can resume elective surgeries.
 
"This is a clear sign that the COVID-19 situation in our region is improving," said Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority. "However, we cannot let up now. Let us be the leaders on how a community flattens a curve and keeps it flat. With less restrictions, comes more responsibility. We must continue to stay home and reduce risk to save lives."
 
Austin-Travis County remains in Stage 5 of the COVID-19 community risk level; the highest level. The risk-based guidelines are not changes to local orders, rules or regulations for businesses; they are guidelines for individual actions and behaviors. 
 
Stage five recommendations include: 

  • No gatherings with anyone outside of your household  
  • Dining and shopping should be limited to essential trips 
  • Avoid non-essential travel 
  • Businesses are recommended to operate through contactless options (I.e. curbside, delivery) 

 
 
"It is critically important that everyone still follow protective measures," said Stephanie Hayden-Howard, Austin Public Health Director. "Wearing a mask, washing your hands, watching your distance, and avoiding gatherings have been lifesaving measures throughout this pandemic. We will not be able to vaccinate our way out to flattening the curve right now, so we need to take it upon ourselves to protect our community to further drive down transmission."
 
COVID-19 hospital data for the 5-county Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) can be found on the Austin Public Health COVID-19 dashboards. Historical and raw data can be found on the COVID-19 Data Hub.
 
Questions about details of the Governor's Order or the Governor's announcement should be directed to the Governor's Office.
 
For more information about COVID-19, visit AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.


Friday, January 29, 2021

Austin Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Updates and Operational Adjustments



For immediate release: January 29, 2021
Contact:  Austin-Travis County Joint Information System, 512-974-0699, hsempio@austintexas.gov

 
Austin Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Updates and Operational Adjustments

Changes to COVID-19 testing locations, additional vaccine site, second doses
Austin, Texas – Austin Public Health (APH) is sharing the latest operations adjustments and COVID-19 vaccine updates. This information is current as of noon Friday, Jan. 29, 2021.
 

COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

To improve COVID-19 vaccine access across Austin-Travis County, APH is opening a third vaccination site in northern Travis County. This site will also be by appointment only and will not accept walk-ups. The site location will be shared with those who have appointments.
 
This week, APH began to provide second doses to those who received their first doses in APH's first allocation from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). These individuals are in Phase 1A and include nursing home residents and staff not covered by the state program, APH and other healthcare workers administering vaccine and conducting COVID-19 testing, and first responders.
 
Individuals who have received their first vaccine through APH will be proactively contacted when it is time for them to schedule their second dose. As a reminder, individuals do not need to get their second dose precisely four weeks after their first dose (for Moderna). The vaccine will be equally effective if they receive it up to 40 days later, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
For more vaccine information and answers to frequently asked questions, visit: austintexas.gov/vaccine-faqs. This site is updated regularly.
 
As of Friday, Jan. 29, APH has given out a total of about 30,000 first doses of the vaccine. There are about 80,000 individuals who have signed up through the APH pre-registration site who fit into Phase 1A or 1B, and over 500,000 in 1A or 1B in Austin-Travis County. We are asking the public to be patient with our teams, as the vaccine doses are still very limited. APH is seeking to vaccinate the community as equitably and efficiently as possible. While the vaccine is still limited in Austin-Travis County, we will continue to survey the community to identify those in Phase 1A and 1B.
 
DSHS has informed APH that they will receive 12,000 doses for the week of Feb. 1.
 

Operational Adjustments

To better utilize APH's resources, the Givens and Little Walnut Creek COVID-19 test sites are closed. These closures will not impact the number of tests APH can provide in a week, which is still approximately 11,000. Individuals with insurance are encouraged to get tested through their doctor or pharmacy.
 
The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) has contracted with a new vendor for the Pflugerville test site. Individuals will still be required to make an appointment; the new URL to register for a test is: texas.spartancovidtesting.com. The new operating hours for the site are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
 

Media Information 

Vaccine sites are operating as medical facilities and media will not be permitted on-site to protect patient privacy. Additionally, we ask media to respect the privacy of these sites and to not publish the names of the sites in their stories to prevent overcrowding so we can continue to follow social distancing measures for the safety of both patients and staff. 

B-roll and interviews in English and Spanish have been recorded by the City of Austin and are available for media to use. Please credit the City of Austin for any b-roll or interviews used.

B-roll and interviews of the vaccine site available at this link

Media with questions about APH COVID-19 vaccinations should reach out to hsempio@austintexas.gov or 512-974-0699. 

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas, visit dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx. For more information about the COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County, visit AustinTexas.gov/COVID19-Vaccines
  

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Austin Public Health Launches Dedicated Spanish Facebook Group

Austin Public Health (APH), El Departamento de Salud Pública, lanza en Facebook un grupo dedicado para la comunidad hispanohablante

Jan 28, 2021 09:30 am

In English below

Austin, Texas – Hoy, 28 de enero Austin Public Health (APH) lanzó un nuevo grupo de Facebook: "Austin Public Health – En Español".

Incluso antes de que la pandemia COVID-19 afectara a nuestra comunidad, la comunidad hispana/latina enfrentaba impactos desproporcionados de la salud. Por ejemplo, los adultos hispanos son más propensos a tener diabetes en comparación con los adultos de etnia blanca. En el condado de Travis, el 11.2% de los adultos hispanos, en comparación con el 5.4% entre los blancos, tienen diabetes, según el Informe de Indicadores Criticos de Salud de APH

La pandemia COVID-19 ha agraviado aún más estas disparidades de salud. A partir del 22 de enero, el 46% de los casos de COVID-19 y el 48% de las muertes a causa de COVID-19, se encontraban entre la comunidad hispana/latina en el condado de Austin-Travis. Además, el 46,5% de las hospitalizaciones se encontraban entre la comunidad hispana/latina en el área estadística metropolitana de Austin-Round Rock.

Si bien APH ha traducido y difundido información constantemente en Español a la comunidad, incluso en la página principal de Facebook de APH, nos comprometemos a seguir sobrepasando barreras en acceso a la información. Esperamos llegar a los hispanohablantes en todo el condado de Austin-Travis y proporcionarles información actualizada, información acerca de recursos disponibles, y respuestas a sus preguntas de salud pública más apremiantes. Entendemos que nuestros residentes dependen de una variedad de fuentes de información y queremos asegurarnos de que estamos proporcionando información de la manera más accesible a nuestros residentes.

Para unirse a Austin Public Health – En Español, visite Austin Public Health - En Español | Facebook para obtener información y actualizaciones de COVID-19, visite www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.


Austin Public Health Launches Dedicated Spanish Facebook Group

Austin, Texas – Today, Jan. 28 Austin Public Health (APH) launched a new Facebook Group: "Austin Public Health – En Español."

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit our community, the Hispanic/Latinx community faced disproportionate health impacts. For example, Hispanic adults are more likely to have diabetes compared with White adults. In Travis County, 11.2% of Hispanic adults compared with 5.4% among Whites have diabetes, according to the APH Critical Health Indicators Report.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further emphasized these health disparities. As of Jan. 22, 46% of COVID-19 cases and 48% of deaths, were among the Hispanic/Latinx community in Austin-Travis County. Additionally, 46.5% of hospitalizations were among the Hispanic/Latinx community in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area.

While APH has consistently translated and broadcasted information in Spanish and other languages, including on the main APH Facebook page, we are committed to continuing to address barriers to accessing information. We hope to reach Spanish speakers throughout Austin-Travis County and provide them with up-to-date information, resources, and answers to their most pressing public health questions. We understand our residents depend on a variety of information sources and we want to ensure we are meeting residents where they are.

To join Austin Public Health – En Español, visit Austin Public Health - En Español | Facebook. For COVID-19 information and updates, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Week 7 - Vaccine Facts for Austin, TX

Vaccs Facts - Published January 26, 2021

Jan 26, 2021 12:40 pm

Austin Continues Large-Scale Pilot Vaccine Distribution for Phase 1B Individuals

Published January 26, 2021

Operational Updates  

  •  The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have received an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 
  • The vaccine being developed by Johnson & Johnson is expected to present data from its clinical trials to the FDA in February for consideration of an Emergency Use Authorization.
  •  As part of a statewide program to pilot regional COVID-19 vaccine hubs, Austin Public Health (APH) has received 24,000 doses in the past two weeks of allocations from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
  • The 24,000 vaccines, which represent less than 2% of the area population, were administered to those who met the State's criteria for Phase 1A and 1B of vaccination. 
  • During the second week of the vaccine hub, APH worked with local school districts and systems to vaccinate 900 teachers who met 1A and 1B criteria starting on Jan. 18.
  • The remaining 11,100 doses received last week were used to vaccinate Phase 1B individuals, who had previously pre-registered through APH. All 12,000 doses were distributed by Saturday, Jan. 23.
  • Since the launch of the pre-registration system on Jan. 13, more than 180,000 people have pre-registered, with more than 77,000 people meeting the Phase 1B criteria.  
  • APH received a third shipment of 12,000 vaccines from Texas DSHS as part of the Week 7 allocation. APH will continue using the pre-registration system to distribute vaccine this week.
  • APH also will begin administering second doses this week to people who received their first dose from APH with the initial 1,300 doses received in December.
  • For people who have received their first dose through APH during the last two weeks of the vaccination hub, APH will contact you about scheduling your second dose the same way you received your appointment confirmation for your first dose.
  • There are currently more than 350 pharmacies, doctors' offices, hospital groups, and other providers signed up to provide COVID-19 vaccines in Austin-Travis County. 
  • APH does not oversee other providers and their individual distribution plans. However, APH is working across the healthcare system and the vaccine coalition to set guidelines that support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DSHS framework for distribution. 
  • APH understands from conversations with other providers that the demand for vaccine in Phase 1B is exceeding the supply of many providers across the Austin area, who are still focused on Phase 1A. We continue to ask for the community's patience as vaccine availability ramps up in the coming weeks and months.
  • As a reminder, the ability to respond to the current surge in COVID-19 will determine our ability to distribute vaccine. The same resources planning vaccine distribution are also managing testing sites and caring for patients during this record-breaking surge. We need to help our public health and healthcare workers by flattening the curve. 

Safety & Precautions 

  • Even with limited vaccines available in our community, people need to continue to take additional COVID-19 prevention measures including: wearing a mask, social distancing, washing your hands often, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning frequently touched surfaces, and staying home if you're sick.  
  • The CDC recommends that the vaccine be offered to people regardless of whether they have a history of COVID-19 infection.  
  • It is not yet clear from the vaccine trials whether individuals who receive the vaccine can still transmit COVID-19 to others. It is therefore very important that even those vaccinated take the same precautions as before to ensure that they do not inadvertently spread the virus as a carrier.  
  • The FDA released fact sheets on the Pfizer vaccine and Moderna vaccine for recipients and caregivers that includes information on vaccine ingredients and side effects. The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into the muscle in a series of two doses given three (Pfizer) or four (Moderna) weeks apart. Vaccine recipients will get a vaccination card showing which vaccine and lot number they received and when they should return for a second dose.  
  • While the COVID-19 vaccine may cause side effects such as fatigue, headache, fever, chills, nausea, muscle pain, and joint pain, these side effects show that the vaccine is working.  
  • Vaccine recipients should be monitored for at least 15 minutes for a more serious allergic reaction. People who have a history of allergic reactions should be monitored for 30 minutes.  
  • COVID‑19 vaccines do not use the live virus and cannot give you COVID‑19. The vaccine does not alter your DNA. COVID‑19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an immune response without having to experience sickness. 
  • The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines to make sure even very rare side effects are identified. V-SAFE is a new smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines.  

For additional COVID-19 vaccine information, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19-Vaccines.Vaccs Facts - Publicado el 26 en enero de 2021

Jan 26, 2021 12:43 pm

Austin continúa la distribución piloto de vacunas a gran escala  para las personas en la Fase 1B

Publicado el 26 de enero de 2021

Datos actualizados sobre la operación 

  • Las vacunas de Moderna y Pfizer recibieron una autorización de uso de emergencia por parte de la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos de EE.UU. (FDA, en inglés). 
  • Se espera que en febrero se presenten a la FDA los datos de los estudios clínicos de la vacuna desarrollada por Johnson & Johnson para su consideración.
  •  Como parte de un programa estatal para abrir centros regionales piloto de vacunas contra el COVID-19, Salud Pública de Austin (APH, en inglés) recibió 24,000 dosis en la distribución de las últimas dos semanas del Departamento de Salud del Estado de Texas (DSHS)
  • Las 24,000 vacunas, que representan menos de 2% de la población del área, se les administraron a las personas que cumplieron con los criterios del estado para las Fases 1A y 1B de vacunación. 
  • Durante la segunda semana del centro de vacunación, APH trabajó con los sistemas y distritos scolares locales para vacunar a 900 maestros que cumplían con los criterios 1A y 1B a partir del 18 de enero.
  • Las 11,100 dosis restantes recibidas la semana pasada fueron usadas para vacunar a las personas de la Fase 1B, que se habían pre-registrado anteriormente con APH. Las 12,000 dosis fueron distribuidas para el sábado 23 de enero.
  • Desde el lanzamiento del sistema de pre-registro el 13 de enero, se han pre-registrado más de 180,000 personas, con más de 77,000 personas que cumplen con los criterios de la Fase 1B.  
  • APH recibió un tercer suministro de 12,000 vacunas del DSHS de Texas como parte de la asignación para la séptima semana. APH continuará usando el sistema de pre-registro para distribuir las vacunas esta semana.
  • APH también continuará administrando las segundas dosis esta semana a las personas que recibieron la primera dosis de APH con las primeras 1,300 dosis recibidas en diciembre.
  • Para las personas que recibieron su primera dosis a través de APH durante las últimas dos semanas del centro de vacunación, APH se pondrá en contacto con ellas para hacer una cita para la segunda dosis de la misma manera que recibieron la confirmación de su cita para la primera dosis.
  • Actualmente hay más de 350 farmacias, consultorios médicos, grupos de hospitales y otros proveedores inscritos para proveer vacunas contra el COVID-19 en Austin-Condado de Travis.
  • APH no supervisa a otros proveedores ni sus planes individuales de distribución. Sin embargo, APH está colaborando por todo el sistema de salud y con la coalición de vacunas para establecer guías que apoyen los parámetros de distribución de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) y el DSHS. 
  • Luego de sostener conversaciones con otros proveedores, APH entiende que la demanda de la vacuna para la Fase 1B excede el suministro que tienen muchos de los proveedores en el área de Austin que aún están trabajando en la Fase 1A. Seguimos pidiéndole a la comunidad que tengan paciencia a medida que aumenta la disponibilidad de la vacuna en las próximas semanas y meses.
  • Como recordatorio, la capacidad de responder al más reciente aumento en casos de COVID-19 determinará nuestra capacidad para distribuir la vacuna. Los mismos recursos que están planificando la distribución de la vacuna también están administrando los centros de pruebas y cuidando de los pacientes durante este aumento sin precedentes. Necesitamos reducir el contagio para ayudar a nuestros trabajadores de salud pública y privada. 

Seguridad y precauciones 

  • Si bien hay un número limitado de vacunas disponibles en nuestra comunidad, las personas deben continuar tomando medidas adicionales de prevención del COVID-19 incluyendo: usar una mascarilla, guardar el distanciamiento social, lavarse las manos a menudo, cubrirse al estornudar o toser, limpiar con frecuencia las superficies que se tocan mucho y quedarse en casa si están enfermas. 
  • El CDC recomienda ofrecer la vacuna a las personas aunque ya hayan tenido la infección de COVID-19.  
  • Todavía no está claro según los estudios clínicos de las vacunas si las personas que las reciben pueden transmitir el COVID-19 a otros. Por lo tanto, es muy importante que quienes se vacunen tomen las mismas precauciones que antes para asegurarse de que no contagien a otros sin querer como portadores.  
  • La FDA publicó hojas de datos sobre la vacuna de Pfizer y la vacuna de Moderna que incluyen información sobre los ingredientes y efectos secundarios de la vacuna para quienes la reciban y para las personas que cuidan de otras. La vacuna de COVID-19 se administra por una inyección al músculo en una serie de dos dosis con tres (Pfizer) o cuatro (Moderna) semanas de separación. Al ponerse la vacuna se le entrega a la persona una tarjeta de vacunación que muestra cuál vacuna recibió y cuándo debe regresar para la segunda dosis. 
  • Aunque la vacuna contra el COVID-19 puede causar efectos secundarios tales como cansancio, dolor de cabeza, fiebre, escalofríos, náuseas, dolor muscular y dolor en las articulaciones, estos efectos secundarios demuestran que la vacuna está funcionando. 
  • Luego de ponerse la vacuna, la persona debe ser monitoreada por al menos 15 minutos para asegurarse de que no tenga una reacción alérgica aguda. Las personas con historia de reacciones alérgicas deben ser monitoreadas durante 30 minutos.  
  • Las vacunas contra el COVID-19 no usan el virus vivo y no pueden contagiarle a usted con COVID-19. La vacuna no altera su ADN. La vacuna contra el COVID-19 le ayudará a protegerle creando una respuesta inmunológica sin tener que experimentar la enfermedad. 
  • La FDA y los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) continuarán monitoreando la seguridad de las vacunas contra el COVID-19 para asegurarse de que incluso los más raros efectos secundarios sean identificados. V-SAFE es una aplicación nueva para teléfonos inteligentes para monitorear la salud después de vacunarse para las personas que reciban la vacuna de COVID-19. 

Para información adicional sobre la vacuna contra el COVID-19, visite www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19-Vaccines.


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Vaccs Facts - Published January 19, 2021


City of Austin - News and Events
News from the City of Austin, Texas

Vaccs Facts - Published January 19, 2021

Jan 19, 2021 01:57 pm

Austin Pilots Large-Scale Vaccine Distribution for Phase 1B Individuals

Published January 19, 2021

Operational Updates  

  • The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have received an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 
  •  As part of a statewide program to pilot regional COVID-19 vaccine hubs, Austin Public Health (APH) received 12,000 doses in last week's allocation from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
  • The 12,000 vaccines, which represent less than 1% of the area population, were administered to those who met the State's criteria for Phase 1A and 1B of vaccination. 
  • APH worked with partner organizations to serve uninsured and underinsured individuals in Phase 1A and 1B on Jan. 11-13.
  • On Jan. 13, APH launched a COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration system for area residents to sign up for future APH vaccine doses. 
  • From Jan. 14-16, APH vaccinated 1A and 1B individuals who pre-registered using the system at multiple sites around town. All 12,000 vaccines were distributed between Monday and Saturday.
  • APH received a second shipment of 12,000 vaccines from Texas DSHS as part of the DSHS Week 6 allocation. APH plans to use the registration system to distribute them all within the week.
  • There are currently more than 350 pharmacies, doctors' offices, hospital groups, and other providers signed up to provide COVID-19 vaccines in Austin-Travis County. 
  • At this time, it is important to remember that not everyone who fits the DSHS and APH criteria will be able to get the vaccine through these first large allocations from DSHS. If you can get a vaccine through your healthcare provider, a pharmacy, or another provider please help us save this limited allocation for our most vulnerable populations. 
  • APH does not oversee other providers and their individual distribution plans. However, APH is working across the healthcare system and the vaccine coalition to set guidelines that support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DSHS framework for distribution. 
  • Last week was the final week that DSHS is required to reserve doses for the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. This has freed up more vaccine for use in other settings moving forward.  
  • Some providers have begun vaccinating individuals in Phase 1B, which includes those over the age of 65 and people with medical conditions that put them at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19. However, APH understands from conversations with other providers that the demand for vaccine in Phase 1B is exceeding the supply of many providers across the Austin area, who are still focused on Phase 1A. 
  • As a reminder, the ability to respond to the current surge in COVID-19 will determine our ability to distribute vaccine. The same resources planning vaccine distribution are also managing testing sites and caring for patients during this record-breaking surge. We need to help our public health and healthcare workers by flattening the curve. 

Safety & Precautions 

  • Even with limited vaccines available in our community, people need to continue to take additional COVID-19 prevention measures including: wearing a mask, social distancing, washing your hands often, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning frequently touched surfaces, and staying home if you're sick.  
  • The CDC recommends that the vaccine be offered to people regardless of whether they have a history of COVID-19 infection.  
  • It is not yet clear from the vaccine trials whether individuals who receive the vaccine can still transmit COVID-19 to others. It is therefore very important that even those vaccinated take the same precautions as before to ensure that they do not inadvertently spread the virus as a carrier.  
  • The FDA released fact sheets on the Pfizer vaccine and Moderna vaccine for recipients and caregivers that includes information on vaccine ingredients and side effects. The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into the muscle in a series of two doses given three (Pfizer) or four (Moderna) weeks apart. Vaccine recipients will get a vaccination card showing which vaccine and lot number they received and when they should return for a second dose.  
  • While the COVID-19 vaccine may cause side effects such as fatigue, headache, fever, chills, nausea, muscle pain, and joint pain, these side effects show that the vaccine is working.  
  • Vaccine recipients should be monitored for at least 15 minutes for a more serious allergic reaction. People who have a history of allergic reactions should be monitored for 30 minutes.  
  • COVID‑19 vaccines do not use the live virus and cannot give you COVID‑19. The vaccine does not alter your DNA. COVID‑19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an immune response without having to experience sickness. 
  • The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines to make sure even very rare side effects are identified. V-SAFE is a new smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines.  

For additional COVID-19 vaccine information, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19-Vaccines.



Vaccs Facts - Publicado el 19 en enero de 2021

Jan 19, 2021 01:51 pm

Austin inicia su programa piloto para la distribución a gran escala de la vacuna para personas en la Fase 1B

Publicado el 19 de enero de 2021 

Datos actualizados sobre la operación 

  • Las vacunas de Moderna y Pfizer recibieron una autorización de uso de emergencia por parte de la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos de EE.UU. (FDA, en inglés). 
  • Como parte de un programa estatal para abrir centros regionales piloto de vacunas contra el COVID-19, Salud Pública de Austin (APH, en inglés) recibió 12,000 dosis en la distribución de la semana pasada del Departamento de Salud del Estado de Texas (DSHS)
  • Las 12,000 vacunas, que representan menos de 1% de la población del área, se les administraron a las personas que cumplieron con los criterios del estado para las Fases 1A y 1B de vacunación. 
  • APH trabajó con organizaciones socias para servirles a las personas sin seguro o con seguro insuficiente en las Fases 1A y 1B del 11 al 13 de enero.
  • El 13 de enero, APH abrió un sistema de pre-registro para la vacuna contra el COVID-19 para que los residentes del área se inscriban con APH para recibir una vacuna en el futuro. 
  • Entre el 14 y el 16 de enero, APH vacunó a personas en los grupos 1A y 1B que se pre-registraron usando el sistema en múltiples centros por la ciudad. Se administraron todas las 12,000 vacunas entre el lunes y el sábado.
  • APH recibió un segundo suministro de 12,000 vacunas del DSHS de Texas como parte de la asignación para la sexta semana. APH tiene planificado usar el sistema de registro para distribuirlas todas en la semana.
  • Actualmente hay más de 350 farmacias, consultorios médicos, grupos de hospitales y otros proveedores inscritos para proveer vacunas contra el COVID-19 en Austin-Condado de Travis. 
  • En estos momentos, es importante recordar que no todas las personas que cumplan con los criterios del DSHS y de APH podrán obtener la vacuna durante estas primeras asignaciones grandes del DSHS. Si puede obtener una vacuna a través de su médico, una farmacia o de otro proveedor, por favor ayúdenos a reservar este suministro limitado para nuestras poblaciones más vulnerables. 
  • APH no supervisa a otros proveedores ni sus planes individuales de distribución. Sin embargo, APH está colaborando por todo el sistema de salud y con la coalición de vacunas para establecer guías que apoyen los parámetros de distribución de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) y el DSHS. 
  • La semana pasada fue la última semana en la que el DSHS tenía la obligación de reservar dosis para el programa federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. Esto ha liberado más dosis que se podrán utilizar en otros lugares mientras avanza el proceso de vacunación. 
  • Algunos proveedores han comenzado a vacunar a las personas en la Fase 1B, que incluye a las mayores de 65 años y las personas con condiciones médicas que tienen un riesgo mayor de enfermarse de gravedad por el COVID-19. Sin embargo, luego de sostener conversaciones con otros proveedores, APH entiende que la demanda de la vacuna para la Fase 1B excede el suministro que tienen muchos de los proveedores en el área de Austin que aún están trabajando en la Fase 1A. 
  • Como recordatorio, la capacidad de responder al más reciente aumento en casos de COVID-19 determinará nuestra capacidad para distribuir la vacuna. Los mismos recursos que están planificando la distribución de la vacuna también están administrando los centros de pruebas y cuidando de los pacientes durante este aumento sin precedentes. Necesitamos reducir el contagio para ayudar a nuestros trabajadores de salud pública y privada. 

Seguridad y precauciones 

  • Si bien hay un número limitado de vacunas disponibles en nuestra comunidad, las personas deben continuar tomando medidas adicionales de prevención del COVID-19 incluyendo: usar una mascarilla, guardar el distanciamiento social, lavarse las manos a menudo, cubrirse al estornudar o toser, limpiar con frecuencia las superficies que se tocan mucho y quedarse en casa si están enfermas. 
  • El CDC recomienda ofrecer la vacuna a las personas aunque ya hayan tenido la infección de COVID-19.  
  • Todavía no está claro según los estudios clínicos de las vacunas si las personas que las reciben pueden transmitir el COVID-19 a otros. Por lo tanto, es muy importante que quienes se vacunen tomen las mismas precauciones que antes para asegurarse de que no contagien a otros sin querer como portadores.  
  • La FDA publicó hojas de datos sobre la vacuna de Pfizer y la vacuna de Moderna que incluyen información sobre los ingredientes y efectos secundarios de la vacuna para quienes la reciban y para las personas que cuidan de otras. La vacuna de COVID-19 se administra por una inyección al músculo en una serie de dos dosis con tres (Pfizer) o cuatro (Moderna) semanas de separación. Al ponerse la vacuna se le entrega a la persona una tarjeta de vacunación que muestra cuál vacuna recibió y cuándo debe regresar para la segunda dosis. 
  • Aunque la vacuna contra el COVID-19 puede causar efectos secundarios tales como cansancio, dolor de cabeza, fiebre, escalofríos, náuseas, dolor muscular y dolor en las articulaciones, estos efectos secundarios demuestran que la vacuna está funcionando. 
  • Luego de ponerse la vacuna, la persona debe ser monitoreada por al menos 15 minutos para asegurarse de que no tenga una reacción alérgica aguda. Las personas con historia de reacciones alérgicas deben ser monitoreadas durante 30 minutos.  
  • Las vacunas contra el COVID-19 no usan el virus vivo y no pueden contagiarle a usted con COVID-19. La vacuna no altera su ADN. La vacuna contra el COVID-19 le ayudará a protegerle creando una respuesta inmunológica sin tener que experimentar la enfermedad. 
  • La FDA y los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) continuarán monitoreando la seguridad de las vacunas contra el COVID-19 para asegurarse de que incluso los más raros efectos secundarios sean identificados. V-SAFE es una aplicación nueva para teléfonos inteligentes para monitorear la salud después de vacunarse para las personas que reciban la vacuna de COVID-19. 

Para información adicional sobre la vacuna contra el COVID-19, visite www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19-Vaccines. 


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Austin Public Health Asks for Patience as COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Continues



For immediate release: January 14, 2021
Contact: Austin-Travis County Joint Information System, 512-974-0699, hsempio@austintexas.gov

 
Austin Public Health Asks for Patience as COVID-19 Rollout Continues

APH is working through technical issues and staffing limitations as we seek to vaccinate vulnerable residents as quickly as possible 
Austin, Texas – Austin Public Health (APH) is asking the public to be patient as we continue to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to our community. APH received a shipment of 12,000 vaccines from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) on Monday, and we are aiming to have all of the vaccines out by Saturday. This has required APH and other partner departments and organizations to stand up operations incredibly quickly, and there have been some hiccups along the way, but we are optimistic that the process has begun.  

This is the first week of operating a pilot vaccine handed down by the state and the largest allocation of vaccine to APH to date. 

"We understand there is frustration with technical issues, staffing limitations, and the novelty of the program that we have seen this week," said Stephanie Hayden-Howard, APH Director. "We hope people can understand that we are seeking to get this vaccine to the people who need it most as quickly and efficiently as we can. Ultimately, we are very happy to see that people overwhelmingly want to get vaccinated, and we hope to soon be able to provide the vaccine to more people."

APH IT teams have been working around the clock through technical issues that occurred due to overwhelming demand. These issues should resolve themselves as people begin to sign up on a more rolling basis.  
 
Additionally, some people completed pre-registration and saw a screen prompting them to sign up for the vaccine but showed that no appointments were available. This happens because there were no appointments left to schedule, however, individuals who made it to that page have successfully pre-registered and do not need to take any further action. Other glitches are being addressed, and we ask for your patience as we work through them.  
 
Along with patience, we ask that the community still remain vigilant with protecting themselves against COVID-19, as that will help APH manage its resources. APH employees tirelessly dedicate themselves to many simultaneous jobs at the moment such as case investigations, staffing/scheduling free testing sites, data collection/reporting on ICUs, hospitalizations, death, data reporting, coordinating a place to stay of you can't isolate safely at home when positive, PPE distributions and monitoring patient overflow because too many people decided to stop distancing and wear masks. 
 
"City and County staff are doing an incredible job with the resources that they have," said Cassandra De Leon, APH Interim Assistant Director. "We are so thankful to them for standing up a huge operation so quickly. It's important to remember that we are still in a state of surge, and the same people who are doing case investigations, data entry, COVID testing, and other emergency functions are now adding to their workload by helping with the vaccine operations. We are also thankful to local partners who are volunteering to assist us with efforts moving forward, and we hope that they will be able to help us manage vaccinating large numbers of people in the future while also managing the other emergency operations elements of the COVID-19 response." 
 
Individuals who have pre-registered do not need to continue to call our hotline or log in to the site to see if new appointments are available. They will be proactively contacted if more vaccine becomes available to APH and if they meet the 1A or 1B qualifications.  
 
"It is nothing short of miracle that less than a year after our first case of this deadly virus that we have incredibly effective vaccines," said Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority. "We understand that many people want and need to be vaccinated, but this will take time. Our allocation this week covers less than 1 percent of Travis County residents. However, each day more vaccine is going into the community and that is incredibly exciting. Vaccine is not the only effective tool against COVID-19. Masking, social distancing and hand hygiene are proven effective. We can all use those today to prevent the spread of the virus while we get as many vaccines out as we can." 
 
At this time, APH does not know if it is receiving additional vaccine from the Texas Department of State Health Services.  

Successful APH Pilot COVID-19 Vaccine PODs Provide Foundation for Future Mass Vaccine Sites



For immediate release:  January 14, 2021
Contact: Austin-Travis County Joint Information System, 512-974-0699, hsempio@austintexas.gov

 
Successful APH Pilot COVID-19 Vaccine PODs Provide Foundation for Future Mass Vaccine Sites

Austin Public Health partnered with providers that focus on populations most impacted by pandemic

Austin, Texas – Austin Public Health (APH) has distributed 3,996 doses of vaccine as of Wednesday night after receiving 12,000 doses on Monday from the Texas Department of State Health (DSHS) services as part of a new pilot distribution program. APH has plans in place to distribute all doses it received this week. Based on operations this week, APH will make improvements if needed and will be prepared to distribute future allocations.   

The first three days of vaccine distribution have been closed clinics serving Phase 1A and 1B patients from community partners that serve uninsured or underinsured populations, including CommUnityCare, Lone Star Circle of Care, and the People's Community Clinic. This has helped to ensure that those who are most vulnerable to complications and death from COVID-19, as well as those who would not be able to get a vaccine from the more than 350 other providers in Austin-Travis County, are able to get vaccinated. 

The vaccines provided by APH are available by appointment only. A miscommunication earlier in the week resulted in some vaccines being distributed to those without an appointment. This miscommunication has been resolved and walk-ups will be turned away moving forward.  

Individuals wishing to pre-register for a vaccine through APH can sign up at austintexas.gov/covid19-vaccines. Individuals without internet access can call 512-972-5560. The registration system allows anyone to sign up, however, individuals should be advised that APH is a safety net provider and is prioritizing those who are over age 65, or uninsured or underinsured and is using the DSHS guidelines to prioritize our limited allocations. Pre-registration does not guarantee a vaccine immediately.  


Media Information 


Vaccine sites are operating as medical facilities and media will not be permitted on-site to protect patient privacy. Additionally, we ask media to respect the privacy of these sites and to not publish the names of the sites in their stories to prevent overcrowding so we can continue to follow social distancing measures for the safety of both patients and staff. 

B-roll and interviews in English and Spanish have been recorded by the City of Austin and are available for media to use. Please credit the City of Austin for any b-roll or interviews used.

B-roll and interviews of the vaccine site available at this link

Media with questions about APH COVID-19 vaccinations should reach out to hsempio@austintexas.gov or 512-974-0699. 

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas, visit dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx. For more information about the COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County, visit AustinTexas.gov/COVID19-Vaccines

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Citywide Virtual Reimagining Public Safety Conversations 👥



For immediate release:
January 13, 2021
Contact: Alicia Dean, Communications and Public Information Office,
 (619) 665-1581 (cell), alicia.dean@austintexas.gov

City Hosts Virtual Citywide Public Safety Community Conversations

With the launch of the Reimagining Public Safety Initiative (RPS), the City of Austin has demonstrated its on-going commitment to implement policy and cultural changes to address the disproportionate impact of police interactions that result in violence against people of color and other affected communities.

Comprehensive community engagement, which allows residents several opportunities to learn more about and share their thoughts and ideas about public safety reform, is a key element of this initiative.

Those engagement opportunities include three (two in English, one in Spanish) virtual RPS community conversations this month on the following dates:

Date: 1/16/21*
Time: 11 a.m.
RSVP
*This meeting will be conducted in Spanish with English interpretation.

Date: 1/23/21*
Time: 11 a.m.
RSVP
*Spanish Interpretation will be available for the meeting. Support for additional languages can be requested by calling 3-1-1.

Date: 1/28/21*
Time: 5:30 p.m.
RSVP
*Spanish Interpretation will be available for the meeting. Support for additional languages can be requested by calling 3-1-1.

These citywide conversations build on the series of Council District sessions that began in Fall 2020. 

"We have provided a variety of ways for residents to engage with us on this important initiative," said Deputy City Manager Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde. "The rich and robust discussions taking place are providing valuable feedback that will guide us as we continue to Reimagine Public Safety."  
There are several other ways for the public to share feedback about RPS with City leaders including:

The summary of all the feedback gathered will be shared with City Leadership and the public.

For the latest RPS developments, the public is encouraged to visit the Reimagining Public Safety website. The site is also available in Spanish: austintexas.gov/seguridadpublica.

Onion Creek Metro Park Gets a Recommitment in Needed Attention

Austin City Council approves resolution to ensure improvements are coming to  Onion Creek Metro Park ...