Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Austin-Travis County Alternate Care Site Ready to Take Patients

For immediate release: January 12, 2021
Contact: Austin-Travis County Joint Information System, 512-974-0699, hsempio@austintexas.gov

Austin-Travis County Alternate Care Site Ready to Take Patients
Austin, Texas – Today, the Austin-Travis County Alternate Care (ACS) site is prepared to take its first patients from local hospitals.  
The ACS established at the Austin Convention Center will help alleviate the burden of caring for COVID-19 patients in hospitals across central Texas. This facility was established to take specific patients who need a lower intensity of care. Patients needing higher-level or intensive care will still be cared for at hospitals. 
The facility is ready to open following a request to the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to assist with opening the facility. TDEM, the City of Austin, Travis County, and the Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council (CATRAC) have worked in partnership to begin operations at this facility.
"Opening the facility is a signal to the community that we have a long way to go in our fight against COVID-19 and we are grateful to the Texas Division of Emergency Management for their support in the rapid opening of this facility," said Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority. "While we have increased the capacity of our healthcare system, we have to reduce our risk and flatten the curve immediately. Central Texas must come together and say that we will not accept unnecessary hospitalizations and death due to COVID-19." 
Patients entering the ACS will be transferred from hospitals. It is not a walk-up site.  
Coordination has begun between staff of the ACS, CATRAC, and the hospitals to ensure that all parties understand the criteria and the process for transferring patients from a hospital to the ACS. The process for admission to the ACS will be managed by CATRAC. 
The ACS has doctors and other medical personnel at the facility 24 hours a day. Patients will be given the highest level of care and, should their condition worsen, a process to transfer patients to local hospitals has been established. 
The facility has a current capacity of 25 beds and has the capability to expand if necessary.

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