North Central, Southeast Austin ZIP codes have most COVID-19 cases in Travis County

A screenshot of a zip code map color coded in purple
Austin Public Health's map shows the concentration of coronavirus cases by county. The darkest purple ZIP codes each have more than 1,500 reported cases. (Courtesy Austin Public Health)

Austin Public Health's map shows the concentration of coronavirus cases by county. The darkest purple ZIP codes each have more than 1,500 reported cases. (Courtesy Austin Public Health)

As Travis County’s coronavirus cases top 25,000 this week, ZIP codes in North Central and Southeast Austin show the highest local case counts of the pandemic so far.

Austin Public Health’s COVID-19 Surveillance dashboard for the Travis County area shows the county’s highest case counts are in the 78741, 78744, 78753, 78758 and 78660 ZIP codes, with each confirming more than 1,500 cases thus far. These areas include portions of North Central and Southeast Austin as well as Pflugerville.

In general, higher-populated ZIP codes tend to have more cases, based on APH’s dashboard map. Further from Austin’s city center, some less populated ZIP codes have confirmed only a handful of cases.

ZIP codes with a greater Hispanic population also tend to report higher cases counts; Travis County’s Hispanic population currently accounts for 52% of the county’s total cases. More than 75% of 78744’s residents, for instance, are Hispanic or Latino, according to a 2017 American Community Survey. Likewise, more than 61% of 78753’s residents are Hispanic or Latino.

At an Aug. 19 press conference, Mark Escott, the Austin-Travis County interim health authority, addressed the gap in positivity rates between the local Latino population and other demographics, saying that communities of color were working against “decades of disparity” in healthcare.

“We are one Austin. We are one Travis County community,” Escott said. “It’s on all of us to ensure that our communities of color are well looked after.”

Overall, Travis County’s daily new cases continue to plateau at a current average of around 234 cases per day. Hospitalizations continue to slightly decrease, with the seven-day moving average of daily hospitalizations for COVID-19 dipping from 31.6 to 27 this week, from Aug. 16-20.

However, Escott emphasized the community needed to push for more progress as children prepare to head back to school in person in September.

“We want to hit the floor in Austin. We want to get down to single-digit cases again,” he said.
By Olivia Aldridge
Olivia is the reporter for Community Impact's Central Austin edition. A graduate of Presbyterian College in upstate South Carolina, Olivia was a reporter and producer at South Carolina Public Radio before joining Community Impact in Austin.


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