Austin-Travis County COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to climb as region remains in Stage 5

COVID-19 news update
The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations eclipsed its previous high Jan. 9. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations eclipsed its previous high Jan. 9. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

With the seven-day moving average of hospitalizations reaching 103 on Jan. 9, the Austin-Travis County area eclipsed its previous high of 94 hospitalizations set Jan. 9, 2021, according to an Austin Public Health dashboard.

The hospitalization rate has since climbed to a seven-day moving average of 110 as of Jan. 11.

“If we don't take action now to stop the spread, to flatten out the spike, to keep ourselves and each other healthy, then we could see an even greater impact on staffing levels in all industries, especially in our hospitals,” Mayor Steve Adler said during a Jan. 6 news conference announcing the region’s shift into Stage 5 risk-based guidelines.

The hospitalization figure accounts for both those who have been admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 illness and those who tested positive for COVID-19 in the hospital but were admitted for a non-COVID-19 reasons.

Around 30%-40% of the seven-day moving average of 110 hospitalizations were admitted for non-COVID-19 reasons, said William Malm, a public information specialist with APH.

He added that it is important to consider that COVID-19 can prolong hospital stays for those who are admitted for a different reason.

In addition to hospitalizations, the Travis County positivity rate at 32.2% and the 1,880.1 community transmission rate, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's metric for community transmission, remain in Stage 5 as of Jan 10.

Travis County officials said vaccination efforts have continued to increase during the recent surge. The county set a record for shots administered Jan. 8 with 1,832 shots.

“Come get your shots; get your boosters; Travis County has plenty to give,” Travis County Judge Andy Brown said during a Jan. 10 meeting.
By Benton Graham

Metro Reporter, Austin

Benton joined Community Impact Newspaper as a metro reporter covering transportation in Central Texas in June 2021. Benton's writing has appeared in Vox, The Austin Chronicle, Austonia and Reporting Texas. Originally from Minneapolis, Benton graduated from William & Mary and eventually moved to Austin in 2018.