New Travis County COVID-19 cases in March drop to lowest level since October

Travis County's active COVID-19 case count was 1,013 as of March 31. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Travis County's active COVID-19 case count was 1,013 as of March 31. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Travis County's active COVID-19 case count was 1,013 as of March 31. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Austin Public Health confirmed 3,581 new cases of COVID-19 in March, marking the lowest one-month total since October and an 80.25% decline compared to the 18,136 cases confirmed in January, when cases peaked in the Austin-Travis County area.

According to APH data, there has been a steady decline in new COVID-19 hospitalizations since March 1 as well. Currently, the seven-day moving average of new hospitalizations stands at 17.4, the lowest level since Oct. 31 and 12 lower than March 1.

Based on the seven-day moving average, Travis County has been following Stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions for the entirety of March. The county could enter Stage 2 in April if conditions improve and hospitalizations drop below 10 new patients per day; however, an increase to more than 30 hospitalizations per day would bring the county back to tighter restriction under Stage 4.

A graph of the seven-day moving average over time can be found below.

As of March 31, there had been 79,217 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic with 817 COVID-19 related deaths in the Austin-Travis County area and an estimated 1,013 active cases, according to APH data.

As of March 31, an estimated 32% of Travis County residents over the age of 16 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

While everyone over the age of 16 is eligible to receive a vaccine in Texas as of March 29, APH has not yet opened availability beyond the initial groups who qualified: health care workers, teachers and school staff, residents over age 50 and those with underlying conditions. That is because officials said there are still too many people eligible in APH's system waiting to get a vaccine.

The system will open up to all adults when the waiting list thins out, officials said, and until then residents should seek the vaccine from other providers in the county or the surrounding area. Any Texas resident can sign up for a vaccine through any provider in the state; appointments are not limited by county of residence.

A line graph of cumulative COVID-19 cases reported by APH over time can be seen here.
By Nicholas Cicale
Nick has been with Community Impact Newspaper since 2016, working with the Lake Travis-Westlake and Southwest Austin-Dripping Springs editions. He previously worked as a reporter in Minnesota and earned a degree from Florida State University.


COVID-19 precautions such as a masking requirement remain in place at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. (Courtesy Austin-Bergstrom International Airport)
'Signs of hope' on the horizon at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport after year-plus dip in air travel

Rising passenger counts, new airline operations and an increase in vaccinations could all support the airport's recovery in 2021.

Capital Metro bus
Capital Metro announces increased transit services for Austin FC games this season

Capital Metro has increased the frequency of several bus routes for Austin FC game days at Q2 Stadium.

CDC ends all mask requirements for fully vaccinated people

The guidance states fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

Students at Norman-Sims Elementary School and Austin ISD's 124 other schools across the district will now be allowed to remove masks during outdoor physical activities with the permission of a parent or guardian. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD makes outdoor masking optional, eases other health, safety restrictions

Students engaging in outdoor physical activity will now have the option to remove masks.

House Bill 1024, signed into law May 12, allows restaurants and bars to permanently sell alcoholic beverages to-go. (Courtesy Pexels)
Cocktails to-go are here to stay in Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott signs change into law May 12

Supporters say the change will help restaurants continue to recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Austin's phased process for moving people experiencing homelessness out of unregulated encampments will roll out through the summer. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
City officials detail homeless education and enforcement plan with Proposition B ordinances now in effect

The process that will eventually remove the city's homeless encampment begins this month with outreach and warnings and will stretch until late summer with full enforcement.

Residents will have until May 2023 to obtain a Real ID. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
US Department of Homeland Security extends Real ID deadline until 2023

Drivers will have until May 2023 to get the Real ID, which will be required for adults boarding a U.S. commercial flight.

Susan Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. (Courtesy American Medical Association)
'I am convinced we will beat COVID': American Medical Association President Susan Bailey discusses vaccine successes, myths, challenges

Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. Much of the organization's focus during that time has been on vaccine transparency and distribution.

Valentina’s offers breakfast and lunch tacos as well as barbecue. (Courtesy Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ)
South Austin's Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ will move to Buda in next year

The business announced it will be moving within the next year.