Austin area may see over 12,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations before October, UT projections show

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin-metro area could experience three vastly different COVID-19 realities over the next three months, depending on what happens starting now.

That’s according to a report released Monday by the University of Texas at Austin: which used trending data, in addition to vaccination rates, to project how the disease may spread through October 1. UT’s COVID-19 scenario projections for Austin, Texas divides the possibilities based on if precautions continue as they currently are, if Austin enacts stricter guidelines and if residents actually comply with strict measures.

Here are the possibilities.

If guidelines continue as they are

Hospitalizations: 12,279
Probability of a 7-day average of 30 new hospitalizations per day: 94%
Probability of exceeding estimated ICU capacity of 200 beds: 87%

If stricter guidelines are enacted

Hospitalizations: 1,078 — a 92% reduction in hospitalizations than if current guidelines continue
Probability of a 7-day average of 30 new hospitalizations per day: 37%
Probability of exceeding estimated ICU capacity of 200 beds: 2%

*UT says these projected numbers will depend on the city enforcing universal mask recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents — and if residents comply.

If residents only comply with stricter guidelines about 50%

Hospitalizations: 4,355 — a 65% reduction in hospitalizations than if current guidelines continue
Probability of a 7-day average of 30 new hospitalizations per day: 82%
Probability of exceeding estimated ICU capacity of 200 beds: 53%

The researchers say they’re sharing the results of the study without peer review — a typical measure to indicate veracity — out of public safety concern, in addition to hope that it provides “intuition” for policy makers and residents.

Researchers took Delta variant data into account, finding that Delta is 64% more transmissible and 80% more likely to cause hospitalization. The Delta variant has likely been the dominant strain in Texas since June 21, UT researchers say. It’s also projected to comprise about 87% of infections.

COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County

As of Monday, there are 877 active cases of COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County COVID-19 dashboard.

This includes 196 hospitalizations, of which 70 are ICU stays. Thirty-two of these patients are on ventilators. This is the highest total of hospitalizations since March 12.

Statewide, Texas is averaging 2,375 new cases per day, which is the highest average since April 13.

For information on COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County, including vaccinations, visit AustinTexas.gov.

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