COVID-19 in Central Texas. Monkeypox, vaccines, boosters, testing & more

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Keeping track of the latest on COVID-19 and Monkeypox across Central Texas. Updates on vaccines, boosters, testing and more info you need to know.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Early dectection is extremely important. The more you know the better! CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) Texas Provides breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to women who have low incomes and are uninsured or underinsured. GoPINK ATX (10/1/-10/31/23)

COVID-19 vax cards are being phased out by the CDC. (10/4/23)

CDC recommends ages 6 months + get an an updated COVID-10 vaccine to help protect against serious COVID-19 illness this fall / winter. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines available later this week. Coverage and more here.

FDA gave the new COVID-19 booster a greenlight to help provide protection against the circulating variants and blunt a possible surge this fall and winter. (9/11/23) Talk 1370

CDC update on the new BA.2.86 COVID variant. The updated COVID-19 vaccine is expected to come out mid September. Risk assessment How to protect yourself and others Traveler's Health AISD- COVID Dashboard Austin Public Health COVID-19 info (9/1/23)

Heads up when swimming in warm freshwater such as a lake! Wear a nose plug! Keep your head above the water! (8/30/23)

FDA approval for the first vaccine for us of those who are pregnant to lower the risk of RSV in infants. (8/21)

The first case of the new COVID-19 variant BA 2.68 was found in Michigan in an older person with mild symptoms. (8/21/23) BA.6 COVID 'Pi' is another variant being watched. (8/17)

There's a new COVID variant EG.5. / Eris that is showing up in waste waters and spreading. The same precautions to take to help prevent the spread and less severe infection for many are the the same. COVID Data Tracker

- Stay up-to-date on vaccinations / boosters / new vaccine / booster is expected out the end of September / Early October.
- Test to find out if it's COVID
- Stay home while you are sick.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- Wash your hands
- Better ventilation
- Wearing a mask in large crowds, if you or you are around someone who is immunocompromised.
- Long COVID is a possibility anytime with an infection.
More info here Washington Post

Austin Public Health reported waste water shows an increase of COVID-19 in the Austin area. Boosters are encouraged to protect the high risk with updated vaccines for everyone else are expected in the fall. (KXAN 8/4/23)

HHS Long COVID two major updates (7/31/23): Formation of the Office of Long COVID Research and Practice. Launch of @NIH's #RECOVER clinical trials

Breast cancer doesn't go on vacation. Don't put off having a mammogram even though it's summertime. The earlier it's detected the easier it is to treat. (6/20/23)

Austin Public Health announced the first case since February of Mpox (formerly Monkeypox) has been recorded in Travis County. Those at risk are encouraged to get vaccinated and follow precautions to protect against the spread. Schedule an appointment call 512-972-5520 or contact local vaccine providers. (KXAN) (5/26/23)

FDA approved the first RSV vaccine Arexvy for adults 60 +

Arcturus / VOI - Variant of Interest. Find out what's up ...
XBB.1.16 "Arcturus," is suspected to cause conjunctivitis, or pink eye More children are showing this symptom. It's common for children to get pink eye. If it becomes present, and they have been exposed to COVID-19 / have other symptoms, it's best to test.

FDA gave emergency authorization to the first at-home Flu /Covid-19 combo test. 30 minute results.

Austin Public Health is staying alert for a 'top threat' deadly fungus called Candida auris / C. Auris. A multi-drug resistant deadly fungus. It's especially deadly to the immuno-compromised / those on ventilators and feeding tubes. At this time, it's not known to be in Austin. For now, it's working to keep it from popping up and spreading. When it gets here, to contain it. Find out more. CDC info (4/28/23)

Austin Publi Health Information on COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County Photo credit Nerthuz / Getty Images

The end of the COVID-19 PHE-Public Health Emergency. What you need to know! Austin Public Health release

Post Covid-19 Program
HHS Mental Health Advisory due to Long COVID
HHS Long COVID two major updates LongCOVID Recover Initiative
UT Health Austin

Boost & Vaccines
Stay up-to-date COVID-19 vaccine
Immunocompromised Unvaccinated

Recommendations for those up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, and for those who are at risk. COVID-19 County Checks

The Flu is spreading quickly in ATX. Flu shots with COVID-19 bivalent booster are highly recommended with the colder months ahead.

The COVID-19 public health emergency will continue through Jan 11. Officials are bracing fora spike in cases this winter. (10/13/22)

CDC & FDA approved the Pfizer Bivalent COVID-19 single booster dose for youngers now 5 and up. Moderna ages 6 and up! After 2 months those who have had a primary or booster vaccination are eligible. (10/12/22)

APH heads up! Austin-Travis County now has the updated COVID-19 boosters the CDC authorized . Anyone 12 and up who has completed their primary COVID-19 vaccine series is eligible. 12 & up / Prizer. 18 & up / Moderna. The bivalent booster is available though APH Shots for Tots / Big Shots clinics. The Mobile Vaccination Program will host pop-up clinics. Many retail pharmacies / providers in Travis County are administering them. Stay up to date.

Those who are eligible it is recommended that you get the updated bivalent booster. Many are still getting very sick in the community from these highly transmissible COVID-19 omicron subvariants. With Flu season closing in, it's important to get the Flu shot too. You can get the COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot during the same visit. (9/30/22)

APH shares guidance tips for what to do to protect you and others from severe illness. Resources about COVID-19 vaccine boosters.

Austin Public Health COVID-19 vaccine eligibility 6 months & up. APH vaccine events Stay updated Get vaccinated. Texas DSHS will update the Texas COVID-19 dashboards 3 times a week on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

About COVID-19 Where to get tested APH welcomes positive home test COVID-19 results.

Long COVID research is showing that new and continued symptoms are having adverse affects on the body. (8/10/23)

Austin Public Health information on Monkeypox in Austin-Travis County Photo credit Biod / Getty Images

CDC Monkeypox Vaccination Basics CDC Monkeypox vaccine locator CDC Technical Report

Monkeypox can cause a rare, but serious eye infection (10/17/22)

Kind Clinic has a limited supply of Monkeypox vaccines. Find out who is eligible. It's appointment only. No walk-ins. (833) 937-5463

CommUnity Care website  Monkeypox vaccinations and more (9/30/22)

According to APH, Monkeypox case totals will be updated online every Thursday. Monkeypox Texas DSHS Sonic Reference Laboratory in Austin, TX is a Monkeypox testing site. CDC Social Media Toolkit CDC Monkeypox vaccine locator

Monkeypox can be spread to anyone. The virus is known for causing lesions / rash, symptoms can also include fever, muscle and body aches, headaches, chills and swollen lymph nodes.

Try to avoid skin-to-skin contact with strangers, especially those who have a rash / lesions or unknown health history. It can spread through contaminated clothing or bed linens, and by sharing eating utensils or cups, cigarettes or vaping devices, kissing, and other activities where saliva might be exchanged with a person who has monkeypox. Similar measures that help stop the spread of COVID-19 should be taken such as hand washing / hand sanitizer , social distancing and using a mask and gloves, when caring for someone infected with monkeypox.

Your COVID-19 Tool Kit : Resources to Keep Safe
Boosters & Vaccines Find one.
Masks Learn more & where to get them.
Treatments Options when you test positive /
Get medication to treat COVID-19locations
Test to Treat Plan

COVID-19 National / State Info:

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / COVID-19
Facebook Twitter

FDA United States Food and Drug Administration / COVID-19
Facebook Twitter

HHS - Department of Health and Human Services / COVID-19
Facebook Twitter

Texas DSHS Texas Department of State Health Services / COVID-19
Facebook Twitter Stop the Spread

CDC / GOV / COVID-19 411:
Basics of COVID-19 When to test
Variants of the Virus Variants classifications & definitions
Info you need to know
COVID-19 Data Tracker COVID-19 by County Community Levels Map
Quarantine & Isolation (calculator) Q&As
Travel recommendations

COVID-19 Testing 411:
Austin Public Health
Find a COVID-19 Testing site by zip code / Google
NOMI Health
Sites around Austin
When to test

Vaccine & Booster 411:
Different COVID-19 Vaccines:
Pfizer Bio-NTech
Johnson & Johnson's Janssen (suggested not to use) FDA released a statement (5/5/22)
Novavax 4th vaccine (emergency authorization on 7/13)

Free COVID-19 vaccine
Text your ZIP code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find vaccine locations near you.
Retail pharmacy participation
Stay up-to-date
Vaccine Safety
Children & Teens Immunocompromised Unvaccinated
COVID-19 Vaccination in Texas TPHVS V-Safe
Lost Vax Card

Austin area COVID-19 Vaccinations & Boosters
Austin ISD
Baylor Scott & White Health
Central Texas Counties Vaccine Collaborative
CommUnityCare Health Centers
Sam's Club
Tarrytown Pharmacy
UT Health Austin
VAX Together Austin

Photo credit Austin Public Health

Austin Public Health
Austin / Travis County -
Facebook Twitter About COVID-19 Theraputics info
ATX / Travis County Dashboard About COVID-19 Dashboards Austin 311 app Calculator: risk & up to date Test to Treat COVID-19 emergency rules & orders Quick click resource guide Home test positive results can be shared with APH

APH new COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines for Austin / Travis County in line with the CDC. Low, medium & high (3/29/22)

Austin Public Health COVID-19 vaccine eligibility 6 months & up.
APH How to Get Vaccinated & Boosted 2nd Booster recommendations

Bastrop County:
Facebook Dashboard
Bastrop County COVID-19 vaccinations, testing & more.
COVID-19 vaccine support line 1-833-832-7067. Need a ride

Caldwell County:
Facebook Lockhart
Caldwell County's COVID-19 vaccination clinic & testing information.

Hays County:
Twitter Dashboard
Hays Informed for vaccines, testing & more / Curative FAQs

Williamson County:
Twitter Dashboards
WCCHD for Public Health Center Operation
Vaccinations Call 512-943-3600 Vaccine Info  FAQs

Curative Vaccine  Curative sites by location
email: appointments or call 1- 888-702-9042.

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Texas has it's first death due to Monkeypox, and it could the first in the US. A person in Harris county TX who was “severely immunocompromised', has died. An investigation is underway to determine the role Monkeypox played. In most cases Monkeypox is painful, but not deadly, especially for those who are not immunocompromised. Getting vaccinations to those exposed to the disease, and those at high risk of being infected is extremely important. (8/30/22)

Texas State / San Marcos confirms first Monkeypox case. (8/23/22)

Evidence has come out of human - animal / dog transmission of Monkeypox. CDC has guidelines regarding pets. (8/16/22)

The city of Austin declares Monkeypox a local disaster. This puts red tape aside for assistance and resources from State and Federal government. (8/11/22)

Monkeypox has been declared a public health emergency in ATX / Travis County. It's to get the word out, and get more vaccines. (8/9/22)

5 Things Sexually active people need to know about Monkeypox (7/27/22)

White House declares Monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency
(8/5/22) White House will use a dosing method called intradermal injections to help combat Monkeypox by stretching the limited number of vaccine doses. (8/9/22)

Sonic Reference Laboratory in Austin, TX is a Monkeypox testing site. They will expand test capacity as needed while collaborating with the CDC’s Laboratory Response Network (LRN). (7/24/22)

The World Health Organization / director considers the global Monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. (7/23/22)


Austin Public Health is closing the former Metz Elementary school campus in E. ATX where their last COVID-19 testing site is located on Thursday (10/27). Call the APH info line at 512-972-5560. You will be directed to a primary care provider for an in-person or virtual visit, going to an urgent care clinic, taking an at-home test or receiving a list of local businesses that offer COVID-19 testing and at-home kits. (10/26/22)

CDC recommends the updated COVID-19 boosters to help protect against Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 from Pfizer-BioNTech for people ages 12 years and older and from Moderna for people ages 18 years and older. (9/1/22)

The FDA has authorized updated versions of Pfizer-BioNTech’s / age 12+ and Moderna’s / age 18+ Covid booster shots to combat the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants. Allowed 2 months after a complete primary or booster vaccination. It won't be administered until it gets CDC approval, which could be as early as tomorrow / Thursday 9/1/22, and available shortly after Labor Day. (8/31/22)

Ordering free COVID-19 at-home tests through the government program will no longer be available starting Friday, September 2. APH COVID-19 test information (8/29)

Austin Public Health says it's been 2 months since Austin / Travis County area has been in the Low Category for COVID-19! Let's keep is going! Get your vaccinations & boosters! APH supports wearing a well-fitting mask, and practicing social distancing at all levels for additional layers of protection to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (8/18/22)

CDC has updated K-12 COVID-19 guidances for the 2022-2023 school year (8/11/22)

5 Things to know about COVID-19 (7/26/22)

COVID-19 cases are going up in the Austin area. Many with symptoms getting negative results with the at-home test (85%) are testing positive with PCR tests (98%). Have symptoms / feeling ill get a PCR test to be on the safe side. Help stop the spread. Where to get tested (7/7/22)

FDA has given pharmacists approval to prescribe Paxlovid with limitations. Improve access for some who are high risk for severe COVID-19 (7/7/22)

Look before you toss what looks like expired at-home test. The shelf life could be longer than expiration date Here's how to check (7/5/22)

Austin Public Health update is the CDC has raised Austin / Travis County’s COVID-19 Community Level from low back to medium. APH supports wearing a well-fitting mask, and practicing social distancing as additional layers of protection to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (6/23/22)

FDA approved for emergency use Moderna & Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines for children as young as 6 months of age. (6/17/22)

The CDC has lowered Austin / Travis County’s COVID-19 Community Level from medium to low. Austin Public Health put out a memorandum. The area is at 20% positivity rate. Cases are increasing, deaths and hospitalizations are low. Keep up on boosters. Get vaccinated. (6/16/22)

FDA advisors recommend the FDA approve the Modern (2 shots) and Pfizer (3 shots) vaccines for children under the age of 5 and as young as 6 months old. (6/15/22)

The Biden administration's operational plan for COVID-19 vaccinations for children under 5. (6/9/22)

Children 5 and older are eligible for a booster now, and people over 50 are eligible for the second round of booster shots. (KVUE 6/3/22)

CDC's health alert about COVID-19 rebound after Paxlovid Treatment. (5/24/22)

CDC recoommends children ages 5-11 should receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination series. Also strengthening the recommendation for those 12 & older who are immunocompromised and those 50 and older should receive a second booster dose at least 4 months after their first booster. (5/19/22)

FDA has authorized the use of a single booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for children ages 5-11 after 5 months from having their 2 primary vaccine doses. (5/17/20)

FDA authorized the first direct-to-consumer test that allows a person to self-collect a nasal swab sample at home and send that sample to Labcorp for testing without a doctor's prescription. The test can identify flu , RSV and COVID-19. Results are given online with a follow-up from a health care provier for positive or invalid test results. (5/15/22)

FDA released a statement about limiting the emergency use authorization of the Johnson / Janssen Covid-19 vaccine to those 18 and older due to the risk of a rare and dangerous clotting condition called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome( TTS) after receiving the vaccine. It also applies to boosters. (5/5/22)

Covid's toll in the U.S. reaches a once unfathomable number: 1 million deaths (according to NBC News 5/4/22)

CDC has updated COVID-19 guidance for correctional and detention facilities.

Moderna looking for appproval for COVID-19 shots for kids under age 6. Two kid doses were about 40% to 50% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19. The goal to keep little ones from getting extremely ill and out of the hospital. (4/28/22)

Florida judge voids the travel mask mandate. CDC strongly recommends wearing a mask on public transportation. (4/18/22)

The CDC has revamped the 'Do Not Travel -Levels list'. Level 4 will be for 'special circumstances / do not travel', which puts 89 countries that were level 4 to level 3 - high risk. Started today 4/18/22!

InspectIR in Frisco, TX . Their COVID breathalyzer became the first FDA-authorized breathe test for COVID-19 (4/ 18/22)

Travel mask mandate has been extended to May 3rd!

CDC in collaboration with FDA has expanded eligibility for an additional booster dose for people 50 & up and those with underlying health conditions 4 months afterh their prior dose to increase protection. (3/29/22)

FDA has authorized the emergency use for a second booster of either Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for those ages 50 & up, and certain immunocompromised individuals. At least four months after their first booster shot. (3/29/22)

FDA is holding an advisory committee meeting on the future of COVID-19 booster doses and variant strains. (3/21)

Test to Treat Plan A person who tests positive for COVID-19 can be treated with FDA -approved antiviral pills for free. Sites are expected to be open soon. March was mentioned. (3/10)

Austin Public Health announced that Austin has moved to Stage 2 of COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines (3/4)

AISD is going with the newest CDC COVID-19 protocol for masking indoors starting Monday 3/7. Lifting the mask mandate. (3/2)

CDC guidance update on the recommended wait time between booster shot does for “moderately-to-severely” immunocompromised patients has been shortened from 5 months to 3 months. (2/7/22)

CDC has created a new COVID-19 Community Level system that is determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area. LOW & MEDIUM don't require wearing mask indoors. HIGH does.*People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask* (2/25)

Austin-Travis County’s first case of the BA.2 subvariant of omicron was detected. The BA.2 subvariant is 39% more transmissible than omicron. Getting vaccinated and boosted is the best protection from COVID-19 and its current variants. (2/24)

CDC vaccine guidance The interval between first and second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines may be as long as eight weeks for certain people. Extending the the time between vaccines may reduce the risk of myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation. Rare cares have been reported primarily after the 2nd dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Males ages 12 to 29 are at highest risk. (2/23)

Mask mandate for air-travel expires March 18. The largest flight attendants union is pushing to extend the mask mandate, despite unruly passengers. Conditions are the same with the youngest passengers not yet having access to the vaccine. Safety and security includes mask. (2/23)

“We could be in Stage 4 possibly in the next 10 days or so,” said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority. ( 2/18/22)

Pfizer-BioNTech has pulled it's request for use of the COVID-19 two-dose vaccine for ages 6 months - 4 years-old. Three doses may provide a higher amount of protection. Data from the 3 dose test will start coming in early April. (2/11/)

1/31/22: The Moderna vaccine has been given full approval by the FDA . Pfizer was fully approved by the FDA on 8/23/21.

1/25/22 : Central Texas may have finally hit peak #4 for cases of COVID-19. Omicron sub-variant BA.2 classified as a variant of concern

Featured Image Photo Credit: wildpixel GettyImages