AUSTIN, Texas — As of Dec. 21, coronavirus is now the third leading cause of death in Travis County in 2020.
At a morning press briefing on Dec. 21, Austin's top doctor, Dr. Mark Escott, said COVID-19 would likely move to the third spot the week of Christmas. At that point in the day, there had been 516 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the county.
"When we hit 517, it will surpass accidental death as that leading cause," Dr. Escott said.
As of 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 21, there have been 522 COVID-19 deaths in the county, officially making it the third-leading cause of death this year.
Dr. Escott said that new cases continue to rise in Travis County. Since the beginning of the month, cases have increased by 86%. On Dec. 21, there were 537 new cases reported in Austin-Travis County.
As cases surge, Austin-Travis County extended its "stay home" orders until Feb. 16.
Dr. Escott warned last week that the surge in cases the area is seeing is a result of Thanksgiving gatherings and there are concerns we will see another major spike following Christmas and New Year's. Dr. Escott also said that the ongoing surge in cases could overwhelm area hospitals if the trend continues.
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