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Austin-area COVID-19 cases up 95% from a week ago, but hospitals in good shape

As of Dec. 20, the Austin area is seeing nearly double the amount of COVID-19 cases.

AUSTIN, Texas — Although the Austin area is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases as the holidays approach, the hospitals in Central Texas are not struggling as a result.

As of Dec. 20, there have been 679 new cases across Travis, Williamson, Hays and Bastrop counties. That's a seven-day average of 405 new cases per day, and the highest since Oct. 7. New cases in the four-county area are up 95% from a week ago, which is almost double the number of new cases. 

   

The area has also seen an increase of 112% from a month ago, which is more than double.

On Dec. 20, Texas recorded 8,989 new COVID-19 cases, which is the most the State of Texas has seen in a single day since Oct. 6. The seven-day average of new cases in the state is 5,393 per day, the most since Oct. 9. New cases are up 69% from a week ago, and up 105% from a month ago.

Credit: KVUE

While new cases are up, hospitals are not overwhelmed, the data shows. In Capital Area Trauma Service Area (TSA O), the hospitals are in good shape. TSA O covers hospitals in the Austin area and an estimated population of over 2,375,407.

According to the Department of State Health Services, there are 133 COVID-19 patients in the hospital as of Dec. 20. The hospitalization rate has been essentially flat over the past month. Fifteen percent of hospital beds are available.

There are currently 41 COVID-19 patients in ICUs across Central Texas. Twelve percent of ICU beds are available, which is a considerable decrease from about a month ago.

As of Dec. 20, there are a little more than 3,000 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, and that's a little down from a week ago, but an increase of 16% from last month.

About 56% of Texans are fully vaccinated.

Here's an interactive look at the numbers:

This increase in cases comes as the holidays approach and the omicron variant concerns health leaders. 

Austin-Travis County reported its first cases of the omicron variant, which has been detected in members of the University of Texas community. And according to a report by KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman, UT reported 48 positive test results among students last week.

Williamson County has also confirmed its first case of the omicron variant.

Here are three things to know about traveling and gathering in the time of COVID-19 and the omicron variant.

RELATED: UT COVID-19 Modeling Consortium releases omicron scenario projections

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