AUSTIN, Texas — A team of researchers at the University of Texas at Austin released a new online dashboard measuring the human impacts of COVID-19 in Austin. It’s a deep dive into how drastically our lives changed since March 2020.
These numbers reflect the overall change in lifestyle that happened for so many individuals after the shelter in place orders. While most of the data focus on 2020, one thing of note for January 2021 in Austin is the all-time peak in COVID case count.
The data also shows the highest number of COVID cases were in the 78660 zip code, which includes Pflugerville.
Austinites also have a better insight into the local economy from last year. The insights show job postings decreased by 25% between mid-March and mid-April in 2020. However, since January of this year, nearly all job postings are picking back up across fields.
When looking at small businesses, there was a decline initially, but then a spike in July 2020. The data points out that is likely correlated to the Fourth of July celebrations.
"Some stores are going back to normal, there are more job postings in areas who have shut down before, manufacturing is posting new jobs, financial and education services are about the normal level right now so its good to see these things as well,” said Zoltan Nagy, assistant professor at UT.
The data also shows call frequency for various community needs. The calls for money, food and housing assistance increased at the start of the pandemic. There were also more calls for acquiring insurance after the loss of employer-based insurance for many people.
The data also tracks pollution, traffic and real estate, which might not be surprising to everyone.
The average price of a home in 2020 remained higher than in 2019, and it increased even more in May. Traffic took a huge drop at the beginning of the pandemic, and then increased in the summer of 2020. Traffic now remains 20% below average.
To see all of the data, click here.