The Williamson County Sun

The Numbers


Location Cases Deaths
Williamson 28,684 280
Bell 17,148 223
Travis/Austin 63,751 623
Texas 2,209,418 33,942
U.S. 24,633,015 410,378

Jan 22 | 7:28 am

 

Wilco Status Report


County Breakout

Status
Total cases 32,571
  Confirmed cases  28,684
 Additional Probable cases 3,887
Daily new cases 575
Deaths 280
Hospital beds available 652
% hospital beds avail. 16%
ICU beds available 53
% ICU beds avail. 10%
GA-32 Total TSA % 15.99%

Cases by City

City C Δ
Georgetown 6,103 +151
Round Rock 7,804 +120
Hutto 2,010 +24
Cedar Park 2,795 +45
Leander 2,234 +46
Austin (in wilco) 2,116 +26
Other towns 3,872 +80
Age Group
Age C Δ
Under 5 516 +15
5 to 10 943 +34
11 to 13 690 +30
14 to 17 1,375 +41
18 to 30 6,961 +118
31 to 40 5,176 +101
41 to 50 4,915 +85
51 to 60 3,740 +75
61 to 70 2,169 +40
71 to 80 1,293 +19
81 and over 853 +10

  C=Confirmed Cases
  Δ=Change

*Available Hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators includes all units in Williamson County.

Deaths by Age Group
Age  
18-50 13 (+!)
51-60 28
61-70 38 (+2)
71-80 77 (+1)
81+ 124 (+3)

 

Jan 21 | 5:09 pm

 


Confirmed Case: A Williamson County resident with a positive laboratory diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Serological tests do not meet the Texas Department of State Health Services case definition for a Confirmed Case. 

Deceased: The number of confirmed cases who died because of their COVID-19 illness or complications thereof. The total number of deaths is reported and verified by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). DSHS is now using death certificates, instead of local health district reports, to count COVID-19 fatalities. DSHS fatality counts may be significantly lower than previously reported.

Additional Probable Case: A case that does NOT have a negative viral test AND meets one of the following criteria: 1) has clinical symptoms and an epidemiologic link (close contact with known case) 2) has a positive serological test and clinical or epidemiologic link 3) COVID-19 as cause of death or significant contributing factor.

Hospitalizations: WCCHD uses data reported by hospitals on the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in the hospital, in the ICU, and on a Ventilator in the ICU. These patients may not all be residents of Williamson County. This more accurately represents the impact on Williamson County hospitals. The data source is the Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council (CATRAC) WCCHD Bed Report, updated daily by 2 pm.

Available Beds and Ventilators: The percentage of hospital beds and ventilators that are available for those with COVID-19 illness. Available bed and ventilator percentages are calculated using the overall capacity of Williamson County hospitals, calculated by the Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council (CATRAC). 


On October 8, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-32 to reopen certain venues to 75% capacity and allow resumption of elective surgeries in certain counties. Counties that reside in Trauma Service Areas (TSAs) with high Covid-19 hospitalizations are excluded from these reopenings.

Per the GA-32, areas with high hospitalizations means any Trauma Service Area that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of covid-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent, until such time as the Trauma Service Area has seven consecutive days in which the number of Covid-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity is 15 percent or less.

A county within a TSA that has high hospitalizations may still reopen up to 75% if the county meets attestation parameters established under GA-32.

GA-32 took effect on October 14, 2020.


 

Sources: Williamson Co. Health Dept.

 


A person holds up some muck from a pond.

While observing masking protocols, Family Hospital Systems admin staff at Kelly Reeves stadium conduct the brief intake process with at least three admins checking the appointment rosters to verify that patients who arrive are in fact scheduled. Photo courtesy of Williamson County Public Affairs

 

Covid-19 shots underway
at Kelly Reeves


By CHRISTOPHER DE LOS SANTOS


Wednesday at noon Family Hospital System opened it’s drive-through Covid-19 vaccination clinic at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex on Parmer Lane south of Cedar Park. Staff plan to operate by appointment only between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.


“We plan to vaccinate as many as 1,700 patients per day at Kelly Reeves stadium,” said Jen Stratton, spokesperson for Family Hospital Systems.


“The process actually started Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. when the first emails went out to patients on the waitlist,” she said. Throughout Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning patients responded to the emails scheduling available appointments through the online portal.


Family Hospital Systems received 6,000 doses of Moderna Covid vaccine at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Ms Stratton said. They had already expanded their staff to administer the vaccine in up to 12 lanes at once, in the parking lot of Kelly Reeves stadium, she added.


The staff rushed to the stadium parking area and set everything up and by noon they were ready to start checking patients in.


“Our goal is to do this with no lines anywhere,” said Ms. Stratton. “Except for the fifteen minute wait after the shot.  There’s supposed to be a line there.”


At 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the process ran smoothly.


No lines of patients queued up on Parmer Lane waiting to enter the stadium parking. Administrative staff at the check-in tents quickly verified that arriving patients did have appointments and then moved them on to one of the vaccination stations.


“With the volume of patients we have arriving now, we can move them through steadily with eight lanes,” said Ms. Stratton. “When traffic picks up with the after-work crowd, we have staff on hand to expand back to 12 lanes.”


After just a few minutes at the vaccination station, patients moved on to the wait station where medical staff observed whether or not they had any ill effects. A very small number of patients who already have allergies may experience fainting, officials have said.


“We have contract EMS on site to take care of anyone who may experience any ill effects,” explained Ms. Stratton. “We have not needed them so far today, but have them here just in case.” 


Barring any ill effects, patients were back on their way in less than an hour.

 

 

Commissioners review CARES Act spending


The Williamson County Commissioners Court reviewed Tuesday several plans for the nearly $31 million in remaining federal funds under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). 


The commissioners extended rent and utility assistance for an additional three months, funding it with an additional $3.9 million. They also voted to allow families to receive this assistance for up to six months.


Families in need of rent and/or utility assistance because of the pandemic should contact The Caring Place, Round Rock Area Serving Center, the Salvation Army or Hill Country Community Ministries. 


A plan for additional small business grants was sent back to the staff for more work. The grants would provide up to $15,000 for small restaurants, event centers, caterers and hotels.


Commissioners asked for a vetting process to determine which businesses have actually lost revenue because of the pandemic. 


A more detailed proposal for small business grants will be presented to the court next week.


The court also approved an additional $200,000 to Emergency Service Districts for purchases of updated radios for fire and rescue crews and an additional $365,000 for Covid-19 testing and vaccine administration fees with very little discussion.

 


Wilco shows steep incline of Covid cases this week

 

In a steep rise, the Williamson County and Cities Health District reported that 2,419 new Covid cases were confirmed since Tuesday, Jan. 19, bringing the county’s total to 28,684. 

 

There have been 26 more deaths due Covid in the past three days, taking the total to 280.

 

WCCHD reports 2,177 active cases and 26,227 recovered cases. Recovery rates are estimated from the date of the Covid-19 test plus 10 days.

 

As of early Friday, Jan. 22, the health district listed 652 hospital beds available, 16 percent of their capacity. There are 53 ICU units available, or 10 percent.

 

In addition to the 28,684 confirmed cases, the health district reports 3,887 probable cases.

 

Seven-day rates for new infections and positive tests continue their up and down fluctuations.

 

The seven-day average of new infections per 100,000 population is 72.7, higher than earlier this week. With such a high rate of infection the county remains in Red Phase, meaning uncontrolled spread. 

 

The seven-day positive test rate is 13.56 percent. The health district’s goal is to have a positive test rate of no more than 5 percent.

 

As always, the health district advises residents to wear masks and maintain physical distancing.

 

Georgetown accounts for 5,476 of the total Williamson County cases. The city has the second highest Covid deaths, at 65. Residents ages 18 – 30 continue to make up the largest single age group of those contracting coronavirus in Wilco with 6,961 cases.

  

Williamson County reported its first Covid-19 cases March 18 last year and its first Covid-related death March 28.

 

Across Texas, through the morning of Friday, Jan. 22, 2.21 million Covid-19 cases had been reported, including 34,075 deaths.

 

Throughout the U.S., as of the morning of Friday, Jan. 22, there had been approximately 24.7 million cases and about 410,000 deaths.

 

Globally the case count is 96.2 million and the death continues to climb from 2 million.

 

The WCCHD updates its information daily at 10 p.m.


Ready for vaccine Phase 1B

 

By CHRISTOPHER DE LOS SANTOS

 

As Covid-19 vaccinations begin for those over 65 and those with additional medical conditions, or Phase 1B, private and public organizations in Williamson County have substantially completed those in Phase 1A.

 

Before Family Hospital Systems began vaccinating at Sun City and Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex this week, over 20,000 Williamson County residents had already received the vaccine. These were the Phase 1A personnel including medical staff, paramedics and firefighters, and residents of long-term care facilities.

 

Over fifty of the long-term care facilities in the county have already partnered with CVS Health and Walgreens to administer the vaccine under a federal initiative, said a health district spokesperson.

 

Wesleyan Homes held two vaccination clinics with partner CVS Health for residents and medical staff last week, said a Wesleyan spokesperson. 

 

Hospital medical staff as well as paramedics and firefighters who wanted the Covid vaccine have already had opportunities to receive their first dose.

 

Family Hospital Systems received the first designation as a Covid-19 vaccine hub in Williamson County and received 6,000 doses of the Moderna Covid vaccine Wednesday. 

 

Family Hospital Systems has an online waitlist system for scheduling vaccination appointments in advance. Residents may register for the waitlist on the Family Hospital Systems website, officials said. Residents who need assistance getting registered should call 833-984-3747, officials said. 

 

Family Hospital Systems said earlier this week that nearly 50,000 people had registered on their wait list. 

 

Only residents with appointments scheduled in advance will be accepted for Covid inoculations at any location, officials said.

 


A child in a mask holds a fishing rod, while standing knee-deep in San Gabriel River.

Fishing Derby

Ryan Bazyn, 10, of Leander uses his waders to get closer to the fish during the Georgetown Parks & Recreation's Youth Fishing Derby at Blue Hole Park on Saturday. The night before the park was stocked with 1500 rainbow trout. Because of ongoing Covid-19 concerns, this year's event is also virtual. Participants can fish here anytime until January 31, then submit their fish photos to the parks department website. Prizes will be awarded. Go to parks.georgetown.org/fishing-derby for rules. Photo by Andy Sharp.

   

Advice from Health District 

The Williamson County and Cities Health District’s website offers the following advice.

 

“If you attended a holiday gathering, please consider getting tested three to five days after the gathering and staying home for seven days. Even if you test negative, stay home for the full seven days. If your test is positive, isolate yourself for 10 days to protect others from getting infected.

 

“If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 14 days after gathering or traveling,” the Health District’s advice continues.

 

“Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe complications or death from Covid-19, for 14 days after gathering or traveling — regardless of whether you get tested.

 

“Additional proactive measures are recommended for people at higher risk; namely those aged 65 and older, or people with high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, obesity” and of those who have immune systems that are compromised in other ways.

 

For more information or to sign up for a Covid-19 test, go to www.wcchd.org/Covid-19.


RoundAbout


Event Changes, status updates, and online entertainiment options.


Coronavirus testing

 

Wilco residents can go to wilco.org/coronavirus to schedule a drive-thru test at one of the testing locations. Individuals must first fill out an online assessment and then wait for a call from the facility within 48 hours to schedule an appointment.

 

StandOut!

Call 512-930-4824 or email ads@wilcosun.com to find out how to get premium front page placement with the Sun.

 

 


Upcoming Public meetings

• Georgetown school board:

regular session,

7 p.m. Monday,

Hammerlun Center,

East University Ave.

Watch at georgetownisd.org

 

• Commissioners Court:

regular weekly session,

9:30 a.m. Tuesday,

county courthouse,

710 S. Main St.

Watch at wilco.org

 

• City Council:

Tuesday,

519 W. Ninth St.,

3 p.m. workshop and

6 p.m. meeting,

second and fourth Tuesday.

Watch at georgetown.org/gtv


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