The Williamson County Sun

The Numbers


Location Cases Deaths
Williamson 25,670 244
Bell 16,144 193
Travis/Austin 59,394 591
Texas 2,069,059 31,693
U.S. 23,314,898 388,709

Jan 15 | 7:56 am

Wilco Status Report


County Breakout

Status
Total cases 29,098
  Confirmed cases  25,670
 Additional Probable cases 3,428
Daily new cases 455
Deaths 244
Currently Hospitalized 173
Available hospital beds unavailable
Currently in ICU 67
Available ICU beds 5%
Currently on ventilator 35
Available ventilators 56%

Cases by City

City C Δ
Georgetown 5,336 +70
Round Rock 6,944 +104
Hutto 1,829 +37
Cedar Park 2,567 +41
Leander 1,995 +46
Austin (in wilco) 1,909 +27
Other towns 3,449 +49
Age Group
Age C Δ
Under 5 434 +4
5 to 10 776 +16
11 to 13 586 +14
14 to 17 1,155 +24
18 to 30 6,347 +120
31 to 40 4,660 +91
41 to 50 4,420 +74
51 to 60 3,339 +63
61 to 70 1,945 +35
71 to 80 1,185 +13
81 and over 773 +17

  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 12
51-60 24
61-70 35
71-80 68
81+ 105

 

Jan 15 | 7:56 am

 


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). 

Sources: Williamson Co. Health Dept.

 

A woman in a mask gives a thumbs up while another woman gives her an injection.

Jessica Melcher of Women's Services receives her first round of Covid-19 immunization.

 

Hospitals get first wave of Covid-19 vaccines

The first employees at St. David’s Georgetown Hospital received vaccines Dec. 18. 

While employees are not required to be vaccinated, infectious disease experts are strongly encouraging vaccination as a critical step to protect individuals from the virus. Regardless of each employee’s vaccination status, St. David’s HealthCare will continue to enforce the elements of universal protection within its facilities, including wearing a mask, practicing good hand hygiene and maintaining social distancing

 

 

County courts respond to risk of Covid-19 exposure

Williamson County Courts have developed plans, along with the county health district, to conduct jury trials with minimal risk of Covid-19 exposure. 

 

Plans include ways to reduce Covid risk for jury trials and additional health measures throughout court and trial locations.

 

These plans would remain in effect until the Covid crisis subsides, officials said.

 

For a prospective juror, the process begins with a summons in the mail. The new summons cards, in use since December, look different, District Clerk Lisa David said. The summons cards will be mailed from out of state, she added.

 

“This is not a scam,” Ms. David said. Prospective jurors will be screened with online questionnaires. 

The website for the questionnaire is listed on the jury summons card. 

 

Read more in the January 17 Sun.


Global Covid deaths reach 2 million

The Williamson County and Cities Health District reported that 1,221 new Covid cases were confirmed since Tuesday, Jan. 12, bringing the county’s total to 25,670 confirmed cases. The death count due to Covid now sits at 244.

 

WCCHD estimates 1,821 active cases and 23,605 recovered cases countywide. Recovery rates are estimated from the date of the Covid-19 test plus 10 days.

 

As of late Friday, Jan. 15, the health district listed 173 county residents hospitalized because of coronavirus, with 62 in ICU and 35 on ventilators.

 

In addition to the 25,670 confirmed cases, the health district reports 3,428 probable cases countywide.

 

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 5.93, higher than last week. WCCHD’s goal is to get that number down to 1.1

 

The seven-day positive test rate is 15.66%. The health district’s goal is to have a positive test rate of no more than 5%.

 

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

 

Georgetown accounts for 4,783 of the total Williamson County cases.  

Residents ages 18 – 30 continue to make up the largest single age group of those contracting coronavirus in Wilco, 6,347 with 2,500 cases.

  

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

 

Across Texas, through the morning of Friday, Jan. 15, 2.07 million Covid-19 cases had been reported, including 31,819  deaths.

 

Throughout the U.S., there have been approximately 23.4 million cases and about 389,000 deaths.

 

Globally the case count is 93.2 million and the death count has reached 2 million.

 

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

 


 

County sends Covid vaccine plan to state


By CHRISTOPHER DE LOS SANTOS


The Williamson County government sent a Covid-19 vaccination plan to the state health department last Monday so that the county would be considered for designation as a vaccination hub. 

 

This Monday, the Department of State Health Services will announce another set of vaccination hubs. 

 

The state health department will send thousands of doses of Covid vaccine to each hub on a weekly basis, according to the state plan. The state health department has already designated hubs in the larger metro areas and outlying regions of the state.

 

The county government and private vaccinating partners have plans to vaccinate 10,000 residents or more – by appointment – each week, officials said. The plans will go into effect when the vaccine becomes available in large quantities. 

 

Partners already participating in the planning include Family Hospital Systems, Curative, Sun City Emergency Management Committee, the county emergency management office, as well as Williamson County and Cities Health District.

 

The vaccine itself is paid for with federal funds. Vaccination partners will still incur costs for storing and administering the vaccine.  

 

Vaccination partners will accept insurance coverage to pay for storage and inoculation, officials said. The county health district will use public and grant funds to pay for inoculation of uninsured or underinsured residents.

 

Family Hospital System contracted with the county government to inoculate county EMS paramedics and other county employees. Family Hospital Systems can scale up from county employees to vaccinate 9,800 residents per week, by appointment, a spokesperson said. 

 

These appointments would be available at each of Family Hospital’s free-standing facilities and drive-thru, large-scale clinics.

 

The county government can already arrange a drive-thru vaccination clinic at the Expo Center in Taylor. The county government and its vaccinating partners are in process this week  coordinating with several other possible locations having large parking areas in Georgetown, Round Rock and near Cedar Park. 

 

One such location would be Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex, a Round Rock Independent School District property near Cedar Park.

 

Sheriff Mike Gleason said deputies in his traffic division are trained to administer traffic control at such outdoor vaccination events.

 

Curative, a company the county government has contracted to operate a Covid testing location near the Georgetown Public Library, will assist with homebound residents. County officials said Curative will contract to provide vans and staff to take the vaccine to the residences of those who are homebound.

 

Sun City has a plan to use its ballroom to inoculate residents and others in Phase 1b, by appointment, officials said. Phase 1b covers those 65 and over as well as people over 16 who have an underlying health condition.

 

The county health district will continue to provide for the uninsured, officials said.

 

   

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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