Bastrop County was considered one of 26 counties that participated earlier this month in a brand new state program to make vaccines extra out there to homebound seniors.
The Texas Division of Emergency Administration, the Texas Division of State Well being Providers and the Texas Navy Division lately launched the primary week of an initiative, referred to as Save Our Seniors, to make sure extra seniors all through Texas are vaccinated. Based on a press launch from the workplace of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the state allotted 8,000 vaccine doses for the primary week of this system. The state businesses concerned partnered with native officers to vaccinate people who find themselves 75 years and older or homebound both by means of central drive-through vaccine clinics or by instantly visiting homebound seniors with vaccines.
Bastrop County was chosen for the primary spherical of the initiative, together with Aransas, Brewster, Brooks, Brown, Cass, Dallas, Eastland, Freestone, Grey, Hill, Hockley, Hudspeth, Hutchinson, Irion, Lee, McCulloch, Medina, Morris, Panola, Rains, Refugio, Robertson, San Jacinto, Shelby and Webb counties. Based on the press launch, cities and counties have been chosen based mostly on elements resembling ongoing excessive hospitalizations, the variety of authorised suppliers serving the realm, decrease charges of vaccinated seniors and complete vaccine allocations over the earlier 12 weeks.
Bastrop County deputy emergency director Christine Recordsdata mentioned the pilot program throughout the newest assembly of the Bastrop County Commissioners Court docket on Monday, March 8.
Medics from the Texas Nationwide Guard arrived in Bastrop County on Saturday, March 6 and labored on this system from 9:30 a.m. to three p.m., Recordsdata mentioned.
Based on a submit on the Bastrop County Workplace of Emergency Administration Fb web page, Texas Emergency Medical Job Drive member John Wiege and members of the Air Drive Guard and Military helped coordinate and administer the vaccines. Moreover, volunteers from the Smithville and Bastrop fireplace departments, Bastrop County Emergency Providers District No. 2, the Crimson Cross and the Bastrop and Smithville communities helped within the effort final Saturday.
The Guard introduced 100 doses of vaccine, and a complete of 103 aged homebound Bastrop County residents obtained vaccinations, plus one firefighter who was working with the trouble who was given the final further dose that was out there.
“Time-wise, it went very well,” Recordsdata mentioned. “One of many concerns that you could be not know we’ve to consider when doing one thing like that, is that you’ve mainly a six-hour window to get the vaccine into arms from the time that you simply crack that vial. There are 10 doses in each vial, so it actually needed to be time-coordinated fairly precisely.”
Dr. Desmar Walkes, Bastrop County’s native well being authority, obtained an inventory of 853 homebound individuals from Acadian Ambulance; 25 of the individuals on the record weren’t eligible on account of their age. Recordsdata mentioned there are a whole bunch extra individuals in Bastrop County who might be vaccinated by means of this program.
“It went extraordinarily nicely,” Recordsdata mentioned. “We had some classes discovered in it, and hopefully it will proceed to be one thing that we will deliver to our homebound and aged residents right here in Bastrop County.”
The oldest particular person in Bastrop County who obtained a vaccine from this system was 94 years previous.
“It was very nice to have the ability to go on the market and ensure that she was protected against every thing and did not must get out of the consolation of her own residence,” Recordsdata mentioned.
This system was largely confined to the south facet of the county for final weekend’s vaccination occasion, Recordsdata mentioned. She added that they’ve requested one other staff to be part of this system once more, and if the governor thinks the initiative could be good to proceed, then Bastrop County may see extra such occasions.
Elgin Metropolis Council debates standing of masks ordinance
Throughout their most up-to-date assembly on March 9, the Elgin Metropolis Council mentioned how GA-34, an govt order earlier this month from Texas Governor Greg Abbott which lifted the statewide masks mandate, would have an effect on town’s face overlaying ordinance.
In July of final 12 months, town council handed an ordinance requiring individuals to put on a face overlaying in most circumstances when inside a public constructing or outdoors with a gaggle of individuals when social distancing is troublesome. The ordinance was prolonged for sixty days in November and once more in January, and can expire this month.
Metropolis supervisor Thomas Mattis mentioned town council was not required to take any motion throughout that assembly. The town ordinance is about to run out on March 24; nevertheless, GA-34, which took impact the following day on March 10, supersedes Elgin’s ordinance, and in consequence, the council may simply let the ordinance run out on March 24. In contrast to the earlier state govt order final summer season, GA-34 doesn’t present native entities like cities the authorized authority to make their very own choices about face coverings.
Within the days earlier than the assembly, metropolis employees did a survey of 40 companies in Elgin about face coverings. Three-quarters of the companies surveyed would require face coverings for workers, and a bit of over half would require them for purchasers.
“We’ve many companies that will probably be persevering with to require face coverings,” Mattis mentioned. “We’ve companies which have expressed a priority that, if they do not require face coverings, that they might lose enterprise from individuals who consider within the face coverings.”
The town’s personal amenities will proceed to be operated in the identical approach because the previous 12 months or so, Mattis mentioned; most buildings are closed to most of the people, with some exceptions, and face coverings are required. He added that totally different providers and buildings will return to regular at totally different levels; for instance, the Elgin Recreation Middle will doubtless be the final constructing to be absolutely utterly reopened with none restrictions.
“Legally talking, town is in the identical place as each different property proprietor,” Mattis mentioned. “Whereas we won’t mandate face coverings at different companies, we will actually make the choice about how we’ll deal with our personal buildings.”
GA-34 would make it unlawful to implement any order from the Elgin Metropolis Council, however the metropolis hasn’t been actively imposing the ordinance particularly, Mattis identified. For instance, if a enterprise proprietor requires face coverings and somebody doesn’t respect that, the proprietor can name the police and the state of affairs turns into a trespass situation.
Councilmember Mary Penson mentioned that town ought to proceed its stance on sporting face coverings in public and proceed town’s present ordinance for the following two months, even when it isn’t enforceable and it’s solely on paper.
“Small companies, or whoever else needs to require a masks to come back of their institution, can confer with town: ‘town is doing it, and we’re doing it additionally,’” Penson mentioned. “It will not be held towards them personally that they are simply doing this as a result of they wish to.”
Because the ordinance doesn’t expire till March 24, and in an effort to reassess the state of affairs over the next two weeks, the council determined to take no motion on the agenda merchandise throughout final week’s assembly and produce it again for dialogue on the March 23 assembly.
“The town can go away the ordinance as it’s; town can renew the ordinance for one more 60 days and hold the ‘mandate’ in place, however it might solely be on paper,” Mattis mentioned. “We would even have to think about if that might find yourself being extra complicated than what it is price, if there was a need to make an announcement about it, that may be the best method to do it.”
To view the complete metropolis council assembly video on-line, go to Metropolis of Elgin – Texas on YouTube.
Commissioners court docket up to date on testing, vaccination efforts
Additionally on the March 8 assembly, county deputy emergency director Christine Recordsdata offered the Bastrop County Commissioners Court docket with an replace on COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution.
The contract with St. David’s Emergency Middle in Bastrop for the county’s group COVID-19 testing website expires on the finish of March. Recordsdata mentioned testing on the website has dropped off considerably; the week earlier than final Monday’s assembly, 79 exams have been administered, and 85 exams have been administered within the week earlier than that. Later within the assembly, county native well being authority Dr. Desmar Walkes mentioned they have been nonetheless seeing if that may be a development. Recordsdata requested the court docket for path on what to do subsequent relating to the testing contract with St. David’s.
County Choose Paul Pape mentioned it may be untimely to discontinue the testing website solely and recommended decreasing the testing to a couple days per week.
“I believe we have to have that testing element as we proceed with vaccines and attempt to determine how we’ll transfer ahead with working ourselves out of this pandemic,” Pape mentioned.
After dialogue with Recordsdata, Pape mentioned that the matter could be on the agenda for the following assembly on March 22, and within the meantime, county officers will talk about the way forward for the contract with St. David’s.
Subsequent, the court docket mentioned the county’s vaccination clinics. In the course of the week earlier than the March 8 assembly, Bastrop County administered over 5,000 vaccines, and 1,000 of the doses administered at the newest drive-through vaccination clinic on the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) have been assigned to Bastrop County.
“We’re attempting to do (a clinic at COTA) each week,” Pape mentioned. “So long as we will get vaccines assigned to us, that clinic will go on into the summer season. COTA is into it for the lengthy haul, and the 4 counties which are collaborating in it are actually in for the lengthy haul.”
Pape mentioned Bastrop ISD, which is already lending the Jerry Fay Wilhelm Performing Arts Middle to the county for vaccine clinics, has provided using Bastrop Memorial Stadium on Freeway 21 for a clinic that would presumably accommodate 5,000 doses in sooner or later, relying on vaccine provide. For comparability, the parking zone on the Performing Arts Middle can deal with about 2,000 vaccine doses per day.
“That might simply be one other brick within the wall towards COVID-19,” Pape mentioned. “We’re attempting to construct a wall round our residents and that is simply a part of the method.”
COVID-19 circumstances: 217 lively, 8,320 recovered
As of Monday afternoon, Bastrop County reported a complete of 6,655 confirmed constructive circumstances of COVID-19 and 1,968 possible circumstances, in response to the county’s dashboard.
Up to now, 8,320 individuals have recovered from the sickness in Bastrop County, leaving 217 lively circumstances.
On the similar time final week, the county’s complete variety of confirmed circumstances was 6,606 and the entire variety of possible circumstances was 1,941, with 8,184 complete recoveries and 280 lively circumstances.
The dashboard experiences three extra COVID-19 fatalities, bringing the variety of deaths in Bastrop County because of the sickness to 86.
As of Monday, 11,922 residents of Bastrop County have obtained their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 4,778 of these individuals had obtained their second dose to turn out to be absolutely vaccinated, in response to one other dashboard from DSHS, discovered at dshs.texas.gov/information/updates.shtm. Final week, 8,258 individuals had obtained their first dose of a vaccine, and three,557 of these individuals had obtained a second dose.
As of this week, the 14th week of vaccine distribution, Bastrop County had obtained a complete of 25,200 doses—17,200 first doses and eight,000 of that are designated as second doses. Resulting from Bastrop County’s designation as a vaccine hub, many of those doses can be found to residents of different counties. In the course of the 14th week of vaccine distribution, A+ Life Fashion Medical Group in Bastrop, which is a vaccine hub supplier, will obtain 2,000 Moderna doses.
Based on the Bastrop County Workplace of Emergency Administration (OEM) weekly replace final Tuesday, the county’s group testing website in Bastrop carried out 87 exams between March 2 and March 8. The positivity charge of PCR testing by Bastrop County is 8.8% as of March 2.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 throughout the 11-county Trauma Service Space O, which incorporates Bastrop and Travis counties, was at 5.82% as of final Tuesday. All the state’s 22 trauma service areas report hospitalizations beneath 15%.
Based on the Metropolis of Austin’s COVID-19 dashboard, discovered at www.austintexas.gov/covid19, the portion of the 78621 zip code in Travis County has reported 304. Final week, this quantity was 303.
As of Monday afternoon, the five-county area has 182 inpatients within the area’s hospitals and an extra 14 sufferers hospitalized at an alternate care website, with 61 sufferers within the intensive care items (ICU) and 40 ventilators in use.
Final week, 225 individuals have been within the hospital as inpatients on account of COVID-19 with an extra 29 sufferers hospitalized on the different care website, 73 sufferers have been within the ICU and 50 ventilators have been in use.