Williamson County and Cities Health District

Williamson County's cases of COVID-19 are now up to 19, and a list of cities with documented cases is now available.

The Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) announced 11 new positive COVID-19 cases March 21-24. 

The individuals are:

• a female in her 20s with exposure to an area with community spread;

• a female in her 20s with unknown exposure source;

• a female in her 20s with unknown exposure source;

• a female in her 30s with unknown exposure source;

• a female in her 30s with international travel history to an affected country;

• a female in her 40s with unknown exposure source;

• a male in his 40s with travel to an area with community spread

• a female in her 80s with exposure to a confirmed case

• a female in her 40s with unknown exposure source

• a male in his 50s with unknown exposure source

• a male in his 30s with exposure to a confirmed case.

A list of Williamson County cities in which individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 reside was also released. The cities did not include Taylor, Thrall, Granger, Hutto, Coupland or any other community east of I-35 that doesn’t intersect with the interstate.

For a list of cities with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more information, visit http://www.wilco.org/coronavirus/32320-update-on-covid-19-cases-in-williamson-county.

Williamson County's releases fell around Taylor Mayor Brandt Rydell's video message posted on Facebook March 21 in which he also said he did not know of any documented case COVID-19 in Taylor. However, he urged citizens to proceed with caution since there is the possibility of an untested case already in the city.

"I can tell you that as of the last report I received, there is no documented case of COVID-19 in the city of Taylor," said Rydell. "But, honestly, I think we're kidding ourselves if we think it's not here already. We simply haven't tested and gotten a positive result, and it probably has more to do with lack of testing than anything else. So, we all need to carry forward   as if the virus is here and we need to continue to take the precautions."

The cities include nine cases announced last week. One confirmed case was transferred to Travis County’s jurisdiction for monitoring.

Health Privacy protection laws only permit the release of limited patient information. WCCHD is unable to release any additional patient information. Investigations conducted by the department will identify potential contacts exposed to the virus. The department will provide close contacts guidance about the virus and monitor them for the development of symptoms.

"I know there's a lot of anxiety and concern," said Rydell. "I want to reiterate to everyone that there's certainly no need to panic, but this is something we should all be taking seriously. ... I'm heartened by a lot of what I see out in the community, people looking out for one another, taking care of one another, and that's what it's going to take for us to all to get through this, and I just want to extend my appreciation as mayor of this city for everything that everyone is doing."

Rydell said he's been contact with county and state officials on nearly a daily basis as the situation is monitored.

"Take care of yourself. Take care of each other, and as I said, we'll get through this."

What you can do

"The most important things that we can do as individuals to avoid exposure and avoid exposing others should be the main focus as a community," said Dr. Lori Palazzo, WCCHD Medical Director and Williamson County Health Authority. “Social distancing is crucial - older adults and those with underlying health conditions need to stay in their homes. All others need to stop going out in public places for non-essentials reasons and spreading the asymptomatic virus."

She recommends:

• Staying home when you are sick, except to get medical care. Using telemedicine if possible.

• Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash.

• Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

• When you can't wash your hands with soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.· Practicing social distancing - keeping a space of 6 feet between you and others; and avoiding any type of mass gatherings.

• Getting a flu shot. Although the flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, it is flu season.

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