Although COVID-19 remains in the county, the rate of new sick residents has decreased.

As of Monday, May 3, the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) reports there have been a total of 38,967 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the county during the pandemic. The county’s overall tally rose by 395 cases in one week, although the increase rate declined from the 432 additional cases in the prior week.

According to the WCCHD, 39.32% of county residents are fully vaccinated as of Monday, up 4.74% from April 26. More than half of the county, 56.05%, has received the first dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, each of which require two shots for full vaccination. Johnson & Johnson vaccines require only one shot.

Local hospital space for people with COVID-19 has remained relatively the same in the last few weeks. The health district reported that 627 beds or 16% of beds for people with COVID-19 were vacant on Monday, less than the 646 and 17% of beds available in the week before. With 59 beds available to intensive care unit patients with COVID-19, 12% of pertinent ICU beds are available.

Deaths in the county reportedly linked to the disease were at 464 on May 3. The toll rose from last week by two.

For more local stats on COVID-19, visit http://www.wcchd.org/COVID-19/dashboard.php.

Yellow phase needs more

WCCHD uses four phases to classify the level of community spread of COVID-19 in the county. On March 18, WCCHD announced that Williamson County had moved from the peak red phase into the orange phase – from uncontrolled spread to high spread.

“WCCHD strongly encourages social and physical distancing, wearing a mask, and washing your hands,” added the health district, “since community transmission of COVID-19 is still high.”

WCCHD has three criteria to lower into the yellow phase. Hospital usage from Trauma Service Area O, which includes Williamson County, and positive test rates in the county are both where they need to be for yellow. However, the third criterion is incidence rate.

“To move from orange to yellow, moderate community spread, the incidence rate needs to be below 7.0 for 14 consecutive days,” said WCCHD on its online dashboard. “Since March 18, when we moved to orange phase, the incidence rate has not dropped below 7.0.”

The rolling seven-day average for the incidence rate had dropped to 7.05% April 19. However, the average rate rose to 9.96% last week. As of May 3, the rate dipped to 9.32 .

Taylor’s phased reopening plan for parks, facilities and more share the same color charting and is mostly guided by WCCHD’s phases. The lowest phase is green, which is defined as minimal community spread and represents pre-pandemic life.

For more information on the health district’s phases, visit http://www.wcchd.org/covid-19.

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