First local COVID-19 patient recovers



The same day Liberty Hill Mayor Rick Hall announced that the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus in Liberty Hill had recovered, he said there was a second case confirmed.

That confirmation came Tuesday. The confirmed case total in Williamson County was at 128 Wednesday, with 75 counted as having recovered. Williamson County has not had a death from the virus since the fourth one was announced April 7.

Round Rock has the highest case total in the County with 45. Liberty Hill’s neighbors to the east and south – Georgetown and Leander – have 21 and 12 cases, respectively.

Following the holiday weekend there were positive signs of a slowdown in some of the statistics being reported with the virus, particularly in the number of patients hospitalized in Texas.

That number had risen steadily to a high of 1,532 on April 10 before three straight days of decline down to 1,176 on Monday.

But over the last two days that number went back up, reaching a high of 1,538 on Wednesday. The number of deaths in the state has climbed to 364, more than doubling in the last week. The confirmed case count in Texas was at 15,492 on Wednesday.

Testing for the virus has increased dramatically over the last two weeks, with more than 50,000 Texans tested in each of those weeks. Texas ranks fourth in the nation for total tests administered behind New York, California and Florida, and is third in tests administered per 1 million population.

Well checks
The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office has set up an e-mail for those who may need a deputy to attempt contact with someone they are unable to check on or keep contact with.

This program is specifically for those who are vulnerable to COVID-19 due to age or underlying health issues, but is not a replacement for 9-1-1 calls.

Services are intended only for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction and are not available within city limits. Checks will be conducted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and will be based on the availability of deputies. Each request is for one single check of a specific address. If more than one check is desired a separate and new e-mail must be generated.

To request a check, email with an exact address of person being checked and any detailed information that may be useful to better aid the deputies responding, such as medical or other needs.

Gov. Greg Abbott said that while 400,000 unemployment claims had been processed by the Texas Workforce Commission as of April 10, that number had increased to 1.1 million by April 13 and the amount paid out exceeded $400 million.

Additional business help
Abbott also announced Monday there would be an additional $50 million available to Texas small businesses through a partnership between the state, Goldman Sachs and LiftFund.

“The loans, made through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, will mostly be aimed at continuing to pay employees until their employers can restart or revive their business, shuttered or diminished by government-mandated efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus,” Abbott said. “The loans will either be partially or wholly forgiven. The loans are intended to keep these small businesses and their employees intact until the business can reopen and regain lost revenues.”

The LiftFund is a non-profit organization, headquartered in San Antonio, that helps small business owners with limited access to capital.