WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TX — Three more county residents have died of the coronavirus on Tuesday, officials said, bringing the historical death count to 77.
A man in his 80s and two women in their 80s and 90s were the latest to die from the respiratory illness, Williamson County and Cities Health District officials said. Further details were unavailable in adherence to patient privacy laws.
“Every day that we lose a life to COVID-19 is another devastating reminder that should motivate us to do the right thing to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our neighbors healthy," Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said in a prepared statement. "If by wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, and following healthy habits like washing our hands we can prevent more people from falling victim to this deadly disease, then we must take responsibility and continue abiding by these measures."
Don't miss the latest coronavirus updates from health and government officials in the Austin area. Sign up for Patch news alerts and newsletters for what you need to know daily.
The latest deaths bring to 42 the total number of fatalities since the onset of illness in the county in just the past 30-day period. On Monday, a man and woman in their 90s were reported to have died of the respiratory illness. The day before that, a woman in her 70s and a man in his 90s died of the illness, health officials reported.
On Saturday, three people were reported to have died — a man in his 60s, another in his 80s and a woman in her 80s. Last Friday (July 17), a woman in her 80s and a man in his 50s succumbed to the illness. The day before on Thursday, health officials reported four deaths in a single day — all women, ranging in ages from their 60s to their 90s. The day before that, five fatalities were reported in a 24-hour period — the highest number of fatalities in a single day, a county spokesperson told Patch. Those July 15 deaths involved a man in his 50s, another in his 70s, two women in their 80s and another in her 70s.
According to the Williamson County and Cities Health District dashboard, the number of coronavirus cases to date totals 4,981 — 93 more than the previous day. There are an estimated 944 active cases of the virus infection, with 115 people currently hospitalized — 38 being treated at intensive care units and another 20 placed on ventilators to assist with their breathing.
Amid illness spikes, hospital resources in the county continue to dwindle. The dashboard data indicate a mere 25 percent of hospital beds are currently available and only 5 percent of intensive care beds. Ventilators are more plentiful, with a 66 percent availability rate.
According to the health district's dashboard, the greatest number of deaths in the county have emerged from Round Rock, with 42. A distant second in terms of fatalities is the county seat of Georgetown, with 14 reported deaths since the wave of contagion began to sweep across the county. Cedar Park and Leander have reported 7 and 1 cases, respectively, while Hutto has had a pair of deaths.
That sliver of Austin within the county's jurisdiction is part of the mix, with two reported deaths. There also is a category called "other" that represents areas of the county with less than 20,000 population from where nine deaths have emerged. A county spokesperson previously told Patch that health officials were precluded to provide more geographical details given the sparse population of those areas that could serve as patient identifiers.
Correspondingly with its high death count, Round Rock has had the greatest number of overall cases of coronavirus, with 1,720. Georgetown, "other" and Cedar Park follow with 903, 651 and 554 cases. Also on the dashboard, the reported number of cases in Hutto and Leander are 361 and 249, respectively.
For more information on the latest COVID-19 cases count in Williamson County, visit the Williamson County and Cities Health District dashboard. The dashboard information is updated daily by around 4:30 p.m.
Those experiencing respiratory illness symptoms such as cough, fever, and shortness of breath are urged to contact their health care providers. However, health officials note the importance of calling ahead before arriving at a clinic, urgent care or emergency department to avoid potential spread of the illness.
Find more information on the county response to COVID-19.